Products & ServicesSeptember 7, 2020 2021-02-04 11:14
Products & Services
Products & Services
How can we support the development of more Sustainable Products & Services?
Why Sustainable Products & Services?
A sustainable product (or service) is one that continues, possibly with design modifications, to meet the needs of its producers, distributors, and customers but also minimises or even prevents harmful effects on the environment and people.
SDG 12 specifically calls for sustainable consumption and production patterns. Although many business enterprises have adopted sustainability goals, the actual development of sustainable products & services remains challenging because of the broad range of economic, environmental and social factors that need to be considered across the system life cycle.
The Sustainable Products & Services track covers a wide range of issues starting from a specific location to the global level. Do you have an idea, or do you want to co-create alongside a network of experts? Learn more about the challenges below & sign-up now!
Previous work on sustainable design has focused largely upon ecological efficiency improvements. For example, companies have found that reducing material and energy intensity and converting wastes into valuable secondary products creates value for shareholders as well as for society at large.
An alternative is to design systems with inherent “resilience” by taking advantage of fundamental properties such as diversity, efficiency, adaptability, and cohesion. At circle17 we believe that the pursuit of sustainable development requires a systems approach to the design of circular product and service systems.
Global issues & activities comprise concerns about:
- Substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse
- Improve the raw materials supplies and distribution
- Cultivate and scale production of new materials
- The long development time frames of sustainable products
- Benefit of digitization for sustainable development
- The challenge of developing protocols for innovative claims
- The unmanageable amount of methods for the implementation of sustainability in the product development process.
While the location-specific issues are for instance:
- Sustainability by design: Eco-designing the life cycle of your product / service
- Validating sustainable products and services
- Shifting from product to service
- Designing new products that work in a circular economy and are cradle-to-cradle
- Fundamental product redesign, and resisting the bias toward replacing old with green
Within the circle17 impacthon, multidisciplinary teams will be connected with <b>impact experts </b>to reflect, exchange and develop the best possible understanding of their sustainability challenge, and a systemic and sustainable solution.
Martin StohanzlSocial Innovator
Frequently Asked Questions
For more in-depth questions on how your journey could look like, please see our full FAQ section.
What is Circle17?
circle17 supports the design of practical business solutions to the most urgent sustainability challenges, by facilitating a platform for startup collaboration with corporates and non-profit organisations.
In order to identify these most pressing sustainability challenges, circle17 co-operates together with corporates- and non-profit organisations. These sustainability challenges function as a strong foundation, inspiration and validation for the design of system-changing solutions.
The development of these solutions is not a straight-forward given. It requires an inclusive and experimental approach, modern methodologies, creativity and an innovative out-of-the-box mindset.
This is where all social innovators come into place: startup founders, academics, changemakers, enthusiasts, coders and creatives come into place. The circle17 Impacthon is an open-call for all those who believe it’s important to unite, in order to solve the most pressing sustainability challenges together.
Not only does circle17 provide a safe space for eye-to-eye level exchanges, but an inclusive growth platform where the potential that lies with multi-stakeholder collaboration can be understood and unleashed.
Who’s behind circle17?
The circle17 project is brought to life via the two Non-Profit organisations AustrianStartups & respACT, and funded by the Austrian Development Agency.
AustrianStartups is Austria’s largest start-up platform and think tank for innovative entrepreneurship
With a team of around 50 startup enthusiasts, the non-profit organization organizes more than 60 events annually, operates communication platforms for more than 30,000 followers from the startup environment and publishes Austria’s largest startup study – the Austrian Startup Monitor.
respACT has been supporting its more than 300 member companies for over 20 years in achieving ecological and social goals economically and independently. On a national level, respACT cooperates with ministries, scientific institutions and interest groups. As the coordinating office of the Global Compact Network Austria and partner of the WBCSD and CSR Europe, respACT is also the right contact at the international level.
Austrian Development Agency (ADA)
ADA supports countries in Africa, Asia, South-East and Eastern Europe in their sustainable social, economic and democratic development. In Austria, it contributes to a better understanding of global interrelationships and development cooperation through public relations work and the promotion of development communication and education. The Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (BMEIA) plans the strategies. ADA, the agency of the Austrian Development Cooperation, implements them with public institutions, civil society organisations and enterprises.
How does the circle17 program work?
The circle17 programme consists of 5 phases.
The discovery is all set to identify and determine the most critical sustainability challenges. In September and October, circle17 hosts workshops to explore trends and source challenges with Corporates and Civil Society. Moreover, open workshops will be hosted through which startup founders, academics, and enthusiasts can learn more about the design of resilient business models.
Learn more about the programme’s offer on our Discovery Page.
The circle17 Impacthon is an online hackathon designed to share and rapidly develop practical solutions. Startup founders, entrepreneurs, academics and enthusiasts come together to work on society-level solutions to the sustainable challenges, posed by our network of (corporate) organisations.
Learn more about the impacthon, and how you can get involved here.
DECEMBER – FEBRUARY
A tailored coaching trajectory will push the project solutions and teams that have arisen from the Impacthon forward. A pallet of modular services, for example workshops to develop skills, regular check-ins and project support, will be provided.
Learn more about the coaching areas here.
Our circle17 Matchmaking event is a day in which we’ll bring all programme participants and project innovations together with an external network collaboration partners, and offer supporting modules to match interests and needs.
During our Touchdown event, participants present the outcome of their journey throughout the circle17 programme and are given the stage they deserve. Time to celebrate and reflect on the experience together.
How can I join circle17?
We are looking for bold and innovative thinkers & do-ers that can help to develop solutions to the large-scale sustainability challenges that withhold us on individual, business and societal level to become more resilient.
For this to work, circle17 needs a strong community. We need you!
You can get involved in four different ways:
We are inviting all gamechangers, from creators, IT specialists, startups, academics and enthusiasts to participate and show us how you would solve various challenges through creative thinking and the (potential) application of technology.
Challenge Leads are corporate- and non-profit organisations that have submitted sustainability challenges, they face inside- and outside of their organisation.
Are you, or the organisation you are working with, faced with sustainability challenges in your daily operations? Are you interested in working together with a broad network of young innovators, startups and academics to dive deep into your challenge and work on solutions that could benefit your business- and society at larger scale?.
We’re looking for mentors who can coach the participants during the Impacthon and experts who can answer questions along the way.
Are you a superhero mentor, interested in partaking in our programme to support the development of sustainable project innovations? – learn more on this page on how you can get involved!
The circle17 programme is a non-profit establishment, aimed at the development of resilient and sustainable business solutions. Are you, your company or organisation interested in exploring opportunities to support our cause? Contact us!