320.532 (20S) Circular Economy (BW 13)

Sommersemester 2020

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Erster Termin der LV
04.05.2020 14:00 - 19:30 , Turing
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LV-Titel englisch
Circular Economy (BW 13)
Proseminar (prüfungsimmanente LV )
10 (25 max.)
zum Moodle-Kurs


Intendierte Lernergebnisse

The circular economy is part of a contemporary debate about the boundaries and role of economics; it uses the idea of an embedded economy, one which exists in the context of dynamic, interdependent social and environmental systems 

It  is  in contradistinction to a linear ‘take-make-dispose’ economy; one which degrades natural and social capital, and one that is so evident today. From a systems perspective, a circular economy explores, amongst other things, the design of products, components and materials. And of course it explores the systems within, which can be integrated in a way which are regenerative and restorative to natural and social capital - as a way of creating additional value.

The circular economy tends to use creative and critical thinking that involves the bigger picture, the longer term, all scales, and dynamic equilibrium. The seminar will stimulate students to act and will provide some hands-on opportunities tocircular economy and circular model changes.

The emergence of the circular economy and the opportunities it presents have captured the interest of business leaders motivated by profit and business resilience, closely followed by policy makers, academics and educational leaders. The circular economy appears to offer a positive systemic model or framework for addressing some of the serious global and local economic and wider societal challenges confronting us in the 21stcentury – in ways that make sense. But, in reality, everybody understands and deals with a circular economy in a different way. The roots of the differences often lie in our personal values. 







The activity presented on 04.05.20 in the seminar will ask students to discuss and clarify  differing personal interpretations of a circular economy. Furthermore, students will be askedto develop, working into small groups, their own personal way to present Circular Economy.

In order to move from linear to circularthe deployment of a set or configurable actions ( the circular economy building blocks) is required. The seminar of 11.05.20 will involve the students in the creation of a circular value proposition using the four building blocks, and gives hands-on experience of the challenge of re-designing a current real linear sales/ownership/dispose model to a potential circular model. The case involves cotton T-shirts and raises issues about the disposal of valuable product and materials well before economic, biological and technical life spans - a common issue in circular analysis.

Building blocks will be modelled using STELLA, a system dynamic modelling software.  Stella is up to the task of modelling the complex set of interactions of the system. Stella readily models the social, political, economic, physical, and environmental aspects of  particular systems, enabling the exploration of different policy levers across these multiple facets. This topic will be reserved for the seminars 15.05, 29.05 and  26.06. Students will be presented an introduction to STELLA and will have hands-on modelling different examples. The seminar 26.06 is dedicated to presentations by the students.

In the seminar of 08.06.2020 students will be presented several case studies (business,charities, cooperation, administration, etc) and asked to analyze theirbusiness, governance and production models. Finally they will discuss andpropose possible changes to support a circular model shift.


Boulding, K. (1985) The world as a Total System. Sage 

 Rizos, V. Tuokko, K. and Behrens, A.(2017) The Circular Economy A review of definitions, processes and impacts. CEPS Research Report No 2017/08, April 2017 

 Webster, K. (2017) The Circular Economy – a wealth of flows. 2nd edition. Ellen MacArthur Foundation 

This course andsome material that will be used during the classes take inspiration form EllenMacArthur Foundation - Resources (https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/)







In class participation.



Circular economy and examples.


30 % In class participation.

70% Presentations.


Note/Grade Benotungsschema

Position im Curriculum

  • Besonderer Studienbereich Nachhaltigkeit (SKZ: 999, Version: 12W.1)
    • Fach: LV-Pool (Wahlfach)
      • Nachhaltigkeit ( 4.0h SE / 8.0 ECTS)
        • 320.532 Circular Economy (BW 13) (2.0h PS / 6.0 ECTS)
  • Bachelorstudium Geographie (SKZ: 655, Version: 17W.1)
    • Fach: BW13 Volkswirtschaft (Wahlfach)
      • Prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltungen ( 0.0h SE/PS / 6.0 ECTS)
        • 320.532 Circular Economy (BW 13) (2.0h PS / 6.0 ECTS)
          Absolvierung im 3., 4., 5., 6. Semester empfohlen
  • Bachelorstudium Geographie (SKZ: 655, Version: 12W.2)
    • Fach: Volkswirtschaft (Wahlfach)
      • Prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltungen ( 0.0h SE/PS / 6.0 ECTS)
        • 320.532 Circular Economy (BW 13) (2.0h PS / 6.0 ECTS)
  • Erweiterungscurriculum Nachhaltigkeit (Version: 15W.1)
    • Fach: Nachhaltigkeit (Pflichtfach)
      • Vertiefung Nachhaltige Entwicklung, disziplinärer Schwerpunkt ( 0.0h XX / 8.0 ECTS)
        • 320.532 Circular Economy (BW 13) (2.0h PS / 6.0 ECTS)

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