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Circular Wonderings

Hi, I’m Barry. I founded HappyPorch in 2015 and I’m excited about the Circular Economy.

I believe that we (me, you, HappyPorch and society in general) need to do more than react to climate change and loss of biodiversity and all the other issues caused by our waste. Rather, we need to find ways to solve those issues AND improve life on our planet. There is a chance that, with Circular Economy approaches, we can contribute to these regenerative solutions.

Circular Wonderings is an exploration of the role of digital, software and technology in the Circular Economy. Exploration is the key word here. I write regularly, reflecting on my current thoughts and research. Expect typos, incomplete thoughts, varied rambling topics and (hopefully) a journey towards clearer understanding and insight.

This is a long and difficult journey! But it is, I think, a road worth travelling.

To join me on this journey subscribe to receive daily (yes daily!) emails. I'd love to hear your thoughts or feedback, just subscribe and reply to any email.

Archive

Repair Cafe

The Circular Economy in action (Credit: University College London) [1] This is an important point to keep coming back to. I spend most of my time thinking about software and iOT and everything from blockchain to reverse logistics tracking. In reality one of the core parts of the circular economy is very simple: "...keeping materials in circulation...".   [1]: https://www.ucl.ac ...

It is different

One of my favourite stories of applying Circular Economy approaches when developing a business software solution is from Tom Harper at Unusual Rigging[1]. Unusual provide equipment and installation for events and theatres. They work with a huge variety of events including "the Special Olympics, touring productions of major West End and Broadway productions". And many different ...

Circular Purpose

The World Economic Forum has a broad definition of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Following on from the bit about "...huge promise and potential peril..." (on which I pondered in previous[1] posts[2]) they say: "The Fourth Industrial Revolution is about more than just technology-driven change; it is an opportunity to help everyone, including leaders, policy-makers and people ...

Light in the dark

The 2020 Reith Lectures where given in December by the former Bank of England governor, Mark Carney [1]. In the 4 lectures he presents "how we have come to esteem financial value over human value and how we have gone from market economies to market societies. He argues that this has contributed to a trio of crises: of credit, Covid and climate." It is interesting, to me at leas ...

Just following orders?

The World Economic Forum describes the forth industrial revolution as: "...advances are merging the physical, digital and biological worlds in ways that create both huge promise and potential peril..." [1] In software development, sometimes the "potential peril" is nearly as clear cut as driving at speed through a children's playground [2] Imagine being in the team of software ...

Speeding through a children's playground?

Software has and will continue to change the world. We are probably only at the start of this change. Which is mind blowing. At my first development job in 1999 they gave me my first mobile phone and I didn't really want it. Smart phones weren't a thing yet, and I was a young and excited about tech. I was working in a leading web company in London during what was probably the f ...

Software Engineers role in Circular Collaboration

In the last[1] few[2] posts[3] I started to scratch the surface of the importance of deep cross boundary collaboration for successful Circular Economy projects and businesses. Given that, an interesting question to ask is: how does this affect the software we build? Does it change the role of the software engineer on a circular business or project? The examples we've looked at ...

Reuse Open Data Standard

For many of us and for many businesses a transition towards a truly Circular Economy is a paradigm shift in mindset. While there is a significant business opportunity too, not many would attempt to solve them unless also motivated by the wider goals described by the Circular Economy idea. And, given that, an Open, transparent and deeply collaborative approach is crucial to succ ...

Collaboration with open standards

Industrial Symbiosis is an excellent example of deep, direct collaboration that can be used to accelerate our transition to a Circular Economy. Great collaboration can also take other forms. One of the cornerstones of successful circular businesses and projects is an open collaborative mindset. This approach is better not just for business but for circular economy success in wi ...