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Circular and Digital Economies: The dual transition

Lead contributor: Dr. Saman Sarbazvatan

This chapter sheds light on the evolving dynamics of the markets and economies resulting from the transition to the Digital Economy and the urgency to accelerate the transition to the Circular Economy by harvesting the already established digital enablers. The increasing awareness and attention to the imperative of the transition to the Circular Economy coincide with the ongoing transition to the Digital Economy, providing groundbreaking multi-dimensional innovation opportunities for startups, companies, industries, markets, and nations, across the public, private sectors, globally.  

This chapter helps readers to stay abreast of the rapidly evolving dynamics of The Dual Transition of Digital and Circular Economies, strengthen their innovation capacity, and design action plans to reinforce resilient competitiveness strategies at the micro and macro landscapes. 

This chapter starts with an overview of the exacerbating social, economic, and environmental challenges as the consequences of technologically empowered Industrialization under the Linear Economic Model and our unsustainable sourcing, production, and consumption patterns. Following this introduction, The Digitally Enhanced Circular Economy Alternative is introduced and explored as a prominent means for designing and implementing innovative solutions in response to the threatening aftermath of our unsustainable practices. Digital Transformation, Mass Integration of Industry 4.0 Technologies, and the Forthcoming Digital Economy are explored further as major sources of unprecedented opportunities to attain this objective from micro and macro perspectives.  

This chapter unfolds the drivers of the Dual Transition to the Digital and Circular Economies and delves into the significant role that technology plays in reinforcing Sustainable Competitiveness and promoting United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Circularity as Competitive Edge and Policy Initiatives and Strategies are explored further as other predominant drivers, providing significant support to forward-thinking leaders, entrepreneurs, and decision-makers at the industry, national, and regional scopes, to stay at the forefront of the emerging opportunities because of this Dual Transition. 

Following a profound analysis of the above over seven astute sections with examples and use cases, the final part of this chapter summarizes the discussions by providing Key Takeaways and Actionable Insights for researchers, entrepreneurs, investors, firms, industry and market leaders, and decision-makers to capitalize on a myriad of innovation opportunities emerging from the Dual Transition to the Digital and Circular Economies. This chapter helps avant-garde thinkers, progressive leaders, and forward-looking decision-makers to surf on the Emerging Trends of the Enabling Technologies of Industry 4.0 to capture the cutting-edge potentials provided by them and advance the Circular Economy imperative effectively and more efficiently while strengthening their innovation capacity and gaining unique competitive advantage. 

What's inside

Repercussions of Linear Economy

Technologies have been instrumental in driving the Industrial Revolutions and the evolution of our economies and societies. However, the threatening aftermaths of this process vividly question our intelligence. But before working on the solution, we need to understand the underlying factors of this failure.

The Digitally Empowered Circular Economy Alternative

Digital Enablers build visibility into value chains and intelligence into assets and provide solutions to track, monitor, manage, and utilize resources more efficiently, driving the Dual Transition. Learn more about how technologies connect and engage biological, physical, and digital realms.

The Forthcoming Digital Economy

The mass integration of Industry 4.0 Technologies and the accelerating rate of Digital Transformation are forcefully driving the forthcoming Digital Economy. Learn more about the innovation opportunities brought by this trend to accelerate the transition to the Circular Economy.

Digitally Empowered Sustainable Competitiveness

Technology reinforces sustainable environmental, social, and economic competitiveness by empowering institutions and infrastructure, strengthening social, intellectual, and natural capitals, and reinforcing the innovation ecosystems, markets, and human capital. Discover how the digitally empowered sustainable competitiveness can facilitate the Dual Transition.

Digitally Empowered SDGs

Technology facilitates attainment of Sustainable Development Goals by providing empowering digital infrastructure and tools for data informed design and deployment of solutions, strategies, and programs. Learn more about the role of digitally empowered SDGs in promoting the Dual Transition.

Policy Initiatives and Strategies as the Drivers of the Dual Transition

Policy Initiatives and Strategies facilitate purpose-driven innovation by providing empowering ecosystems and resources to innovative projects and initiatives. Explore how the keen minded entrepreneurs, executives, and decision makers can leverage this support to innovate and drive the Dual Transition.

Circularity as Competitive Edge

In addition to providing a prominent framework to drive social, economic, and environmental sustainability and resilience, Circular Economy reinforces competitiveness at the micro and macro levels. Discover in which ways firms, industries, nations, and regions can leverage Circularity as Competitive Edge.

Innovation Opportunities in the Circular Economy

There are three different areas of focus on circularity, divided into 10 stages. Explore plenty of opportunities for leveraging digital enablers, investment, innovation, and policy initiatives and strategies for developing impactful, novel, and efficient ways to facilitate the Dual Transition.