Social and ecological entrepreneurship in a circular economy: the need for understanding transitional agency
Book chapter, 2019

Ways of organizing matter to circulate longer in societies are gaining much political and business interest. Simultaneously, research has seen an upsurge. In this chapter we argue that this focus on circulating matter is welcome, but that the practice of Circular Economy, might greenwash destructive industrial modern production. Current research into Circular Economy is mainly done at a large industrial scale, thereby focusing on re-circulating waste into resources. We propose that research needs also to be done on a more human, down to earth, scale in which forms of Social Entrepreneurship and Ecopreneurship might help show how to organize transitional agency towards living within planetary boundaries. From this perspective decentralized and small-scale solutions can be illuminated that will be part of re-designing systems, making circular flows not only focusing on waste, but also display choices about what matter could circulate more and what should not.


Malin Henriksson

The Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)

Martin Hultman

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Science, Technology and Society

Nils Johansson

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Anna Kaiser

Linköping University

Björn Wallsten

A Research Agenda for Social Entrepreneurship / [ed] Anne de Bruin and Simon Teasdale

9781788972314 (ISBN)

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified

Social Anthropology

History of Technology



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