Copenhagen School of Design and Technology


Innovation for the Circular Economy

Danish title
Innovation for den Cirkulære Økonomi
Study programme
Product Development and Integrative Technology
Type of education
Full time education
Level of education
Bachelor (top-up)
6. semester
Duration of the subject/module
3 Weeks
Programme elements
Danish and English
Start time
Lygten 16, København NV
Subject number
Responsible for the subject(s)/modul(es)
Kristian Colvey
  • Purpose and learning objectives

    The scenario is set, resource consumption related to our throw-away culture is changing the landscape for which organizations can plan and operate with stable foreseeable horizons. As resources become depleted, organizations that can adapt to disruptive industry shifts related to allocation of these necessary finite resources will be able to survive the ecological and resource bottleneck that state, producers and,
    consumers are already experiencing. To disrupt the Business as Usual paradigm we must understand how trends and tendencies in this bottlenecking will affect the sustainability of our organizations.

    Innovation for the Green economy identifies and explores prevailing thoughts in applying economic system thinking to the actors at producer level to learn how we can create value in a transition to the circular economies of tomorrow. We explore this by understanding how business and organizations are adapting, and how design philosophies like that of Cradle to Cradle, and work by the Ellen Macarthur foundation and service models for delivering product value in the Performance Economy and Shared Economy will change the landscape of our economy towards that of a green future

    We will explore three prevailing socio-economic theoretical constructions:
    1) The Circular Economy as presented by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation
    2) Cradle to Cradle as presented by William McDonough and Michael Braungart
    3) The Performance Economy as described by Walther Stahel *You do not need to buy these texts, excerpts will be provided in class

    This theoretical framework will be the launch pad to explore product alternatives, redesign, product service systems, and dematerialization strategies using the following analyses:
    The class will explore the use of tools like Business Model Generation, Value Proposition Design, and Life-Cycle thinking in an effort to explore how pervading theories about the development of the future economies and the products in them can be leveraged to create true sustainable value for organizations.


    The student can
    -Understand, differentiate and explain the concepts of Circular Economy, Cradle to Cradle, and Performance Economy.
    -Understand and identify stakeholders in a systems thinking approach.


    The student can:
    -Apply systems thinking approaches to evaluating the role of organizations in circular or cooperative value chains
    -Apply analytical methods in relation to understanding organizational processes and the effect of stakeholders on their structure
    -Apply analytical methods in relation to evaluating organizations success and challenges with an eye towards affecting change with regards to stakeholders -Utilize quantitative data to compare and determine choices and strategy for product value chains.


    The student can:
    -Develop strategies for creating value in a system thinking perspective through the lens of a single organization.
    -Innovate and create potential growth strategies for organizations through product alternatives, redesign, product service systems and dematerialization strategies.

  • Type of instruction
    The bachelor's degree programme in product development and integrative technology applies a wide range of teaching and learning methods including:
     Classroom teaching
     Group work
     Case-based exercises
     Games and role play
     Company field trips
     Interdisciplinary project-oriented teaching
     Problem-based learning
     Interdisciplinary knowledge sharing
     Student presentations
     Cooperative learning
     Digital learning technologies and learning environments
     Workshops
     Independent study
    Teaching and learning methods are adapted to the individual programme elements in order to facilitate the development of student's knowledge, skills and competencies. At the same time, the intension is to establish a foundation which will allow the students to continue in qualifying continuing education.
    Teaching and learning methods emphasise a professional presence in the programme through a mix of teaching and practical experience. Teaching at the academy is a mix of theory and practical exercises.
    The extent of the teaching corresponds to a full-time study programme.
  • Subject/module requirement for participation

    Academic requirement for participation
    Can complete an eco-audit calculation in Ansys Granta Edupack

    Equipment needed to participate
    Can use and access Ansys Granta Edupack

  • Exam

    The learning outcomes of the exam are identical with the learning outcomes of the subject(s)/modul(es)

    Prerequisites for access to the examination
    The student must participated in and handed in a multiple choice /short answer test held on Wiseflow in order to be able take part in the exam.
    Exam in one or more subjects
    Subject/module is tested standalone
    Type of exam
    Oral examination
    The exam consists of a delivery and oral presentation of a chosen case and its documentation
    Type of assignment
    The exam is a presentation by the students in building a case for transformation of a current business model (approved by the teacher)
    Formal requirements
    Oral case presentation should be submitted in either PDF, powerpoint, or Keynote format the day before the exam. No limit on number of slides, length of presentation is max. 15 minutes.
    Individual exam or group exam
    Group, 2-3 participants
    Exam languages
    Danish (Norwegian/Swedish)
    Oral case presentation exam is a total of 45 minutes:
    15 min. for presentation
    20 min. for examination and deliberation
    5. min. for changeover
    Permitted exam aids
    For the Multiple Choice / Short Answer prerequisite test, the student may bring their own original handwritten notes (no photocopies or print outs will be permitted. These notes will be check by the teacher before the start of the test.
    Type of evaluation
    7-point grading scale
    Internal censure
    Exam criteria
    The learning objectives for the course serve as the criteria for the oral presentation.
    Deadline for submission
    hand-in Deadlines and exam dates are available via the intranet
    Re-examination and re-examination due to illness
    Students who have been prevented from taking an examination due to a documented illness or another unforeseen circumstance will be given the opportunity to take a new exam as soon as possible. If the exam is in the final exam period of the programme, the student must be allowed to take the exam in the same period or in continuation of this period. The re-examination may be the same as the next regular exam. The student is responsible for finding out when the sick and re-exams take place.
    If several individual parts of an exam are to be graded separately, the student can only take an exam in the part(s) not yet completed. This also applies to exams where the individual grades are aggregated in one single grade.
    Illness must be documented by a medical certificate and KEA must have received the medical certificate three working days after the exam at the latest. If the illness is not documented, the student will have used an examination attempt.
hours of teaching
hours of preparation
The figure shows the extent of workload related to the subject divided into different study activities.

In the subject Innovation for the Circular Economy you will receive 54 hours of instruction, which corresponds to 72 lessons (1 lesson = 45 min.) and 39% of your total workload for the subject.

The teaching primarily consists of the following activities: internal lecturers, classroom teaching, exercises, group work.
The preparation primarily consists of the following activities: group work, collecting empiricism, reading the curriculum, searching for information, project work.

Read about KEAs Study Activity Model

*KEA can deviate from the number of hours if this is justified by special circumstances