Use the future to build the present
Bootstrapping Circular Economies
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1Quantum Revolution& Advanced AI2HumanAugmentation3Eco-Regeneration& Geo-Engineering4Science& Diplomacy1.11.21.31.42.12.22.32.43.13.23.33.43.54.14.24.34.44.5HIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIALAdvancedArtificial IntelligenceQuantumTechnologiesBrain-inspiredComputingBiologicalComputingCognitiveEnhancementHuman Applications of Genetic EngineeringRadical HealthExtensionConsciousnessAugmentation DecarbonisationWorldSimulationFuture FoodSystemsSpaceResourcesOceanStewardshipComplex Systems forSocial EnhancementScience-basedDiplomacyInnovationsin EducationSustainableEconomicsCollaborativeScience Diplomacy
1Quantum Revolution& Advanced AI2HumanAugmentation3Eco-Regeneration& Geo-Engineering4Science& Diplomacy1.11.21.31.42.12.22.32.43.13.23.33.43.54.14.24.34.44.5HIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIALAdvancedArtificial IntelligenceQuantumTechnologiesBrain-inspiredComputingBiologicalComputingCognitiveEnhancementHuman Applications of Genetic EngineeringRadical HealthExtensionConsciousnessAugmentation DecarbonisationWorldSimulationFuture FoodSystemsSpaceResourcesOceanStewardshipComplex Systems forSocial EnhancementScience-basedDiplomacyInnovationsin EducationSustainableEconomicsCollaborativeScience Diplomacy

Sub-Field:

4.4.3Bootstrapping Circular Economies

A circular economy overcomes the “take, make, waste” of traditional linear economies by attaching costs to the creation of waste and pollution and to the over-exploitation of resources1. Circular policies also create financial incentives to make the waste from one process the feedstock for another. The goal is to create giant closed loops that recycle and reuse Earth’s resources for as long as possible.14
There are many challenges here. Renewable energy is an important part of the solution because it eliminates generation of carbon dioxide waste from fossil fuels. Properly pricing natural resources will require substantial interventions as well as regulation to direct the use of resources on a global scale.15

Future Horizons:

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5-yearhorizon

Circularity efforts gain momentum on local scales

City-level programmes to increase circularity gain powerful grass roots followings. The right-to-repair movement forces legislation that makes most products repairable, creating a new cottage industry focused in DIY repair.

10-yearhorizon

The first entirely closed-loop economic processes appear

International agreement on material pricing creates the financial incentives that make some small-scale circular economies viable. The first of these begin to emerge.

25-yearhorizon

Circular economies become more widespread

Truly circular economies appear in some industries on national and regional scales. However, pricing issues still incentivise many linear practices and significant global regulation is still needed to bootstrap more circularity. Implementations of artificial intelligence identify and react to eventualities that might cause crisis or unsustainable practices in the global supply chain.

Bootstrapping Circular Economies - Anticipation Scores

How the experts see this field in terms of the expected time to maturity, transformational effect across science and industries, current state of awareness among stakeholders and its possible impact on people, society and the planet. See methodology for more information.

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