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Catherine Weetman talks to Barry O’Kane about software, one of the key enablers for circular economy solutions.
Barry O’Kane founded HappyPorch, a software engineering specialist and consultancy (and now a certified B Corp) in 2015. Catherine met Barry a few years ago when he asked her to help him find examples of software that was supporting circular economy strategies. Barry interviewed a few of those companies for Happy Porch Radio, and has featured many more software-related circular businesses on his podcast.
Barry outlines the trends he’s seeing, as businesses and developers start to build software solutions to support circular economy business models and recovery systems. Barry explains the importance of context-specific solutions, and outlines some of the software related barriers that are making it difficult for bigger businesses to adopt circular systems and processes.
He also explains how software can help you get a much better understanding of the current system, and what the possibilities might be.
They discuss the potential uses of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, including visual Machine Learning, and about blockchain, and Barry shares his lessons learned from seeing businesses trying to get started with circular solutions.
Barry talks about infrastructure software, which in this context means software to help business organizations perform basic tasks such as business transactions, supply chain management, workforce management and other internal services and processes.
Podcast host Catherine Weetman is a circular economy business advisor, workshop facilitator, speaker and writer. Her award-winning book: A Circular Economy Handbook: How to Build a More Resilient, Competitive and Sustainable Business includes lots of practical examples and tips on getting started. Catherine founded Rethink Global in 2013, to help businesses use circular, sustainable approaches to build a better business (and a better world).
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Read on for a summary of the podcast and links to the people, organisations and other resources we mention.
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Links we mention in the episode:
- A Circular Economy Handbook: How to Build a More Resilient, Competitive and Sustainable Business – buy from any good bookseller, or direct from the publisher Kogan Page, which ships worldwide (free shipping to UK and US) and you can use discount code CIRCL20 to get 20% off. It’s available in paperback, ebook and Kindle. If you buy it from online sources, make sure you choose the new edition with an orange cover!
- Sign up to get the podcast player and shownotes for each new episode emailed to your inbox
- Happy Porch: https://www.happyporch.com/
- Happy Porch Radio – focusing on circular economy software solutions https://happyporchradio.com/
Barry O’Kane on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/barryokane/
- Tom Harper – Unusual Rigging – episode 3 https://www.rethinkglobal.info/tom-harper-circular-asset-management/
- Reath https://reath.id/ and Happy Porch Radio https://happyporchradio.com/season-5/episodes/e19-building-digital-infrastructure-circular-economy-claire-rampen-emily-rogers/
About Barry O’Kane
Barry says: I founded HappyPorch (now a certified B Corp) in 2015.
HappyPorch is a software engineering specialist and consultancy. We work with entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs to accelerate the transition to a circular economy, turning technology into action. Together with our clients and partners, we develop concepts into solutions that impact people’s lives, their business and the planet for the better.
The company also embodies two other values that are important to me: we’ve been fully remote and distributed since the beginning and we operate a radically transparent and open culture. That has allowed us to build an incredibly talented, aligned and inspiring team. It is humbling and an honour to be part of it.
Outside work I travel a lot and enjoy good whiskey and outdoor adventures. I’m also a charity trustee.
Want to find out more about the circular economy?
If you’d like to learn more about the circular economy and how it could help your business, why not listen to Episode 1, or read our guide: What is the Circular Economy?
To go deeper, you could buy Catherine’s book, A Circular Economy Handbook: How to Build a More Resilient, Competitive and Sustainable Business. This comprehensive guide uses a bottom-up, practical approach, and includes hundreds of real examples from around the world, to help you really ‘get’ the circular economy. Even better, you’ll be inspired with ideas to make your own business more competitive, resilient and sustainable.
Please let us know what you think of the podcast – and we’d love it if you could leave us a review on iTunes, or wherever you find your podcasts. Or send us an email…
Thanks to Belinda O’Hooley and Heidi Tidow, otherwise known as the brilliant, inventive and generous folk duo, O’Hooley & Tidow for allowing me to use the instrumentals from the live version of Summat’s Brewin’ as music for the podcast. You can find the whole track (inspired by the Copper Family song “Oh Good Ale”) on their album, also called Summat’s Brewin’. Or, follow them on Twitter.