Education initiatives leading the way to Circular Economy

· Here’s how they do it ·

Bringing the climate discussion into school from an early age, encouraging the collaboration between students, teaching the systemic approach, empowering the teachers… From Taiwan to Belgium, schools are testing various approaches to transform their curricula.

A selection of case studies from the world of education

CTCI Education Foundation (Taiwan): Youth Sustainability Leader Camp

  • CTCI Education Foundation, committed to improving the education level of Taiwan’s institutions, organise a regular Youth Sustainability Leadership Program. Circulab community member Sunny Lee was invited in 2020 to co-Organize a 4-day Circular Economy Business Model Design workshop for 50 young collage students from different universities around Taiwan.
  • The workshop combined lectures & case studies analysis with the participation of representatives from four local companies, as well as an activity aiming to design a new business model using Circular Canvas.
  • At the end of the workshop the students were invited to present their new business idea to a jury and compete for a prize.

ISEP (Digital Engineering School, Paris): Teaching the systemic approach

  • The school runs an optional class bringing together its second-year students from across the world (France, China, India, South Korea, Nigeria) to research international market opportunities for a SMB with a systemic approach including marketing, finance, human and environmental perspectives.
  • Circular Economy and the principles of the optimal innovation are an integral part of the class animated by Circulab community member Valérie Schneider.
  • Students use the Circular Canvas to understand the current business model of the company and its impacts, Partner Map to identify the main stakeholders of the project, and explore how the user experience can be improved, which resources could be optimised and what further positive impacts could be generated.
  • At the end of the semester, students present their work to a Jury including the client company delivering a roadmap on how the company’s business model can be improved and how to deploy the solution in selected countries.

ICHEC Brussels Management School (Belgium): to maximize the impact, start with the teachers

  • Based on the observation that separate optional or mandatory courses in sustainability have a limited impact, ICHEC undertook to completely rethink student’s academic path.
  • Philippe Drouillon, Circulab community member, have been accompanying the school to develop a new strategy and offer two new “basic” and “advanced” programmes for teachers allowing them to integrate the sustainability dimension into their classes both in terms of content and on the pedagogical level and/or go more in-depth on specific topics.

IESEG School of Management (Paris): mixing interactive courses and company projects

  • As soon as they join the school in the first year, students begin their studies with a seminar during which they analyze a CSR / SD issue in groups (e.g. the responsible use of Artificial Intelligence) and propose solutions. Equipped with technical and theoretical knowledge, all Bachelor students then embark on the “People – Planet – Profit” project, where they will have to work in groups to address real issues faced by companies and public authorities.
  • In the Master Cycle of the Grande École Program, CSR and SD teaching continues with the common core course ‘Change Management for Sustainability Strategies’. Students develop their reflection on the creation of sustainable value through innovative business models as well as the implications in terms of cultural and organizational transformation. Circular Canvas is used during this course to support students’ progress.

The Fresque of the Circular Economy (France): bringing the climate discussion into schools

  • Circulab community member Anne-France Mariacher and her teams are currently testing a version of the Fresque of the Circular Economy adapted for schoolkids, which will be deployed in schools starting September.
  • Fresque workshops are already offered at several engineering and business schools across France, including ESCP, MINES Paris – PSL, Ecole des Ponts ParisTech and soon at Paris Dauphine University, as well as at IFM (Institut Français de la Mode) with continuous education students, where they are complemented with Circular Canvas workshops.

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