Dynamics of Stocks and Flows in a Regenerative Economy

Conference Dates

June 5 – 10, 2022


This seminar will present a “trailer” for material in a book – “Living well on a Finite Planet: a systems approach to sustainability, society and economy” - by Roland Clift, George Martin and Simon Mair, to be published by Springer in 2023. The book will develop an approach to socio-economic restructuring that looks beyond the Circular Economy to envisage a repurposed economy addressing the three components of sustainability: economy, environment, and society. Rather than the usual economic concern with flows, the analysis takes an industrial ecology approach: it starts from demand for the services provided by the stock of products and materials in use and works out from there, through analysis of remanufacturing and recycling, to the associated material flows which are treated as responses rather than drivers. An earlier analysis, developed by Stahel and Clift, has been extended to stocks that change over time, to generate simple metrics accounting for the effect of stock growth on material demand allowing for product life. Applying the analysis to selected scarce metals shows how it can help to understand the development of “closed loop” systems. It also reveals why setting targets in terms of “circularity” can have perverse consequences.

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