The Humansphere helps Perceive Abundance in the Anthropocene Era

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The Circular Humansphere (2020 update) by Alexandre Lemille

How current economic barriers and so-called a continent ‘developing itself’ could turn into major opportunities and benefits for a Circular-Africa?

If there is one continent that sees what is considered insurmountable barriers in the current linear economy, offering opportunities towards a more collaborative and environmentally friendly economy, namely circular, it is Africa.

A linear economy is based on the extraction of raw materials, transformed in a production line of goods destined to be possessed by consumers and then thrown away. Here, the two ends of a linear economy, namely, the extraction and accumulation of waste, are very present there while the creation of economic value — between the phases of manufacturing parts, transformation into finished goods and above all sale of these products which will be consumed by Africans themselves — takes place elsewhere. …

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Credit: El Pais (M. E. Torres) — publication dated 31st March 2020

Los preceptos de la economía circular cuestionan los fundamentos del pensamiento ecosostenible. Ahora más que nunca toca pensar en todos los escenarios posibles.

Artículo publicado en El País, escrito por M.E. Torres, 31 de marzo de 2020

Reciclar es una estrategia del pasado. No es eficiente y no es suficiente. Lo afirma con rotundidad el experto en transición ecológica Alexandre Lemille, un decidido impulsor de la economía circular “como única estrategia de producción y crecimiento económico verdaderamente sostenible”. …

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Crédit: Renewable Matter Magazine (Italy)

Nous en savons assez pour concevoir un système circulaire-équitable qui préserve l’humanité.

par Alexandre Lemille

Première publication dans le magazine Renewable Matter #27 (Mai/Juin 2019)

In English here.

Nous avons la possibilité de changer le cours de notre Histoire commune avec la quantité d’informations que nous avons recueillies jusqu’à présent. En apprenant des scientifiques et des experts, nous pourrions proposer une nouvelle gouvernance et mettre en œuvre des actions positives de façon collaborative afin de s’adapter plus rapidement.

Connaître les origines spécifiques d’un effondrement potentiel est le meilleur moyen de l’éviter.

Les humains comme prédateurs, la Nature comme proie

“Les Limites de la Croissance” (D.H. Meadows, D. L. Meadows, J. Ransders,1972) est l’une des principales références pour modéliser la croissance exponentielle économique et démographique d’une planète finie, depuis sa publication en 1972. La mise à jour de 30 ans a une fois de plus confirmé que les prévisions de 1972 étaient non seulement exactes, mais sous-estimaient la réalité. Passé relativement sous silence à sa publication, un modèle de projection plus récent avec un spectre plus large de scénarios a été publié : le modèle Human And Nature DYnamics (HANDY) (Motesharrei, Rivas, Kalnay, 2014). Ce modèle de dynamique humaine est basé sur l’approche prédateur-proie où nous sommes les prédateurs, et la proie est la Nature (épuisée par l’Homme). …

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Mrs and Mr. Nieuwjaer, one of the Zero Waste family (Credit: Ville de Roubaix)

When the circular economy, via zero waste, helps families to get out of vicious circles towards ever more fulfilment.

Article first published on January 19th 2020 in The Beam Magazine #10 on “Local Heroes of Energy Transition”

A Cornucopia

“The fridge was always full before! Now it is always empty!” exclaims Mrs Deleporte, a nurse in Roubaix, mother and active member of the Zero Waste Program of the city of Roubaix. It is on these terms that she tries to talk to me about abundance. It was not easy to understand at first, but when Mrs Nieuwjaer, a woman active in the service economy and representative of the Zero Waste Program, made the same remark to me, the sudden click was: refrigerators were built so that we can store food in the continuity of the cold chain of large retail and agribusiness companies. …

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Making the Circular Economy work for Human Development (Elsevier Academic Journal, May 2020, Desmond-Lemille-Schroeder)

Elsevier Resource, Conservation & Recycling publication (sample)

