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Individual upcycling in the UK: Insights for scaling up towards sustainable development

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The slides were used for the presentation in the Symposium on Sustainable Development Research at Universities in the UK (Manchester) in April, 2016. The presentation summarises the paper, "Individual upcycling in the UK: Insights for scaling up towards sustainable development". The essence of the paper is how behavioural insights could be linked to the development of strategies for scaling up individual upcycling.

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Individual upcycling in the UK: Insights for scaling up towards sustainable development

  1. 1. Kyungeun Sung, Sustainable Consumption Research Group, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Kyungeun Sung Supervised by Tim Cooper & Sarah Kettley Sustainable Consumption Research Group School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Individual upcycling in the UK: Insights for scaling up towards sustainable development
  2. 2. Kyungeun Sung, Sustainable Consumption Research Group, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Table of contents  Introduction  Setting the scene  Method  Results  Discussions and conclusion
  3. 3. Kyungeun Sung, Sustainable Consumption Research Group, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Introduction
  4. 4. Kyungeun Sung, Sustainable Consumption Research Group, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Community-level innovations or actions for sustainability  Grassroots innovations (e.g. Davies & Mullin, 2011; Horwitch & Mulloth, 2010; Longhurst & Seyfang, 2011)  Community-driven development (e.g. Alkire et al., 2001; Binswanger & Nguyen, 2005; Dongier et al., 2003)  Bottom-up approach (e.g. Akpomuvie, 2010; Danish, 1995; Rayner, 2010; Smith, 2008)
  5. 5. Kyungeun Sung, Sustainable Consumption Research Group, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Grassroots innovations  Social enterprises and social movements for greener economy in developed countries (UK and USA)  Low carbon housing & community renewable energy (Seyfang, 2008;2010)  Organic food producer cooperatives (Bekin et al., 2007)  Hubs of innovation (Horwitch & Mulloth, 2010) & social enterprises (Davies & Mullin, 2011)  Transition towns (Longhurst, 2012)  Poverty alleviation and capacity building of the poor in developing countries (India)  Honey Bee network (Gupta, 1995; 2000) & ICT for BoP (Heeks, 2012)  Eco-preneurs (Pastakia, 1998) & commercialisation (De Keersmaecker et al, 2012)  Capacity building (Middlemiss & Parrish, 2010)
  6. 6. Kyungeun Sung, Sustainable Consumption Research Group, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Community-driven development  Cases in developing countries  Problems and challenges (Bebbington et al, 2004; Platteau & Gaspart, 2003)  Obstacles to scaling up (Binswanger & Aiyar, 2003) & success factors for scaling up (Binswanger & Nguyen, 2004)  State-community synergies (Gupta et al., 2003; 2004)  Empowerment (Grootaert, 2003; Krishna, 2003)
  7. 7. Kyungeun Sung, Sustainable Consumption Research Group, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Bottom-up approach  Cases in developing countries  Self-help strategy for rural development (Akpomuvie, 2010)  Decentralised energy planning (Hiremath et al., 2010)  Sustainable urban development (El Asmar et al., 2012)  Subsistence marketplaces (Viswanathan, et al., 2012)  Inclusive development (marginalised people) (Danish, 1995)
  8. 8. Kyungeun Sung, Sustainable Consumption Research Group, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Existing research  Focus on:  Expert-led poverty alleviation projects  Market-led social enterprises  Activists-led social movements  Relative little attention to:  Spontaneous, unorganised citizen’s collective actions
  9. 9. Kyungeun Sung, Sustainable Consumption Research Group, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Aims  Introduce the example of spontaneous, unorganised citizen’s collective actions – individual upcycling  Analyse from the perspective of Design for Sustainable Behaviour  Link behavioural insights to strategy development for scaling up
