From Linear to Circular: Emma's Lessons learnt from week 2- 'Outside my comfort zone'

LUPC's Deputy Director, Emma Keenan, shares her thoughts from this week's session of the Ellen Macarthur Foundation's 'From Linear to Circular' programme. 


How regularly do you do something in your professional life which pushes you to learn, and I mean really learn?  I realised today that whilst I often have challenges which force me to think widely, it’s not often I go “out there” and consider or try to learn something hugely different, something from a completely different perspective, with different people, a different industry, and different drivers.

The programme this week includes a different webinar every day; Agriculture, Fashion, Cities, Finance, all from the position of the circular economy.  Most of these topics are outside my comfort zone, and the circular economy idea in each is again a learning curve but…. this learning is transferable.  I keep thinking, what can I take from this?  How can I ask the right questions? What can I change or incorporate and how can I do that?  

I met this morning, with an amazing young academic in Israel.  We talked a little about our lives, what is important to us and why we wanted to join the programme, I realised, she and I would never have crossed paths in “normal” life, yet our goals are the same; what can I do to help make things better.  It reminded me to try and think about and speak to all stakeholders more regularly.  

One question today really stuck with me though, we were talking about fast fashion at the time, however it applies to all we purchase when it comes to considering change:

“How do we change consumer behaviour so that better choices are made” The answer “You are the consumer, what do you want or need – start asking for it”

We all want a better and more sustainable future, you don’t ask, you don’t get!