Disruptive Innovation Festival

By Jo Dobson

Featured image of Post: Disruptive Innovation Festival
Above photo by: Open Mic. Used by permission.

The Disruptive Innovation Festival  (DIF) 2016 is an online, open-access event staged over three weeks by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The DIF invites thought leaders, entrepreneurs, business, designers, makers and learners to explore the question: “the economy is changing — what do I need to know, experience and do?”

I am delighted to be giving a TED-style talk for the DIF titled Procurement: a key enabler of the circular economy.  I’ll be shining a light on the valuable role that procurement has in driving innovation and the circular economy (CE) in the construction industry.

The potential benefits of procurement in advancing the CE are significant:

  • The systematic adoption of sustainable procurement policies in public procurement will provide the UK with its single biggest ‘quick win’ in its transition to a circular economy as “one of the few policy levers that influence all aspects of the circular economy, from product design to innovation in service models and management of post-consumer discards”. (APSRG)
  • The impact of public procurement alone on the transition to a circular economy could be significant as it is worth around EUR 2 trillion in the European Union, around 19% of GDP (Ellen MacArthur Foundation).
  • Research shows that collaboration between procurers and suppliers throughout the procurement process can lead to reductions in raw material utilisation and waste generation, whilst promoting the development of new, more sustainable, business models (Witjes and Lozano, 2016).

But what should private and public sector clients actually be doing to enable this? What precedents and best practice case studies exist? What kind of outcomes can be achieved?  These are the questions I’ll be exploring in my talk, which will be streamed on the DIF website on Tuesday 8 November at 14.00.  It’ll also be available to re-watch at your convenience through the Useful Projects YouTube Channel. Please spread the word to those that might be interested.

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