  10. 10. Kyungeun Sung, Sustainable Consumption Research Group, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Setting the scene
  11. 11. Kyungeun Sung, Sustainable Consumption Research Group, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Individual upcycling Creation or modification of any product out of used materials in an attempt to result in a product of higher quality or value than the compositional elements (Sung, et al., 2014)
  12. 12. Kyungeun Sung, Sustainable Consumption Research Group, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Benefits of individual upcycling when scaled up  Environmental benefits (Ali et al., 2013; Goldsmith, 2009; Szaky, 2014)  (-) need for new products > (-) materials and industrial energy > (-) GHGs  (-) municipal solid waste > (-) additional landfill spaces  Economic benefits (Frank, 2013; Lang, 2013)  Money saving  SMEs (e.g. Sarah Turner in Sung & Cooper, 2015)  Sociocultural & psychological benefits (Sung, Cooper & Kettley, 2014)  Learning & empowering  Sense of community & relaxing  …
  13. 13. Kyungeun Sung, Sustainable Consumption Research Group, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Increasing number of upcyclers but still marginal practice  contemporary Maker Movement (Anderson, 2012; Lang, 2013)  Physical resources (e.g. Hackspaces)  Digital resources (e.g. Instructables, Etsy)
  14. 14. Kyungeun Sung, Sustainable Consumption Research Group, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Research question How can this emerging, yet still marginal activity, be scaled up into a mainstream everyday activity in households (and possibly also in industries) to make a bigger impact on the environment and society?
  15. 15. Kyungeun Sung, Sustainable Consumption Research Group, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Aims  Introduce the example of spontaneous, unorganised citizen’s collective actions – individual upcycling  Analyse from the perspective of Design for Sustainable Behaviour  Link behavioural insights to strategy development for scaling up
  16. 16. Kyungeun Sung, Sustainable Consumption Research Group, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Method
  17. 17. Kyungeun Sung, Sustainable Consumption Research Group, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Methods and sampling  Semi-structured interview with 23 British residents (April-July, 2014)  Interview schedule:  Behaviour variance – how often; materials (what, how/where to get, how to choose); what to do with end products  Context of the behaviour – when; where; with whom  10 Hackspaces/Makerspaces in 10 cities of 9 regions in England (based on accessibility + activeness)  A recruiting advertisement on Google groups/forums  13 direct answer + 10 snowball sampling
  18. 18. Kyungeun Sung, Sustainable Consumption Research Group, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Participants  From 9 cities  Between 24~66 years old  17 (74%) British and 6 (26%) non-British  15 (65%) male and 8 (35%) female  12 (52%) in science and engineering; 7 (30%) in art and design; 4 (17%) in other areas (health service, business and management) or unemployed
  19. 19. Kyungeun Sung, Sustainable Consumption Research Group, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Analysis  Anonymised transcripts  QSR NVivo 10 software  Thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006)  Categorisation into (1) how often; (2) what materials; (3) how and where to get materials; (4) why particular materials; (5) what to do with end products; (6) when; (7) where; (8) with whom  Grounded codes
  20. 20. Kyungeun Sung, Sustainable Consumption Research Group, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Limitations  May not be generalisable to the overall UK populations/makers/upcyclers based on the sampling method + limited sample  Limited to the particular aspects of the behaviour understanding – excluding behaviour factors, skills level, tools involved, etc.
