circular estonia

innovation in education and governance

circular economy

NB! Site is under construction – the information provided is only provisional.

I am interested in learning design (incl. formal education) from the point of view of how it relates to the overall sustainable development (of a country, region, the world). This is why I’d like to explore how the following elements might be better embedded into education. This is by no means a comprehensive list. In fact it misses out on a number of very important factors (e.g. a whole debate about policy, regulations, international agreements etc) that contribute to sustainable development, including achieving a sustainable and fair economy.

– Cradle to Cradle

– Sustainable Enterprise & CSR

– Collaboration vs. Competition – a new paradigm?

– Permaculture Design Methods applied in urban and regional planning as well as in education

– Sustainable organic agriculture and rural development

– high-level mobility and innovation in transport infrastracture

– retro-fitting, passive house technology, innovative housing and urban design

– renewable energy solutions

– what kind of economic system? Circular, green, resource-based etc – what do these mean exactly? What role for international political forums, regulations and such? How much can be done locally?

– circular economy does not come without criticism. One of the main points raised (as I’ve been talking to people about it) is that it profits mostly the very large corporations who already have a lot of resources that they can then ‘retain’ in the system which they control, leaving SME’s, which happen to provide most jobs on the market, out of the game. It also raises an issue of commons – who has the right for what kind of resources and what should be collectively owned?

Also, when talking about “greening” the economy one must bear in mind that words generally mean nothing. A company can make all the token gestures and claim to be eco-friendly and socially responsible but that does not mean that things have changed fundamentally. A key aspect of sustainable development is a real paradigm shift, particularly in citizen involvement, governance and justice. The following video summarizes these points very well.

From sustainable development to green economy – what is at stake?

When you don’t involve people, and I mean all the different stakeholders and try to understand a broad range of factors that are involved in development and inclusive design you could end up with this: http://e360.yale.edu/feature/chinas_grand_plans_for_eco-cities_now_lie_abandoned/2138/

Here is a great blog about eco-cities.  I very much like the emphasis the author puts on having a systemic and coordinated approach at every level, from the vision and design to planning and implementation. You really need to pay attention to interactions: how things inter-relate. And not only materials, but also the political system, organizations, gender, age etc. http://greenleapforward.com/2009/02/27/eco-infrastructure-letting-nature-do-the-work/

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