The Covid19 pandemic has shown us that the world has taken a step closer to reducing emissions targets in the short term. It is important that we are also able to build sustainable solutions in the long term. Now we can build resilience and respond to the global challenges that the world is facing when it comes to man-made pollution regarding marine plastics, textile waste to name a few.
The momentum for the circular economy has never been stronger. Global issues, such as climate change and natural resource consumption levels, urgently require a change in our lifestyles and a transformation in our ways of thinking and acting. To achieve this change, we need new skills, new values and new behaviours that lead to more sustainable societies. We need new solutions now to accelerating the transition to a circular economy. What is certain is that the COVID19 pandemic has highlighted that efficiency alone is a poor measure of success and the circular economy has a significant amount to offer in building a more resilient system. We need to create a society that is built around a circular economy, the world needs a new kind of expertise, co-operation between silos, development of the operating environment and a general change in attitudes and operating methods. Professionals, experts, and decision-makers, both now and in the future, will play a decisive role in building a new future. Education plays an important role in developing experts. The world needs future experts to be able to combine circular economy expertise in their own fields of expertise. No one can build a sustainable future alone, therefore we need to build it together. Business industries and academia world over needs to cooperate even to a greater extend then we see today. Future generations who are entering employment or who are already working needs a greater understanding of the limited natural resources on our planet that the world face of tomorrow. As made clear by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 4, inclusive and equitable quality education, and lifelong learning opportunities for all is a top priority.
We often we speak about innovation and circular economy without even mentioning the pivotal role of competencies. The future generations need knowledge on how to promote the dissemination of sustainable circular economy solutions in their work. In a greater extent, we must promote sustainable development and circular economy in the economics and management program that is being lectured on bachelor and master levels at different colleges and universities. Future program needs to give the students deeper understanding of the different aspects of circular economy that require a deep dive in circular economy. In addition, management program that are being thought must in a greater extent focused on work-based learning. This means that one need to be able to applicate and embed the academic learnings in daily business life! We need to educate tomorrows leaders today, and they need to learn new skills and gain understanding on how to utilise new frameworks, tools, and methods to create value from traditional linear economy to the circular economy. Therefore, we need focus on the theoretical underpinnings and the practical applications of the circular economy, current and future students’ needs to learn how to explore subjects such as innovation, design, analytics, non-linear systems, and leadership skills in tomorrow vocational schools and in bachelor and master degrees.