  21. 21. Kyungeun Sung, Sustainable Consumption Research Group, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Results
  22. 22. Kyungeun Sung, Sustainable Consumption Research Group, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Behaviour variance  Frequency: ‘all the time’ ~ ‘once a year’ depending on the project or job situation  enthusiastic hobbyists (environmentalists) ~ pragmatists  Materials: (1) wood/furniture; (2) metal; (3) electronics; (4) fabric; (5) packaging.  Source of materials: (1) online shops + networks (males); (2) skips (males); (3) charity shops; (4) car boot sales  Material selection criteria: (1) potential value; (2) financial saving; (3) high quality; (4) easy to handle; (5) un-recyclability  Use of end products: (1) for oneself; (2) gifts to family/friends; (3) selling (with high aspirations)
  23. 23. Kyungeun Sung, Sustainable Consumption Research Group, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Context of behaviour  When: ‘anytime that suits them’ (hobby) or ‘all the time’ (lifestyle)  Where: ‘home’ vs. ‘Hackspace/Makerspace’ (tools and bigger space)  With whom: ‘by oneself’ – difficulty in finding similar-interest people, previous bad collaboration experience, increased productivity, preferences towards no interruption and instruction
  24. 24. Kyungeun Sung, Sustainable Consumption Research Group, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Discussions & Conclusion
  25. 25. Kyungeun Sung, Sustainable Consumption Research Group, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Implications for scaling up (behaviour variance)  Frequency: ‘all the time’ ~ ‘once a year’ depending on the project or job situation  enthusiastic hobbyists (environmentalists) ~ pragmatists  enthusiastic upcyclers > entrepreneurs + pragmatic makers > frequent upcycling + non-makers > makers/upcyclers  Materials: (1) wood/furniture; (2) metal; (3) electronics; (4) fabric; (5) packaging  focus of materials provision improvement  Source of materials: (1) online shops + networks (males); (2) skips (males); (3) charity shops; (4) car boot sales  unified used material centre + online search platform  Material selection criteria: (1) potential value; (2) financial saving; (3) high quality; (4) easy to handle; (5) un- recyclability  materials information with the estimated potential value, estimated money saving and quality rate  Use of end products: (1) for oneself; (2) gifts to family/friends; (3) selling (with high aspirations)  business feasibility test, technical safety test, niche market identification
  26. 26. Kyungeun Sung, Sustainable Consumption Research Group, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Implications for scaling up (context of behaviour)  Where: ‘home’ vs. ‘Hackspace/Makerspace’ (males)  tools hiring service and daily/hourly charge for the workshop  With whom: ‘by oneself’ – difficulty in finding similar-interest people, previous bad collaboration experience, increased productivity, preferences towards no interruption and instruction  community match-making events
  27. 27. Kyungeun Sung, Sustainable Consumption Research Group, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Scaling up beyond hobbies and niche enterprises  In-house designers in MNCs:  Products worth mass-production + production technique worth scaling up (cost-effectiveness and sustainability)  Effective & efficient systems / services to take back products/packaging (extended producer responsibility) http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/product-content/the-long-and-short/season- one/images/freitag7.jpg
  28. 28. Kyungeun Sung, Sustainable Consumption Research Group, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Scaling up beyond hobbies and niche enterprises Deepening, broadening & scaling up transition experiments in niches in relation to multi-level perspective (based on Geels and Kemp 2000, De Haan and Rotmans, 2009) from van den Bosch (2010)  Niches in the multi levels of sustainability transitions (Geels, 2011)  Broadening: getting different niches together (linking it with repair, reuse, other types of sustainable DIY activities)  niche-cluster  niche- regime (van den Bosch, 2010)
  29. 29. Kyungeun Sung, Sustainable Consumption Research Group, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Quick recap  Relative little attention to more spontaneous, unorganised citizen’s collective actions in community-level innovations for SD  Individual upcycling in the UK  Interviews with 23 British residents with practical experience  Variance in behaviour + behavioural context  Behaviour insights  strategies for scaling up  Scaling up beyond hobbies and niche enterprises
  30. 30. Kyungeun Sung, Sustainable Consumption Research Group, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Future prospects  Developing, global ‘circular economy’ debate (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2015)  Design movement for sustainable change: design activism (Fuad-Luke, 2013); design for social innovation (Manzini, 2015)  How every stakeholder (industry, government, NGOs, citizens) acts and reacts
  31. 31. Kyungeun Sung, Sustainable Consumption Research Group, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment Thank you! Any question? Kyungeun.sung2013@my.ntu.ac.uk http://kyungeunsung.com/ https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Kyungeun_Sung

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