At the opening of ESA in October 2012, one of the inaugural immersive learning sessions was delivered by Dr. Chris Tuppen of the Ellen Macarthur Foundation.
Our guests were invited to ‘destroy’ hard drives from discarded PCs and to consider the value of the components and metals inside and at the same time consider the amount of E-Waste in the world. The session was an excellent hands on experience for making sense of the Circular Economy (CE).
Since 2012 ESA has been gathering stakeholders and attending conferences such as the Sustainable Innovation and CE Design events at UCA in Epsom to find points of momentum and energy for enacting CE in a practical sense. Over these 5 years of CE enquiry it has become clear that although CE as a term is entering mainstream vocabulary, there is still little understanding how to encourage people to ‘enact’ the intentions of CE in organisations and in everyday living behaviours.
ESA and CE – The story so far
March 2017 ESA convened its first CE exploratory ‘brainstorm’ session to look specifically at the CE issues in the ‘tourism sector’ in Crete.
The main CE related issues for Crete arising from that first meeting and subsequent discussions with other stakeholders and citizen- scientist groups were, probably not too surprisingly:
• The amount of plastic in the ocean
• The amount of fishing activity ‘waste’ in the ocean
• The amount of plastic to landfill in Crete, especially coffee cups and straws.
• Missed opportunities for re-using olive oil
Further meetings with agro and tourism businesses, local council representatives waste management groups and University students revealed an appetite to address these problems and at the same time a lack of leadership about how to address these issues.
We have been meeting and exchanging ideas with active CE groups and consulting groups in other Mediterranean regions including the Canary Islands and Croatia as well as Dubai and India.
In May 2017, ESA founder Sharon Jackson was invited to attend the Open Source Circular Economy (OSCE) day at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and industry annual Sustainable Business stakeholder gathering.
Returning our thoughts to the opening session at ESA in 2012 with Dr. Tuppen and adding what we have learned since then, ESA has been in collaboration with co-creative partners from Croatia to design a CE Leadership, immersive learning experience combined with knowledge sharing blended learning models to access the best understanding of CE from across the world.
Locally in Crete: #MakeCretePlasticFree is in development as a proactive campaign with the support of diverse stakeholder groups and ‘citizen- scientists’.
'Keep Cup' replaces one time use plastic coffee cups
FOR ADVANCE DETAILS OF THESE NEW INITIATIVES AT ESA contact Sharon.Jackson@eurosustainability.org