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Glasgow becomes first city to launch challenge on Circle Lab

Written by: Harald Friedl, CEO of Circle Economy

Image of guest blog writer Harald Friedl

Guest blog writer Harald Friedl

Circular Economy is a journey, it is a roadmap into a prosperous future in which we redefine the way we live with each other, work and nurture ourselves and our planet. Glasgow has embarked on the journey of becoming a “circular city”, a front running position within Europe. Our team of Circle Economy is proud to have partnered with Glasgow to make this a reality. And this is not an easy journey, but one that will create a win-win-win situation – for Glasgow as a business location, as a center for modern jobs and as a place to live for its citizens.

During the last 5 years working on hundreds of business cases, and supporting businesses, cities and regions in imagining a new “circular future”, Circle Economy has seen many pilots and concluded many lesson learned of what worked and what has not. Our focus was and is on practical and scalable solutions for circularity. We are about impact in line with the triple bottom – people, profit and planet.

In order to be able to scale the solution power and applicability of our approaches, Circle Economy has devoted a lot of time and energy into building practical tools that help to implement the circular economy – with the long term goal to enable the mass adoption of the circular economy and empower everyone, from kids to grandparents, to play a role in creating a circular economy on a global scale. Last year we have launched the first open source “Global Circular Knowledge Hub” where anyone interested can find about 1.000 concrete examples and business cases.

The second step is the “Circle Lab”: After a successful market validation during 2017 phase, through which we engaged with a community of nearly 14,000 and created unique reverse logistics solutions for the mobile phone industry, Circle Lab will launch on March 19th 2018, with generous support from eBay Foundation. The power of this online accelerator for circularity is built on 3 pillars:

  1. Harnessing the power of the crowd through the online platform Circle Lab based on an open source, collaborative spirit in a unique digital co-creation environment,
  2. Providing circular economy expertise to identify and accelerate the most promising solutions based on an international network of experts and contributors;
  3. Not stopping with ideation but following through so that the best solutions see the light of day through an incubation approach that ensures the implementation of solutions both locally and globally.

Alongside our launching challenge initiator Circular Glasgow, an initiative of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, we will be hosting the first challenge, “How can small to medium sized local businesses improve the legacy of major city events and conferences?” Using the circular economy as a framework, Circular Glasgow aims to engage local SMEs involved in the production of major city events and conferences, by empowering them to improve the legacy these events leave behind.

Involving citizens & businesses

Circle Lab is a real innovation as it will also be an opportunity to involve the people who live in the city of Glasgow in solving local challenges. In a workshop format this is not possible, by establishing on online problem solving platform, it is – and it is just a click away. We really hope that many will take on the challenge and contribute to co-create a circular future.

In Glasgow alone, more than one million attendances were recorded at high-profile events in 2017, from festivals and concerts to football games and conferences. While these events have an economic and social advantage to local communities, they also increase the level of waste and disrepair within the area, presenting a significant opportunity for local businesses to rethink their current business models and create positive and sustainable impact.

At Circle Economy, we believe that the circular economy has the potential to change the current economic system and the time is now to bring the concept to the kitchen table so that everyone, from entrepreneurs to big brands can play a role in making it a reality. As the first city in the world to launch a challenge on Circle Lab, Circular Glasgow is calling upon the world to engage and participate in creating a visionary future for the city.

Please join, co-create circular solutions and engage on

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