Circular Economy Lab


Teaching for and about the circular economy, workshop at UCL

9 March 2017

Round up of joint UCL / Ellen MacArthur Foundation event.

Number of attendees: 26

Main themes:

The session was a capacity building workshop exploring how UCL teaches for and about the Circular Economy. It was established to consider a cross-UCL Masters course and opportunities to establish a joint MSc with Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU). Funding was provided by UCL's Global Engagement Office.


The knowledge gained from the event will be used in the development of the MSc Programme and be discussed with SJTU. Opportunities for CPDs on CE topics will be considered. Thank you to all presenters.

Presentations from the event are available as pdf's and are linked as appropriate in the text below.


Professor Julia Stegemann introduced the workshop and the cross-faculty work of UCL's Circular Economy Lab (CircEL). [Presentation]. The floor was then passed to Jo Miller and Jules Hayward of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF). Together they introduced attendees to the main ideas and themes of the Circular Economy (CE), presenting the concepts of biological and technical nutrients by way of the CE 'butterfly diagram'. They provided compelling arguments in favour of making effective use of our limited resources on the planet by transitioning from a linear to circular model of consumption. Craig Johnson (EMF) then explored opportunities for closing the biological cycle.

Professor Stegemann then described the main aims of the session: an exploration of the development of a Joint MSc in the Circular Economy. [Presentation] After detailing the proposals for core modules, four speakers from across UCL were invited to present their thoughts on four potential pathways/themes which might be available to students. Each presented on how a CE approach might influence their areas of interest and teaching.

Cities & Government - Teresa Domenech (Bartlett School of Environment, Energy & Resources) [Presentation]

Modelling Complex Systems - Raúl Leal Ascencio (Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences)[Presentation]

Business & Innovation - Mila Striukova (UCL School of Management) [Presentation]

International Development - Priti Parikh (Civil, Environmental &Geomatic Engineering) [Presentation]

After a networking lunch, the attendees divided into groups to explore the following topics:

• The core competencies that the MSc will seek to develop

• Challenges in teaching about the CE

• Subjects that the modules should seek to address

• Alternative potential pathways

The groups then fed back their responses that were collated for further analysis and discussion within CircEL to form part of the paperwork required to create the MSc.