Circular Economy: The Future of Business
Symposium of 23 June 2017 – https://goo.gl/af5oEU
École des Ponts Business School
Closing commentary, Eric Britton.
Professor. Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy.
Institut Supérieur de Gestion, Paris
firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter @ericbritton | Skype newmobility
INTRODUCTION: I was invited by the Dean and faculty of the Ecole des Ponts Business School to participate in a full day Symposium on the Circular Economy at their campus on 23 June 2017,. The objective of the event was to introduce and invite peer comments on a new program of graduate seminars and faculty research exploring the boundaries and potential of this relatively new, environmentally sensitive planning and process technique, which takes as its starting point to scrutinize and reorganize productive units to eradicate waste systematically, throughout the life cycles and uses of products and their components. I was invited to provide a brief closing summary of what I had observed and heard over the day, with a certain number of recommendations if that should prove useful. My closing remarks are summarized below. For background on the program click to https://lineupr.com/ecole-des-ponts-business-school/circular-economy.
To understand Luud Schimmelpennink’s White Bicycle Plan, it helps to have a look at the broader context of values, philosophy and politics that were prevailing in Amsterdam at that time – the Provos, a Dutch counterculture youth movement in the mid-1960s.
And if one concludes that this was more or less what was going on in other parts of Europe and North America, you would be right. And a bit wrong. The Dutch were digging deeper. At least this part of Dutch society was.
The Slow City /New Mobility Collaborative is a joint venture launched in late 2016 by Luud Schimmelpennink (The Netherlands)) and Eric Britton (France/USA) as an open public interest forum building on their extensive international competence, experience and networks in the broad area of ecological, environmental and social innovation to improve quality of life in and around cities — and specifically in support of sustainable and equitable mobility and creative use of public space. The two principals have long collaborated on an ad hoc basis, and decided that the time has come for a forceful joint effort targeting the period 2017-2020, from the strategic objective of obtaining sharp reductions of transport-related effluents in support of the Paris COP 21 agreement — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Agreement
Proposal: a 2017 Amsterdam Brainstorming Slam on Slow Cities
Draft for comment: From advanced working draft of forthcoming book, “BETTER CHOICES: Bringing Sustainable Mobility to your City”. Latest working drafts currently at available at https://worldstreets.wordpress.com/tag/better-choices/ and https ://www.facebook.com/NewMobilityAgenda/
Comments most welcome to the author at BetterChoices@ecoplan.org
Let’s first step back to consider the principal dynamics of the broader context – and specifically the high level of activity and innovation concerning ways in which climate and environment issues, new mobility patterns, unserved needs, economic realities, technologies, legislation, interest groups, political pressures, and yet more are going through a raging process of adaptation and change, which is often proving quite painful. If we put it all together we can see that this is a sector and a time in which the term “creative destruction” has real meaning.
I don’t think we can buy the argument anymore that we deserve special dispensation just because we think what we are doing is worthwhile.
Let’s see. At last count there were already well more than seven billion of us sharing this suddenly very small planet. And let’s say, just to get a crude handle on this, that each of us, whether in Mali or Malibu, makes something like a hundred “personal planet action choices” each day, leading to specific actions which when we had them all up have quite a potential impact on our earth.
WHY ARE THEY THERE? NOW? (Work trip in Jakarta on one more busy morning) Each person behind a wheel there made a choice. How can we give them Better Choices? That’s the rub.
What many people call “transportation” . . is at its very essence not about road or bridges, nor vehicles or technology, and not even about money. Above all it is about people, their needs, fears, desires and the decisions they make. And the backdrop — real and mental — against which they make those decision. The transport planner needs to know more them and take this knowledge into the center of the planning and policy process. What makes them tick, individually and collectively. What do they want and what they are likely to resist. And people, as we all know, are intensely complicated, personal and generally change-resistant. . But if we take the time and care we can start to understand them, at least a bit better. Which is a start.