Sitting here in Sydney, my primary hope for the next decade is that Australia seeks to follow the lead of countries such as Germany and to become more resource efficient. In addition, my home-country could also consider the competitive advantage to be gained in leading on the creation of a Circular Economy and developing a transition pathway to pursue it: Such a shifts will require collaboration and coordination of an integrated approach across education, industry, regulation innovation and financing. We need to shorten and simplify supply chains. Taking a lesson from the past, we can maybe learn from the Australian Landcare movement, which achieved success in remediating the deterioration of Australian farmlands through bottom up collective action.
At a global level, I would advocate that we focus on changing fundamental attitudes and behaviours through encouraging education systems to work across traditional boundaries so students are encouraged to think creatively to address real world problems. Changing industrial and business models also requires current employees to develop new skills to generate change. As such, the enabling education systems also have to operate across organizational development frameworks and programmes. We know what to do, the challenge is to do it at scale: aligning virgin material supply chains with waste and secondary use supply chains already occurs in some parts of the construction industry; some retailers have started to advocate precompetitive collaboration through the value chain to bring about systemic change; and there are numerous examples of the rise of community-based and cooperative businesses that are providing goods and services with shorter supply chains and greater provenance.
At a fundamental level some see that we need to ensure a re-evaluation of value away from traditional economic value to an integrated view of value and well-being. The ultimate aim is to re-align the money, the economy and the financial system with human and natural realities and the rest will follow. In Europe, energy company E-on has just split in two to enable it to divest of higher risk business models. Similar changes will need to occur across not just the energy sector but the wider resource supply chains.