Thriving in the Circular Economy

Discover and embrace the challenges and opportunities sparked by the inevitable transition to a circular economy. This course challenges not only what but how you think about sustainability, allowing you to take an active part, rather than be a witness, in the greatest transformation that our economy has seen so far.

Manuel's course gives students the essential concepts, tools, and skills needed to take part in the inevitable transition to a circular economy in a wide variety of economic sectors and areas of human activity.




5x2hrs live sessions

Dec 12th, 14th, 16th, 19th & 21st at 1pm (CET)

Learn live with Manuel, an international teacher, speaker, and innovator


Manuel currently teaches Applied Circular Economics at Harvard University, and is the founder of SUPER (, a social enterprise deplastifying business across the world.

Designed for those interested in applying Circular Economy strategies

Entrepreneurs, Designers and Architects

Learn specific case uses implement Circular Economy strategies in your area of focus.

Leaders and Innovators

Acquire a unique, systemic perspective on sustainability and climate action.

Public Administration Professionals

Understand strategies to better position your government for the pivot to Circular Economy

Meet your Instructor

Manuel Maqueda is an innovator with a focus on restoring the balance of living systems and reversing climate change.

Maqueda teaches Applied Circular Economics at Harvard University, he sits on the Strategic Foresight Board of the Circular Economy Alliance, and created the Circular Economy Online Course at the University of California, Berkeley and the Circular Economy Program at UCLA Extension.

Recognized as an expert in plastic pollution, Manuel Maqueda is the co-founder of several notable organizations, such as the Plastic Pollution Coalition, and SUPER (Single-Use Plastics Elimination or Reduction), nonprofit enabling businesses to eliminate single-use plastics.

Maqueda's clients include Google, Salesforce, Santander, LinkedIn, NASA, Uber, Acciona, the Institute for the Future, Dell, Foresight Institute, Green Festival, Circular City Week, New Plastics Economy Conference, Plastic-Free World, and the government of the state of Washington.

See what people have said about Manuel

"Charismatic and powerful speaker, Manuel captured my attention from the first lecture until the end. His mission in life exudes across each presentation. This was one of the best Harvard classes I've ever had the privilege to take." - Harvard Student

"Professor's Maqueda's passion for the topic shows through and he challenged us to think differently about sustainability. Every class I feel like I learned something that elevated my knowledge and will help me throughout my career as a sustainability professional." - Harvard Student

"Fantastic introduction to circular economy and its many applications. Be ready to be inspired and challenged" - Harvard Student

A Synopsis of The Circular Economy Course

This course challenges not only what but how you think about sustainability. You will be encouraged to think in systems and material flows while embracing a radical collaboration mindset. Along the way the course visits different areas of opportunity which range from biomass management to industrial symbiosis; examines circularity in sectors as diverse as food, electronics, and plastics; outlines the role of related disciplines such as biomimicry and permaculture; and discusses innovative business models where products are servitised, dematerialized, and completely redesigned to foster modularity, repairability, upgradeability, and cradle-to-cradle life cycles.

This course will allow you to discover and embrace the challenges and opportunities sparked by the inevitable transition to a circular economy. This course has three main learning objectives:

Learners will gain 10+ hours of hands-on experience with each live session filled with experiential exercises addressing each of these topics in depth.

Course Syllabus

Session 1 - A Primer on Circular Economy

  • Welcome and orientation
  • A summary of course content.
  • What the Circular Economy is?
  • Principles of the Circular Economy.
  • Systemic thinking in the circular economy.

Session 2 - Material Flows in the Circular Economy

  • Summary of the main flows of the circular economy using the butterfly model.
  • Technical nutrient flows
  • Maintenance, reuse, reconditioning, remanufacturing, recycling.

Session 3 - The Circular Industrial Economy

  • Continuing on the material flows in the Circular Economy
  • The biological cycle.
  • Biological nutrient flows: cascades and biochemical extraction.
  • Composting, anaerobic digestion, and soil restoration.
  • The life cycle of a product
  • Useful life and obsolescence.
  • Repair, reconditioning, and remanufacturing. The Circular Industrial Economy and the 'Age of R'.
  • Waste as a resource.
  • Management of atoms and molecules.
  • What is Recyclable? The Recycling Economy vs the Circular Economy.

Session 4 - Virtualization, Dematerialization, and Product Service Systems

  • Plastics in the Circular Economy.
  • The seven inconvenient truths about plastics.
  • Redefining use and ownership: virtualization, dematerialization and product-service systems.

Session 5 - Business models and Case Studies

  • Review of the content with an open-floor Q&A Session
  • Circular Cities: Opportunities and case studies.
  • Circular innovation models and circular business models.

Learn Live with a Cohort

Active Learning not passive watching This course is not about watching pre-recorded content. Each session is curated with hands-on activities and direct interaction with Manuel. Learn more by doing.

Accountability and feedback You will progress through the course with peers who are looking to go through a similar transformation to yours. Getting stuck is not an option.

Life-long professional network Learning won't stop once the course gets over. Learners will have lifetime access to the course community filled with the best minds to learn from and build with.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to attend all of the sessions live in real time? You don't, but we strongly recommend you do! We record every workshop and make it available for you to replay, at your convenience. However, live workshops will include live exercises, feedback, and interaction that will keep you accountable for getting your publications set up.

How much access will I have to Manuel and the community? Apart from the live sessions which Manuel will be hosting, learners will get to directly interact with him and the rest of their cohort through a private community set up specifically for this cohort.

Can I expense this course?

It's likely you can, even if your company doesn't have a formal training policy.

Send your manager an email with: 1. Details of the course 2. The time commitment 3. The benefit you'd receive 4. An ask for partial or full reimbursement Here's the template to follow - Learning & Development letter

Will I receive a certificate upon completion? Yes, each learner will receive a certificate of completion which will be sent at the end of the cohort.

I have more questions, who should I talk to? Simply send an email to the course support team at [email protected], and you will receive a response within 24 hours.

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