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SIRKULÆRØKONOMI-Sirkulær økonomi

Collaborative innovation for reduced consumption: What governance factors drive transition from linear to circular economy?

Alternative title: Samarbeidsdrevet innovasjon for redusert forbruk: Hvilke governancefaktorer driver omstillingen fra lineær til sirkulær økonomi?

Awarded: NOK 8.6 mill.

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2024 - 2027


CIRCULAR addresses a pressing, multifaceted sustainability challenge: To transform the economic system from a linear to a circular economy. A circular economy seeks to give back to the planet more than it takes. This challenges existing consumption habits, business models, and governance structures. New policies and practices need to be developed at the intersection of various institutions and stakeholders, calling for collaborative governance solutions. CIRCULAR takes up this challenge by exploring and identifying governance factors for circular economies: • What are main governance factors driving co-creation of circular economy for reduced consumption? • What are key leadership and intermediary roles for successful collaborative innovation? The research applies a mixed-method design for cumulative learning, combining quantitative and qualitative methodologies: A literature study, surveys with leaders and intermediaries, a comparative case study of diverse Norwegian case studies of circular economy governance in Oslo, Asker, Ålesund, and international cases in Amsterdam and Cape Town, and finally, a broader qualitative comparative analysis (QCA). The result is a constellation of governance factors capable of setting robust co-creation of circular processes and transition in motion. A broad ensemble of institutions contributes with relevant expertise and practical implementation of research: Norwegian Institute of Urban and Regional Research (NIBR), OsloMet (project leader) Bergen University, NTNU, Pådriv, So Central, Utrecht University og University of Cape Town. An expert team of core resource persons, combining practical and professional knowledge, will support all phases of the project. The project will, through the empirical focus, fill important research gaps and provide generalizable and running, actionable advice related to cases in both the Global North and from the Global South.

The transition from a linear to a circular economy represents a complex, multifaceted and vital societal challenge that calls for co-created solutions between multiple public and private stakeholders. CIRCULAR addresses this challenge through investigating critical governance factors for facilitating a shift to a circular economy. Moreover, the project studies the roles of co-creational leadership and intermediaries in the management of this transition. CIRCULAR thus aims to contribute knowledge on how to promote effective design and delivery of a circular economy and reduced consumption. The project is based on a mixed-method, interdisciplinary approach combining collaborative governance analysis, key informant interviews, leadership survey and qualitative comparative analysis (QCA). It adopts a novel analytical governance framework applied as heuristics to a comparative set of urban case studies; three cases in Norway, which constitute the main cases, and two comparative cases in international front-running cities on circular economy (Utrecht and Cape Town). The comparison across different institutional contexts, including in cities of the Global North and the Global South, enhances robustness of findings and learning. An interdisciplinary team of researchers and a panel of experts will, through regular interaction, testing of findings and communication, produce cutting-edge knowledge on how a given constellation of governance factors can facilitate co-created, just and sustainable circular economies in policy and practice.

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SIRKULÆRØKONOMI-Sirkulær økonomi