Methods

We’ve lined up a number of activities to help you understand, define, make, and release circular innovations. Dive in wherever makes most sense for you and your team.

Don’t worry about getting it all right on your first go. The more you prototype and learn, the greater your positive impact on the system.

HELP TO GET STARTED
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understand

Understand how to design for the circular economy

Understand Circular Flows

flows feedback nature basics economy biomimicry loops diagram

understand

Explore opportunities for social, cultural, natural, and human capital

Regenerative Thinking

plastic flow bottle thinking linear cards value chain supply

understand

Shift your thinking from products to services through underlying needs

Service Flip

service product sharing thinking circular exercise beginner easy game

understand

Understand the implication of materials that go into everyday products

Insides Out

plastic exercise practical tear down electronic waste modular plastic

understand

Be inspired by agile processes in software development

Inspiration: Digital Systems

tech technology inspiration agile systems digital

understand

Be inspired by how nature might solve your design challenge

Learn from Nature

nature flows inspiration biological analogous plastic

define

Clearly articulate the circularity challenge you are looking to solve

Define Your Challenge

ideo challenge design innovation

define

Start with an achievable small initiative that can scale over time

Find Circular Opportunities

innovation intervention start frame circular waste

define

Building multidisciplinary teams with collaboration in mind

Building Teams

collaborate collaboration people together work values rules

define

Understand your stakeholders and develop strategies for engagement

Circular Buy-In

engagement stakeholder engage narrative

define

Build circular propositions that reinforce your brand promise

Create Brand Promise

brand storytelling user value story buy-in engagement

make

Focusing in on consumers and other users across the whole system

User-Centred Research

user customer consumer design thinking ideo interview field insight human

make

Brainstorming ideas around the principles of circularity

Circular Brainstorming

idea ideas idea generation brainstorm concept concepting ideo

make

Embed feedback mechanisms to allow for continuous and agile learning

Embed Feedback Mechanisms

feedback flows internet of things iot iterate learn loops tech

make

Understand the breakdown of materials that go into your product

Smart Material Choices

plastic chemistry flow flowchart cradle to cradle choice material choose

make

Prioritise which circular concepts to take forward

Concept Selection

evaluate evaluation test principles business case viability test

make

Create rough & rapid prototypes to test your concept & mitigate risk

Rapid Prototyping

build make ideo think prototype create test learn iterate

release

Test the proposition with all the resources in place

Launch to Learn

pilot launch build test testing ideo

release

Explore different partnerships that can increase system effectiveness

Imagine New Partnerships

stakeholder collaboration alignment engagement buy-in supply chain value extend network

release

Apply principles of design thinking to changing your organisation

Align Your Organisation

alignment buy-in buy in align case business stakeholder experiment prototype

release

Explore next steps to iterate your design and continue to add value

Continuous Learning Loops

feedback loop launch iterate flow learn internet of things tech

The Circular Design Guide is a collaboration between the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and IDEO. To give your feedback, email us directly or join our linkedin group.

Copyright © Ellen MacArthur Foundation + IDEO 2016.