In this series on systems thinking, I share the key insights and tools needed to develop and advance a systems mindset for dealing with complex problem solving and transitioning to the Circular Economy.

I have taught thousands of hours of workshops in systems, sustainability and design, and over the years…


Image by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on UnSplash

Wishcycling is when people place non-recyclable items in the recycling and hope those items will end up being recycled. The unfortunate reality, though, is that these actions contaminate the recycling stream and reinforce the very problem of waste.

Wishcycling comes from a place of good intentions, but as we all know, good intentions do not always lead to good outcomes.

I think it’s safe to say everyone has done this at some stage.

We’ve popped the coffee cup into the recycling bin with some coffee still in it and the lid on, or that thin plastic wrapper, a pizza box, lightbulb, broken drinking glass, batteries, chopsticks, maybe even an extension…


It should not come as a surprise to anyone that our current linear economy relies on continuous sales, which requires things to wear out faster, look a bit uglier and quickly become less desirable than the latest version, all in order to keep feeding the linear ‘waste-based’ economy. …


This year’s theme for the United Nations World Environment Day is Reimagine, Recreate and Restore. Every year on the 5th June, the UN Environment Programme reminds us that we are all responsible for the planet and encourages people to find unique and creative ways to solve one of the most…


It’s been just over a year since the Covid pandemic was called. Since then, ripples of shut downs and difficult decisions have been made by individuals, families, companies and communities as the collateral damage of the virus continues to ricochet around the world.


Over the years, my team and I have created a range of free, open-access toolkits to support changemakers in adopting the skills needed to help transform the global economy into a circular and sustainable one by design.

Here I have assembled some of my favorite ones and a list of…


The Disruptive Design Method (DDM) is a systems-based approach to creative problem solving for tackling complex social and environmental issues. It combines sociological inquiry methods (mining) with systems explorations (landscaping) and design and creativity (building) approaches. The method is built on systems, sustainability and design, allowing for a three-dimensional perspective…


The Circular Economy is all about the transformation of the way we do business, create goods and services, organize society and ultimately respect and cherish the world around us. …


Sustainable design is the approach to creating products and services that have considered the environmental, social, and economic impacts from the initial phase through to the end of life. EcoDesign is a core tool in the matrix of approaches that enables the Circular Economy.

There is a well-quoted statistic that says around 80% of the ecological impacts of a product are locked in at the design phase. If you look at the full life cycle of a product and the potential impacts it may have, be it in the manufacturing or at the end…


Earthrise Photo: NASA taken by Apollo 8 crewmember Bill Anders on December 24, 1968, at mission time 075:49:07

This week, on Wednesday, April 22, 2020, it was the 50th celebration of Earth Day, a single day marked in the 365/6 days in a human-described calendar year that is dedicated to remembering or celebrating that we all need the Earth to survive. …

Leyla Acaroglu

UNEP Champion of the Earth, Designer, Sociologist, Sustainability Provocateur, TED Speaker, Educator, Founder of unschools.co, disrupdesign.co & coproject.co

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