Generally speaking, a circular economy is an economic system of closed loops in which raw materials, components and products lose their value as little as possible, renewable energy sources are used and systems thinking is at the core.
Actually, the established economic practices, prevailing production, consumption and development in a global range, are dominated by a “produce-use-dispose” model (mainly supported by corporates) which brings in a very high risk the near-future resource sufficiency, as well as incurs heavy costs on the environment, especially related to finite resources and climate changes.
This requires moving towards an alternative model that can decrease the risk of resource scarcity, responding to the unprecedented climate challenges, a model we call Circular Economy. Looking forward this model requires changes in the economic, political and socio-cultural approaches.
These changes can be done with the help and support of education institutions, especially with universities.
In fact, there are not to many universities in the world which deliver environment programs, and especially those related to circular economy and on the other hand, even in those who have such programs delivering theoretical knowledge about the circular economy is not connected with support outside the classrooms and lecture halls to cultivate a sustainability mentality and eco-responsible citizenship.
Saying that, it is very important to understand the necessity of approaches to effectively instill circular economy principles from an early age, continuing with approaches to consolidate circular economical approach on higher education, through introducing and strengthening ecologically-oriented curricula and educational strategies as driving force to making our economies less wasteful and more resourceful, to nurture future citizens with more eco-responsible mindsets and more sustainable habits to make it a model for the everyday life of common people, not just for business men and as business model.
Today we are not assuming people to be just consumers or users of the newly developed solutions and just following the guidelines for sorting and recycling, but being part of the circular economy with skills, knowledge and competences relevant to such an economic model and this is totally not related to corporates.
It is important to understand that for all of us, playing new emerging roles on the circular economy model brings a chance for a better life quality, not just playing the game on which we don’t know who is going to win, people or corporates.
Dr. Enriko Ceko, External lecturer for the JUMP Team
Head of Economics and Management Department, at University College “Qiriazi”, lecturer at University College “Wisdom”, Senator of World Business Angels and Investments Forum and Lecturer at WBAF Business School, Global Entrepreneurship Department, Humanitarian Ambassador of International Peace Association for Albanian Nation, President of Conservative Academy, Executive Director of Albanian Center for Sustainable Development, Executive Director of Albanian Center for Waste Recycling.