Circular Insights #17

The Argeileh Project | Reputation risk | Circular economy video

Trust is earned when actions meet words

We help entrepreneurs, companies and business leaders discover and use the circular economy – to build profitable, resilient, sustainable and successful businesses.  We believe in a circular economy that is fair, transparent and inclusive, to create a better world for everyone. 

Welcome to the latest round-up of what we’ve shared, and what’s inspired us.  In this issue:

  • Episode 22 of the Circular Economy podcast – Bassam Huneidi and The Argeileh Project
  • Blog – Responsibility builds reputations
  • Circular economy video from Alex at Sustainability Illustrated
  • What we’ve been reading – the art of asking good questions
  • Consumer trust and circular sports shoes
  • Optimism and outrage

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Podcast #22 – Bassam Huneidi and The Argeileh Project

We talk to entrepreneur and designer Bassam Huneidi, about his Argeileh Project. Bassam is a circular economy designer and strategist, and a graduate of the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London. We hear how Bassam plans to disrupt one of the biggest traditions in the Arab world (hookah smoking) with a zero waste alternative that is better for the environment, cheaper for suppliers and better for public health, while providing the same experience for the user.

The Argeileh Project (or TAP for short) is a subscription based service that argeileh cafes sign up to. In return, Bassam’s team take the café’s current stock of argeilehs and melt them down into TAP vapes. These vapes are designed on cradle to cradle principles, so they are easy to maintain, easy to upgrade and in the case where neither is possible, infinitely recyclable.

Episode show notes and audioplayer here

Find the podcast series on iTunesGoogle PodcastsPlayerFM, Spotify, TuneIn, or search for “circular economy” in your favourite podcast app.

PS We’d love it if you could post a review, and help other people find us!

circular economy cafe subscription services
Image by Dean Moriaty on Pixabay

Responsibility builds reputations

The café is an important part of the ‘social glue’ in many countries, especially those where alcohol is illegal or frowned upon. 

People gather to discuss the gossip – families, friends, celebrity and political happenings are discussed and even argued over, around a shared table.

They may enjoy a shared experience, too, perhaps by smoking cigarettes, or in many cultures, using a hookah. 

We explore some of the downsides to hookah smoking, for cafés and their customers, and find out how sustainable, circular and responsible approaches can create a better solution, helping café owners strengthen their reputations. Read more…

New circular economy short video

We support Alex Magnin at Sustainability Illustrated (via Patreon), and his latest videos include a nice short summary of the circular economy, including a definitioni and examples.  We especially like Alex’s work as, like us, he uses The Natural Step science-based approach to sustainability.

The art of asking good questions

Following on from Insights #15, where we talked about ‘becoming a problem hunter’, you might be working on how to get clear on the problem to solve.  Have a look at the work of the Strategyzer team (creators of the Business Model Canvas). in this blog post, Stefano Mastrogiacomo, author of the upcoming Strategyzer series book, The Team Alignment Map, walks us through how we can clarify one another’s assumptions and help guide our conversations using his tool The Language Compass.

“Consumer trust is the basis of all brand values, and therefore brands have an immense incentive to retain it.”


Thanks to Peter for highlighting an interesting short discussion about circular sports shoes on BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours, on Monday 9 March (starts 25:15 mins into programme, until ~33:00 mins). The programme features Tansy Hoskins and Brooke Roberts-Islam, discussing ‘sustainable’ and circular trainer designs from Nike and Adidas. It feels as though people are getting more savvy about what is really circular and sustainable, and what is merely ‘doing less bad’ #circularwash?

Quote Source: Leader article – The Case for Brands, The Economist, 2001


Optimism and outrage

Inspired by the ‘Outrage and Optimism podcast‘ by Christiana Figueres (Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC 2010-2016), Tom Rivett-Carnac (ex UNFCCC and CDP) and their team at Global Optimism, we’re highlighting things we’re feeling optimistic about…

An email from Dr Jonathan Foley last Saturday announced the The Drawdown Review: Climate Solutions for a New Decade. In 2017, Project Drawdown released its inaugural body of work on climate solutions with the publication of the best-selling book Drawdown.  That book became a beacon of knowledge and inspiration in the global effort to address climate change.

Jonathan says  “we are very excited to release The Drawdown Review, which represents our second seminal publication and the first major update to our assessment of solutions to climate change.  The Drawdown Review not only presents new solutions and new research, but it also presents a new framework to think about climate solutions.”

You can download a free copy of The Drawdown Review here. And please help spread the word by sharing the link with your friends and colleagues.

Source: Douglas Rushkoff Twitter Feed

To remind what we should be outraged about, Douglas Rushkoff, author of ‘Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus’ tweeted:

“When we try to pay too little for things, it usually means exploiting labor, promoting slavery, creating more pollution, or otherwise externalizing the damage. Low prices often carry high costs. We in the West can’t afford the true costs of what we think we deserve. Less is more.”

Hear Douglas’ talk at the RSA on his new book Team Human here. Rushkoff invites us to remake society toward human ends rather than the end of humans.

Hope you have a good week…

Catherine Weetman & Peter Desmond

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