When we talk about a paradigm shift, we are talking about a complete reimagining of the systems that exist: social, economic and environmental. We, Young Global Changers participating in the summit, were both surprised and somewhat disappointed at the lack of discourse concerning the circular economy, a system that emanates paradigm change.
Turning waste into value is a challenge many industries and corporations face in their attempts to be more sustainable. A circular economy goes one step further and aims to increase efficiency of primary resource consumption by maximizing the life cycle of (raw) materials, redefining growth and thereby decoupling economic activity from the consumption of finite resources.
Closed cycles can be found in all aspects of life, except in our economy. In nature, the fallen leaves produced from trees nourish the soil with vital minerals which, in turn, serve plants to grow and fruits to form. Natural ecosystems do not produce waste and use all resources as efficiently as possible.