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Tri-Circularity: an ecological governance approach towards reflexively integrating externalities into the circular economy

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  1. 1. Tri-Circularity • System §1: Circular Economy 1.1. Complex adaptivity, regeneration and restoration 1.2. Self-maintenance/sustainance 1.3. Value transformation • System §2. Non-hierarchical governance defined by overlaps&gaps, change&continuity (inspired by Holling, 2001) 2.1. Socio-institutional - hybrid networked governance (Jones et al. 1997) for autopoiesis (Teubner, 1988) with intensity- oriented effectiveness and transformation of policy barriers into leverage points 2.2. Socio-economic – parsimonious capital controls towards multivariate capital multiplication 2.3. Socio-natural – natural resource management via technical biomimicry oriented towards value cycling and energy transformation • System §3. Reduced externalities 3.1. Externalities: Policy can result in distant unintended effects on the environment (Liu et al., 2013) 3.2. Reflexivity (Feindt & Weiland, 2018): unwanted effects on the food-water-energy security 3.3. Resource sovereignty: achieving resilience through focus goods with low price elasticity of demand and substitution of bio-imports • Logic: Deducting holistic definition of system §1, applying each selected business model as a case study onto a specific socio- spatial setting analysed via system §2, enhancement of resilience and sustainability via §3, looping back into system §1, updating&remodelling • Some considerations: • Q1: What could value look like in a circular bioeconomy? a) increase, diversification, redirection of outputs b) captured monetary value – reduced costs and higher revenues transformation of value c) delivery and creation of novel processes, capabilities, configurations, benefits for nature • Q2: What actor constellations and policy mixes could result in transformation leverage? a) Top-down instruments are insufficient for accelerated uptake, but traditional entrepreneurship might be redundant b) Macro reductionism to be avoided – policies are space specific (Savage, 2019) c) Constraints for replicability might differ according to context d) Shifts in supply chains and responsibility might be necessary 1Copyright: Teodor Kalpakchiev,
  2. 2. Regulatory critique • „Piecemeal“ • Focus on plastics and chemicals • Fragmented eco-labelling • Non-elastic primary value chains • Heterogenous interdisciplinarity • Restrictive regulations • crickets for burgers cannot be fed with food waste from restaurants, as they are considered cattle • Lacking bottom-up and top-down integration (REDD+ <-> ETS) Copyright: Teodor Kalpakchiev, 2
  3. 3. Application Modalities • The Circular (Bio-)economy as example: • An evolving meta-sector (Iversen et al., 2019) that can be defined as a micro level 6R Bio- Hierarchy for regenerative and restorative cascading to closed looping: Refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose, recycle, recover (Kirchherr et al., 2017), (Reike et al., 2018), (Sandoval et al, 2018) • Other elements of CE: biomimicry, reverse logistics, collaborative creation and consumption, sharing, performance contracting, ecology of things, spatial ecology • Potential business models: • Low-tech: • Biowaste into edible protein through feeding crickets or larvae • Biowaste into bio=silk through feeding silkworms (biobased textiles) • Biowaste fed aquaponics for fish, fishwaste as fertilizers and herboils, Greaywater seaweed into food, cosmetics (ocean farming) • Biowaste composting for organic fertilizers • Biowaste compression into utensils, cardboard substitutes • Biowaste/hemp/coastal algae concrete for retrofitting/pavement (replacing non-sustainable raw materials in construction • Biowaste (e.g. peels) into cosmetic oils and fragrances (orange) • Lichen and moss-based carbon capture near industrial sites • Hi-tech: bioethanol, microalgae fuels, cogeneration of heat and energy, compostable packaging from biowaste mushrooms, aquatic plants into paper, yarn from citrus peels celluloses, nutrient recovery from animal waste, biorefineries, hydrogen from biowaste methane, bioethanol from corncob, social enterprises for remote sensing informed optimization of biowaste • Full list of ¬100 circularity innovations: attached. • Emergence: • Circular business model innovations are by nature networked: collaboration, communication, and coordination within complex networks of interdependent, but independent actors/stakeholders (Antikainen, & Valkokari, 2016), their material flows connect different sectors (Pigford et al, 2018) • Modes for inducing change include radical transition through structural change (Transition Theory), entrepreneurship (new actors and technology), orchestration of supply chains, non-ownership contracting (Transaction cost theory), (Parida et al, 2019) • Barriers, Challenges and Factors (Tura et al., 2019), (Williams,2019), (Jarre et al, 2019), (Bugge et al, 2019) • Macro does not preclude need for micro-governance, focus is usually on single category/major commodity on state level, dependency on linear operations (structural inertia/path dependence) • Institutional complementarity and incumbent organisations prevent change, lack of (municipal government) officials’ awareness, lack of network support, cross-sector integration, suitable partners, market mechanisms for recovery • Research gap: individual factors • Economic uncertainty, complexity of laws, ineffective taxonomy, split incentives, vested interest, private actors capture of public services (e.g. waste collection), no performance contracting • No standard for looped resources, low price of finite, virgin resources; disconnect from resource cycle, perception of mistrust (incl. in sharing information) • Networking within the supply chain, general knowledge, information about material composition • Research gap: policy interactions • Potential restrictions: • Lack of technical expertise, lack of information, lack of demonstration sites, low dynamic capabilities, corporate capture (SMEs?), availability of waste 3Copyright: Teodor Kalpakchiev,
