“If you don’t have time to do it right,
when will you have time to do it over?”
I love this quote. It reminds me of our decrepit water heater in Canada. Built in the 1960s but still ticking along 50 years later. It was built right the first time. None of this planned obsolescence crap where you buy something fully knowing that X years down the line you will have to buy it over again. Aside from the waste of money, time, and materials all of this stuff ends up as trash somewhere. If we can design things to purposefully fail, surely we can also design them to purposefully last.
Hence, the concept of the regenerative circular economy. I don’t remember the whole story of how or who started it all, but I do know that Dame Ellen MacArthur through her foundation is a big advocate for the concept and agent for change.
Looking beyond the current “take, make and dispose” extractive industrial model, the circular economy is restorative and regenerative by design. Relying on system-wide innovation, it aims to redefine products and services to design waste out, while minimising negative impacts. Underpinned by a transition to renewable energy sources, the circular model builds economic, natural and social capital.
So how do we fit into this picture? As educators we are uniquely positioned to make a difference. The “future” we so often speak of steps through our classroom door every day. If we can start those conversations now, embed those design thinking elements into our curriculum, and change the mindset from one of “take, make, and dispose” to thinking more creatively around how we can inhabit this planet more sustainably then we all win.
Now the hard part begins.