REES PhD-students Julia Nussholz and Katherine Whalen teach part of the MOOC.

This course looks at where important materials in products we use every day come from and how these materials can be used more efficiently, longer, and in closed loops. This is the aim of the Circular Economy, but it doesn’t happen on its own. It is the result of choices and strategies by suppliers, designers, businesses, policymakers and all of us as consumers.

The course is built in four parts. Part 1 explores the complexity of material supply chains illustrating it with bulk and specialty metals used in ICT products and explains the rationale for a circular economy. Part 2 explains what are circular business models and how they create economic and social value. Part 3 focuses on circular design principles and methods to assess environmental impacts using systems perspective. Part 4 explores the role of governments and networks and how policies and sharing best practices can enable the circular economy.