  4. 4. Framework • System §1: Systemic categorization of bio-innovation 1.1. Qualitative: Literature review, incl. adjacent concepts and grey literature, using discourse analysis grounded theory to develop a holistic circular bioeconomy definition 1.2. Qualitative *R: Using the R software to connect the 3-9R waste hierarchy and categorize business innovation types 1.3. Path-dependence: process tracing for biobased businesses emergence selected via a) reviewed literature, databases, platforms and blogs b) investigation of sectors, factors and effectiveness • System §2: Hybridization of stakeholder constellations • 2.1. Map (multi-level) actor constellations and policy (Actor/social network theory) • factors/motivation of peripheral actors to participate (microfoundations/stakeholder theory), inform on interaction intensity, social capital; usage of interviews at institutions to adjust/complement; • Group existing policies according to scale (multi-level governance) and type (command and control, market, participatory, voluntary if any); • Do these contribute to knowledge capacity, institutional learning and cross-sectoral collaborations (epistemic networks) • 2.2. Examine if there are split incentives/vested interests against circular economy disruption by incumbent economic actors; • 2.3. Investigate dependency on resource base, e.g. available waste streams/biomass/resource endowments; • Identify policy gaps and deficiencies; • Conceptualize value creation and assess business model sustainability. • System §3: Re-conceptualizing connectivity • Investigate supply chain (bioregionalism vs. distant coupling) via tradesift/laboratory of economic complexity/eustat, examine potential effects on energy/water/food security based on supply chains; • Propose feedback policy on more circular feedstocks, potential elasticity gains, such as substitution of import commodities for resource sovereignty, etc. • Hypotheses: • H1: Supply-push incentives are only supplementary to demand-pull regulations for circularity. • Null: Demand-pull regulations are inefficient without supply-push incentives. • H2: The existence of an inclusive collaboration initiative/platform is a precondition for the emergence of biocircular businesses. • Null: Biocircular businesses appear as a result of subjective factors. • H3: Biocircular businesses are directly related to local resource endowments and secondary resource markets. • Null: Biocircular business are not dependent on local resource endowments and secondary resource markets. • Empirical experiment(s): • Usage of secondary evidence collected within the research plan for System §1 & §2 to construct a Q methodology-based (a bottom-up method in which interpretation of qualitative results is constrained by statistical analysis; no predefined questions, instead interaction with statements on a 13-point scale from -6 to +6) set of statements that will target groups of respondents in policy environments responding to the hypotheses. Coding of various statements via SPSS /possibly R for visuals/. • Possibly deduct and conduct a second controlled experiment with representative focus groups, which would be provided adapted statements related to the hypotheses, whereby the second group (with similar background) will be provided with information regarding potential business models and their financial sustainability. 4Copyright: Teodor Kalpakchiev,
  5. 5. References • Antikainen, M., Valkokari, K. 2016. A Framework for Sustainable Circular Business Model Innovation. Technology Innovation Management Review, 6 (7), 5-12 • Bugge et al, Theoretical perspectives on innovation for waste valorisation in the bioeconomy, Chapter in From Waste to Value (2019) • C. S. Holling, Understand the Complexity of Economic, Ecological, and Social Systems, Ecosystems (2001) 4: 390-405 • Egenolf&Bringezu, Conceptualization of an Indicator System for Assessing the Sustainability of the Bioeconomy, Sustainability 2019, 11, 443 • Glenn C. Savage, What is policy assemblage?, Territory, Politics, Governance (2019) • Gunther Teubner, Autopoietic Law - A New Approach to Law and Society, EUI, 1988, p. 224 • Iversen et al., Actors and innovators in the circular bioeconomy, Chapter in From Waste to Value (2019) • Jarre et al., Transforming the bio-based sector towards a circular economy - What can we learn from wood cascading?, Forest Policy and Economics (2019) • Joanna Williams, Circular Cities: Challenges to Implementing Looping Actions, Sustainability 2019, 11, 423 • Jones et al., A General Theory of Network Governance: Exchange Conditions and Social Mechanisms, The Academy of Management Review (1997), Vol. 22, No. 4 • Kirchherr et al., Conceptualizing the circular economy: An analysis of 114 definitions, Resources, conservation & recycling (2017), 221-232 • Liu et al, 2013. Framing sustainability in a telecoupled world. Ecology and Society 18(2): 26 • Parida et al., Reviewing Literature on Digitalization, Business Model Innovation, and Sustainable Industry: Past Achievements and Future Promises, Sustainability 2019, 11, 391 • Peter H. Feindt& Sabine Weiland (2018) Reflexive governance: exploring the concept and assessing its critical potential for sustainable development. Introduction to the special issue, Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, 20:6, 661-674 • Pigford et. al, Beyond agricultural innovation systems?, Agricultural Systems 164 (2018) 116-121 • Prieto-Sandoval et al., Towards a consensus on the CE, Journal of Cleaner Production 179 (2018) 605-615 • Reike et al., The circular economy: New or Refurbished as CE 3.0?, Resources, Conservation & Recycling 135 (2018) 246–264 • Tura et al., Unlocking circular business:A framework of barriers and drivers, Journal of Cleaner Production 212 (2019) 90-98 5Copyright: Teodor Kalpakchiev,