The Digital Tools that will Help Make the Circular Economy a Reality

Author: Fabio Magrassi

In addition to the work on citizen and stakeholder engagement and impact assessment, WP7 of the FRONTSH1P project is also responsible for the development of a digital platform/tools. At the heart of WP7 lies the development of a powerful web-based digital platform and tools. Building on the methodology developed in the Friesland province and the work carried out in WP2, this platform will serve as an assessment tool for the circular economic approach. Drawing upon life cycle theories and the triple bottom line concept (economic, social, and environmental aspects).

This platform/tools will be used to:

  • Assess the circular economic approach of the proposed systemic solutions based on life cycle theories and applied to the triple bottom line;
  • Show the results of the cross-cutting activities to all CSSs;
  • Facilitate user access and participation in the development and implementation of the proposed systemic solutions.

The Digital Platform

The digital platform will be a web-based tool that will allow users to assess the circular economic approach of the proposed systemic solutions. The digital platform will provide an essential framework for evaluating circular initiatives within the Łódzkie Region. It will facilitate data collection, analysis, and interpretation, enabling stakeholders to make informed decisions and track the progress of circular economy projects. This tool will be an asset in gauging the impact of circular initiatives on various aspects of sustainability, guiding stakeholders towards more effective and efficient circular strategies. The platform will be based on life cycle theories and will apply to the triple bottom line, which considers the environmental, social, and economic impacts of a product or service. Data to feed the platform comes from the Circular Systemic Solutions’ (CSS) results. A key aspect of the digital platform is its ability to showcase cross-cutting activities across all CSSs. The platform will offer a roadmap for the region, outlining the necessary steps to enhance its circular economy. These steps include:

  • Determination of User Indicators: By identifying and defining relevant indicators, the platform will empower users to gauge the success and impact of circular initiatives, fostering a culture of accountability and sustainability.
  • Community Identification: The platform will serve as a hub for community identification, bringing together stakeholders, businesses, and residents to collaboratively participate in the circular economy journey. This inclusivity will strengthen collective efforts and promote a sense of ownership and responsibility.
  • Virtual and Physical Interaction Design: The platform will facilitate both virtual and physical interactions, enabling seamless communication and collaboration among stakeholders. This design will enhance engagement and ensure that all voices are heard, fostering a strong sense of community and shared purpose.

User Access and Participation

Stakeholder involvement is vital to the success of the circular economy initiatives. To ensure active participation in the use of tools, specific associations, such as chambers of commerce or local authorities, will be engaged. Association members will be invited to physical meetings where the baseline of CSSs will be explained and discussed.

Results from these co-creation activities will be reported, emphasising the potential creation of local social enterprises that provide job opportunities for individuals at risk of social exclusion. The development of a model for creating social enterprises will involve the active participation of residents, non-governmental organisations, and local government entities. By fostering the creation of social enterprises, WP7 aims to promote social inclusion and create meaningful, sustainable employment opportunities.

Additionally, as part of the social involvement task, the digital platform will launch a social innovation incubation programme in the Łódzkie region. This programme will further empower and support social enterprises, encouraging the development of innovative and impactful solutions that benefit the community.

The development of the digital platform/tools is a critical component of WP7. These tools will be used to assess the circular economic approach of the proposed systemic solutions, show the results of the cross-cutting activities to all CSSs, and facilitate user access and participation in the development and implementation of the proposed systemic solutions. The digital platform and tools will be a valuable resource for stakeholders in the Łódzkie region and beyond. They will help to raise awareness of the benefits of the circular economy, create a demand for circular products and services, and measure the impact of the proposed systemic solutions.

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