CHALLENGE 1: Speaker Challenge - Circularity without material growth - stopping the Juggernaut

This is Challenge 1 from the main Cape Town framework challenge




This challenge originates from Dr. Maria Sharmina and Professor Willi Haas’s talks “The case for urgent and radical emission reductions” and “Circularity without material growth - stopping the juggernaut” respectively.

Professor Willi Haas’s talk makes these critical comments:

“Global material flows are growing and all activities to improve circularity are less than a drop in the bucket. The growth dynamic needs to change, otherwise circularity might only slightly mitigate adverse effects that are building up.”


“Smart design enabling repair, reuse and recycling needs to be critically examined, if it does not add a renewed appeal inviting for increased consumption.”

Professor Haas concludes that we must look at circular design and the circular economy critically, otherwise we will be wasting our efforts and not effectively contributing to rapid emissions reduction. Dr. Sharmina makes it clear that we only have one opportunity to get this right.


Activity: Global brainstorm session and begin initial design of various components

Critically exam all the activities of the circular economy and identify the key areas to focus on if we are to achieve rapid emissions reduction.


  • policy
  • economics
  • sustainability
  • commons
  • systems analysis
  • stocks and flows