Community of Science: Social Innovation for the Circular Economy

Stimulating and strengthening collaboration between scientists and companies to develop and apply knowledge about the circular economy.

The transition to a Circular Economy (hereafter often abbreviated to CE) requires new business models, different work and skills, different behavior of producers and consumers and different rules of the game. Given the urgency and complexity of the problem and the fact that scientific research and collaboration on the theme is still under development, we see the opportunity to organize scientific research effectively.

To stimulate knowledge development and application around organizational issues and social innovation in the circular economy, a Community of Science for Circular Economy is being set up under the leadership of Het Groene Brein. Including scientists from various institutions and disciplines within the social sciences (economics, law, labor, organization and public administration). The Community of Science is actively working on concrete practical cases around the question “How can you shape the circular economy in practice, for example by adjusting jobs and skills, transition management, organizational change, competence development and renewal of business models?” These issues can be captured in the concept of social innovation, which is central to this first Community of Science: Social Innovation for the Circular Economy.

What is a Community of Science?
A Community of Science consists of about 15 to 25 people from science and practice – it is a transdisciplinary association. The group of stakeholders forms three layers: Connectors, Innovators and Practitioners. The Connectors are scientists with a general field of expertise and a large network, who are often also active outside of science. They are working on realizing the right preconditions for sustainable innovations by creating support and connecting with key figures in the transition. The Innovators are scientists who are leaders in their field and can provide conclusive answers to specific questions. Practitioners are experts with practical knowledge who are not affiliated with a university or college. Consider, for example, employees of innovation networks, entrepreneurs and policymakers. These three groups are supported by the project office of Het Groene Brein : a network of more than 140 scientists who use the latest knowledge from science to help companies implement new, sustainable business models.

Results
By the end of 2020, the Community of Science will provide a strong network or ecosystem of scientists that focuses on social innovation in the circular economy. In addition, the Community of Science produces various publications, including cases, scientific articles and a whitepaper on social innovation in the circular economy.

Connecting science and practice
The Community of Science operates from a positive and cooperative view of mankind, in which the collaboration of scientists and companies plays a central role. This project is pre-eminently aimed at connecting theoretical science with working practice, with a specific focus on the work effects and processes that are important for accelerating a circular economy. The Community of Science is aimed at accelerating a sustainable, inclusive and circular economy and future for the next generations.

Photo header: Holger Link

Antoine Heideveld - Het Groene Brein
Antoine Heideveld Project Manager