A Flow of Wealth or a Wealth of Flows?

  • Speakers:
  • Ken Webster

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The circular economy is telling us something about what it means to be productive. The flow of products, components and materials goes from throughput to ‘roundput', and if waste can be minimised and more of the value in the flow captured then it promises better returns. It's like a pipework, in the imagination it has endless flows - powered by renewables - and everything can be ‘made to be made again’.

This pipework analogy might make flows more efficient, but is that the best or even the more realistic outcome we could strive for? Ken Webster doesn’t think so. By modelling our economy on insights from living systems, he argues we could build an economy of abundance; one that is regenerative by design and accessible. Not a flow of wealth but a wealth of flows! But to get there we need a different way of thinking. Watch the video to find out more.


This video is one of a series of three. Look out for The Performance Economy with Walter Stahel and A Good Disruption with Martin Stuchtey.


Ken Webster

Ken Webster

Ken has worked with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation since January 2010. He has a background in economics education, professional development and environmental issues. His latest book is The Circular Economy: A Wealth of Flows (June 2015) which relates the connections between systems thinking, economic and business opportunity and the potential for a circular economy. He is a Visiting Fellow at Cranfield University, and Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Exeter and a major contributor to University of Bradford's MBA Innovation, Enterprise and the Circular Economy. His current interests include regenerative agriculture and the built environment.

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