Authors: Patrick Schröder, AlexandreLemille & PeterDesmond


This paper aims to re-conceptualise and advance the existing frameworks and practical applications of the circular economy (CE) towards a broader approach to development in general and, more particularly, to combine it with the approach for Human Development (HD). The CE is an alternative to the current “take, make, waste” extractive industrial model and offers a practical solution to address global and local environmental challenges, such as resource depletion, marine plastic pollution, and for staying within planetary system boundaries. Although the CE and related concepts such as cradle to cradle provide a most promising alternative to the traditional linear economy model and its impacts on the planets eco-systems, some of the CE key elements have raised debate both in the academic community and among policy makers. One of the debates concerns the missing social or human dimensions of the CE. Likewise, the HD approach lacks considerations of environmental sustainability. Drawing on both academic and grey literature and the authorsö research observations and professional experiences in the fields of promoting the CE and international development cooperation for HD, we attempt to develop an integrative conceptual framework of the CE and HD. This framework includes social-economic elements of the transformation from linear to circular economic models, combined with HD from the social sciences and development studies. We thereby complement the technological-material focused CE model that is primarily based on principles of industrial ecology and engineering. We utilize the existing ‘circular humansphereö concept to articulate the incorporation of HD into the discussion of CE. By bringing in explicit links with HD, we pursue a double aim: First, to raise awareness and understanding among the CE research community of the missing human dimension in current CE discourse, and second, to familiarise the international development community with the approaches of CE. This will advance the options for adopting CE practices in international development programmes and for the process of implementing the social SDGs concerning HD such as SDG 1, 3, 4, 5, and 10. …

Building resilient societies on empathy to preserve humanity.

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@ Come To Life, Christinia from Tiyospaye Winyan Maka

This article by Alexandre Lemille and Aude K. Chesnais was featured in The Beam #10 — Local Heroes of the Energy Transition.

We are all aware of the drastic changes our societies will have to achieve within the current decade to address our species’ greatest challenge, yet we fail to act even though our intentions are genuine. Our economic system is not designed to gear up for future adaptations, given our cultural norms and the short-termism mantra that we may consume endlessly on a finite planet. …

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New roles, new functions, new governance of The Circular Humansphere (Source: Lemille — Sketch by Rachael Acker)

Ending the concept of ‘Circular Economy 2.0’

The ‘Circular Economy 2.0’ was a call launched in early 2016 in The Huffington Post USA where I was asking to embed negative social externalities within the circular economy so to guaranty our next model will also be giving a chance for anyone to thrive.

The view was that yes, there is not enough resources, much wastage and pollution for a soon-to-be 10 billion people on the planet. But yes too, we have a huge inequality problem that will slow down the implementation of such a great design.

“Circularity without equality is like trees without its roots. It won’t survive. …

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Source: Come to Life

Poorly Designed Communities

Every morning on my way to school, I used to pass underneath a bridge where this message was written in white paint: “Free Nelson Mandela”. One day, I asked my mom: “Who is this Mandela? How many people had he killed to be put in prison?”

She replied: “Well Alex, not everybody in prison is a criminal. Nelson Mandela is trying to protect his people from an unjust political regime”.

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Photo: Jonathan Kos-Read CC BY-ND 2.0

First published on the UNIDO’s Making It Magazine, 11th July 2019

Republished on the World Economic Forum as “To Move to a Circular Economy, we must redefine Waste” — classified “Top 2019 WEF Read”

Alexandre Lemille argues that the circular economy is about entering a post-recycling era, not advancing it

Too often the circular economy is muddled up with some kind of advanced recycling processes that would mean keeping our industrial system as it is and preserving a growing consumption model. This idea is based on a belief that recycling will take care of everything.One of the most startling examples of this is the part of the European Union’s Circular Economy Action Plan which aims to increase recycling rates: up to 70% of all packaging waste by 2030 and 65% of all municipal waste by 2035. In a properly built circular economy, one should rather focus on avoiding the recycling stage at all costs. …


Alexandre Lemille

The Circular Humansphere or how humans will preserve conditions conducive to life #CircHumansphere

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