That’s right. Circular. Not the actual city of course. But how it works. It’s called a circular economy, and it’s so much smarter than anything our generation came up with. Plus it’s jam-packed with opportunities for your child to contribute and develop areas of relevant interest and expertise.
I can’t do a better job of explaining it than the folks at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation who are backing the movement. Here’s a great introductory video that you can even watch with your kids:
There are two bits in there to pay attention to.
The end of owning stuff. My idol Kevin Kelly explains this beautifully in his book The Inevitable. Here are a few articles that explain the future of “sharing”: one, two, three.
The other piece that I think is important for parents of digital natives is sustainability innovation. Creative solutions for building new things out of old things or, better yet….more sustainable materials.
There are literally thousands of examples of such ideas already on the market today, but here are a few I particularly like:
Straw that turns dirty water into drinkable water.
In the case of moving away from owning things, this is a grand opportunity for you to begin coaching your child in this way of thinking. They will wind up thinking that way anyway, as that is very much where their generation’s culture is going with the sharing economy. But you can claim the credit if you start modeling it now. 🙂
And in the case of sustainable innovations, just marvel at the creativity behind the few examples I provided above, and the others I’m sure you can add to my list. Yes, our children are inheriting one serious load of work to reverse global warming, but wow the opportunities they also have to apply creative solution-building. It is such an exciting time to be young, to care about the world, and to have crazy inventive ideas.
So I encourage you to watch this circular economy movement carefully, as it will become the model for our children’s world, and it is abundant with avenues for development of their interests and applications of their learning.