Before “Circular Economy”: Historical Antecedents

CE Antecedents heros x2

More often than not the concept or application of  what is called”Circular Economy” is treated as an entirely new toolbox or approach, that is to say somehow historyless, This is or course far from the case.

The goal of the above  quickly fashioned mosaic is to serve as a reminder — and incomplete reminder — of some of the great men and great thinking that came before, with this listing taking us up to the beginning of this still new century,.  (Surly I have missed here some  of the important figures, who to my mind constitute the Ffounding Fathers of Circular Economy. So please fo not be shy and share your thoguhts on this with us.)

And just in case it did not strike you, they are, to a man, just that: all males. I  don’t quite know what to make of this, but it is at the very  least worth noting.  And worth stressing, that any such concept that does not include full participation and leadership from women as well is doomed to fail. So let’s think about that for a bit.

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Eric Britton
9, rue Gabillot, 69003 Lyon France

Bio: Educated as a development economist, Francis Eric Knight-Britton is an American political scientist, teacher and sustainability activist who has taught and worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion, he is MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent non-profit advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change, civil society and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets: The Politics of Transport in Cities. In the Fall of 2018 he committed his life work entirely to the challenges of countering climate change from GHG emissions from the transport sector. For more see Britton online at, @ericbritton. @worldstreets and

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