Circular Economy (BFftF)
Our current economy is based on a "take, make and dispose” extractive industrial model. As a result, resources are running out and nature - our home - is destroyed. Therefore, we need to make the transition to a circular economy, which is restorative and regenerative by design. Relying on system-wide innovation, it aims to redefine products and services to design waste out, while minimizing negative impacts. Underpinned by a transition to renewable energy sources, the circular model builds economic, natural and social capital.
The principles of the circular economy are first described in the book Cradle to Cradle written by chemist Michael Braungart and architect William McDonough. The circular economy builds on this knowledge and focuses more on closing the loops in a viable new business model. In this minor you will obtain both theoretical knowledge of the circular economy concept and learn to apply it in practice.
In this research theme we will work on research assignments from companies and/or governmental institutes, which are tackled by inter-disciplinary project teams. Economics students work closely together with chemistry, biologic, engineering, logistics students, or students from a social domain. You will develop a new business model or a transition strategy. Radical innovations are invented, and new products or product-service systems are designed.
The research projects are accompanied with courses, excursions and guest lectures of transition experts, (social) entrepreneurs, eco-designers, and policy makers. Students will not only develop circular economy skills in their own domain, but by co-creation you will become aware of the integral approach of transition towards a new economy.
Topics and projects
- Learn and acquire skills about restorative and regenerative product and services design
- Learn about renewable energy sources
- Learn to apply new business models and transition strategies, such as circular and smart lighting in industry and circular residual flows
- Develop skills like change making and research capacity in a practically-orientated research project
- You improve the challenge based on a professional and proactive attitude.
- You view and understand the challenge from different perspectives.
- You design, execute, monitor, interpret and/or validate the professional product systematically.
- You propose a desirable follow-up and critically evaluate the professional product (result) and the associated development process.
- You share and record the results in a structured manner and, based on your results, you potentially contribute to enriching existing knowledge.
- Project related goal (specified by or with help of work field).
- Civil Engineering
- Logistics Engineering
- Water Management
- Business & Management
- Finance & Control
- Marketing & Economics
- Primary school teacher
Entry requirements: you are in study year 3 or 4 and you have achieved your propedeuse
MOOC about Circular Economy
Contact moments in general: kick-off (week 1), four workshops about research, workshops about relevant and specific topics (optional), poster presentation (end of the minor), final assessment (last week(s))
Contact moments specific for Circular Economy: meetings with supervisor will take place at least once a week, usually in the monring on Tuesday or Thursday. In addition, students are required to organise meetings with fellow-students. Also, excursions or other activities will take place. Students without a background in sustainability are required to follow the theory classes of the 4th year course Sustainable Practice (once a week).
Work forms: (guest) lectures, excursions, group discussions, expert consultation, workshops
Type: individual, oral Final Assessment about the participant's digital portfolio
Content: Portfolio consisting of evidence for the six learning goals (Professional Products and a Progress & Reflections report)
Minimum grade: 5.5 out of 10 points
Planning: semester 1:18 until 29 January 2021 | semester 2: yet to be defined.
Inspection: same date as Final Assessment. Re-exam: 2 weeks after Final Assessment.
More information: Final Assessment
English. Depending on the project Dutch is possible as well.
HZ (Vlissingen, Middelburg) and / or at location in the work field, depending on the project.
Becoming Fit for the Future
You will work on and gain experience in a real project. Stakeholders and experts from the work field are looking forward to collaborate with you and to find solutions to the challenges they currently encounter. Your contribution will be of direct use to them, and future minor participants will build on your work.
By working on these projects you will learn to develop a project plan and experience how to execute this with your team. You will also learn from other teams by assessing their plans and results. In other words, you will further develop your professional skills and research capacity. Coaches and researchers will train and support you to achieving these. Read more about why not to miss this opportunity!