Circular economy in diagrams: where logic breaks down and where financial incentives can work

Are your circle economy diagrams confusing your audience? This article aims to help you communicate clearly. As a staunch aficionado of reaching a resilient economy through sustainability I am all for circle economy thinking- if it ensures people get food on the table and a roof over their heads. Unclear delivery will not help our cause. We talk of circle economy from two angles: economy as a form of housekeeping and economy in terms of monetary flows. These are not always the same thing. The final section suggests a solution.



Shifting Power, Shifting Economy


Lindsberg Conference Center basking in the late summer sunshine

Lindsberg conference center, just outside the Swedish town of Falun, saw three days of Powershift Sweden with PUSH, a youth movement conference for action for a fossil-free society. As a fellow of ISSS (the Institute of Swedish Safety and Security) and one of the founders of Transition Sweden, I brought the complementary currency ITK to the seminar  as the conference’s volunteer currency. […]

Complementary Currency Trial Shows How Communities Can Prosper

Journalist BirGitta Tornerhielm shows off her vouchers for ITK

Journalist BirGitta Tornerhielm shows off her vouchers for ITK

A summary of the recent trial in Sweden, published at ,  presents a hopeful development with complementary currency as a driver of community development.

As economies fail throughout Europe it is becoming clearer that communities should come together to provide the security and safety that neither businesses or local authorities have the capability to provide. Rather than driving globalisation, the money system should  encourage these communities to become more self-reliant and resilient. […]

Experimental currency in Sweden

Does your local community need and injection of money to usher in prosperity? No worry, just get your scissors out and make some! This is anyway what a group of local community developers in Sweden are trying. The initiative is a cooperation between Transition Towns in Sweden (the organization that works on a local level to prepare for a world without oil) and ISSS, the Institute of Swedish Safety and Security – an organization that is working to promote resilience and disaster preparedness.

Philip Wyer, chairman of ISSS, the project’s lead partner, explains that the role of his institute is to study the changes occurring in society and relate them to the safety, security and well-being of people. Understanding resilience and ways for society to show resilience in the face of change is a perspective that ISSS covers with the other partners, the Swedish Transition movement and Open World Villages. Most important is to understand the risks society might face and ways to mitigate those potential threats. Philip likens it to preparing for a journey: you cannot be sure of what to take with you until you know if the journey will be along smooth roads, in hot jungle or up freezing mountains. Having understood where you will be going, i.e. what situation society will be in, the analysis, assessment and recommendations follow, utilizing tools including R.A.I.D assessments. This acronym stands for risks, assumptions, issues and dependencies, which enable the organization to understand the current perspective on a potential scenario and analyze the effect of future changes. […]

New book shows the Power of Just Doing Stuff

Recently published by Transition Towns founder Rob Hopkins, this new book “The Power of Doing Stuff” encourages everyone to engage with the food security challenge as well as resilience in general. You can be a part of the change by engaging locally wherever you live. Around the world, people are seeing the limits – of Read more about New book shows the Power of Just Doing Stuff[…]

Swedish Foundation sees fees on raw materials can create circular economy

Just released, the latest version of the Swedish Sustainable Economy Foundation’s White paper presents in detail how nations can usher in the zero emission, no waste society using a special fee mechanism on raw materials. Download the paper from the Foundation’s web site  People get worried that we should reduce consumerism, as our way of Read more about Swedish Foundation sees fees on raw materials can create circular economy[…]

From the Charles Eisenstein event

Last night’s event with Charles Eisenstein was like listening to a spellbinding story teller, the story of the old story and the story of the new emerging. I twittered like mad until my battery ran out. Here are the tweets unedited.   #ceisenstein disrupt the old story with love and kindness; miracles happen when you Read more about From the Charles Eisenstein event[…]

We pick up the pollution bill and go hungry while corporations get the profits

In a recent article in, journalist David Roberts explains that None of the world’s top industries would be profitable if they paid for the natural capital they use Citing a recent report [PDF] by environmental consultancy Trucost on behalf of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) program sponsored by United Nations Environmental Program, Read more about We pick up the pollution bill and go hungry while corporations get the profits[…]

Transition to biomass society with a complementary currency

This white paper discusses the challenge of replacing fossil-fueled supply chains with less energy-intense renewable solutions whilst rapidly reducing the carbon in the atmosphere. It suggests that a complimentary currency, backed by carbon fees and pledges from landowners to sequester carbon using soil and biochar, could be the answer. Read the paper here. A complementary currency Read more about Transition to biomass society with a complementary currency[…]