CE.20.013 – Circular Society (CiSo)

Route: Circular economy

Cluster question: 053 What are the features of a circular economy and how can we achieve it?

The Netherlands has the ambition to be a 100% circular economy by 2050, requiring a system transition: a fundamental change in how materials are used in the design, making, use and disposal of products. However, a circular economy cannot function without a transition towards a circular society. The NWA route Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency (NWA CE) has therefore identified four key aspects for such a system transition: technology & system, value-web & -networks, consumer & society and governance & transition. Real breakthroughs require a system perspective that provides insight into the complex relationships among these key aspects. The transdisciplinary project Circular Society aims to create scientific and societal game changers by developing new knowledge about the dynamic relations between circular technology, business models in value webs, consumer’s behavior and effective and acceptable governance interventions. The focus will be on plastics and textile, but through its systematic approach the project will find broader application.

To obtain insights into the relationships among the key aspects of the system transition, a digital twin will be developed together with stakeholders and up-scaled for a dashboard of interventions, development of practical tools and business strategies to accelerate the transition towards circularity. By making value-webs central to the project, the effects of various policy scenarios on value-webs can be readily assessed.

Our consortium consists of a mix of α-, β- and γ-sciences, a good gender balance and a mix of young and more experienced researchers, which is key to the success of this proposal. The consortium includes experts in β-sciences like analytical chemistry, plastics technology, textile development, as well as circular product design and sustainable energy technology. In addition, more α-, and γ-sciences expertise is brought in by historians, governance and logistics experts, environmental psychologists, (urban) economists and management scientists.


Circular society, resource efficiency, system transition

Other organisations

Avans University of Applied Sciences, Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), Haagse Hogeschool, Hogeschool Windesheim. This consortium already established agreements to cooperate with small and medium sized companies, large companies, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen (RU), regional and local governments as well as with different foundations and networks., Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (RUG), Saxion Hogeschool, Technische Universiteit Delft (TUD), TU Twente (UT), Universiteit Maastricht, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Utrecht University (UU), with national


Organisation Wageningen University & Research (WUR)
Name Prof.dr.ir. E.S. (Eveline) van Leeuwen
E-mail Eveline.vanleeuwen@wur.nl
Website https://www.wur.nl/en/Persons/Eveline-prof.dr.ir.-ES-Eveline-van-Leeuwen.htm