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    Crowdsourcing the Circular Economy with a Systems Mapping Platform

    by Raymond RedCorn 06/03/2019 12:18 PM BST

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      Advancing toward a circular economy will require widely varied expertise from indigenous populations, university researchers, industries and more.  We propose a visual tool to connect this knowledge using systems maps.  A system can be a material processing step, an organism, or an entire factory.  The outputs (e.g. waste) of systems can be connected as inputs (e.g. resources) to other systems, and any system can be nested as a subsystem to a larger system. This visual and intuitive way of sharing knowledge reduces communication barriers between technical disciplines and cultures. Anyone can collaborate to add and connect systems to map how material and energy can flow in a circular economy and anyone else can explore that map and contribute their knowledge and resources to help make the system a reality.  Linked to every system map will be an open-source Operation and Maintenance manual (i.e. a wiki) for starting and running the systems of the circular economy.

      Multiple revenue streams could make the web-based platform sustainable.   Industries can post grants or awards to incentivize the development of technologies that utilize their waste streams. The sale of intellectual property (e.g. patents or consulting services) on specialized systems could also be used to compliment and support the sharing of open-knowledge.  With enough systems mapped, machine learning could be applied to find how to combine systems to make the economy circular and this data could be sold to industrial consortium.

      The project is currently in the prototyping phase.  Linked is a github repository based on node.js and a video showing an example of the systems of systems mapping platform.  The prototype provides for the ability to connect and nest systems but does not yet provide the ability to repeat a system in many other systems. The example video shows how beer brewing, anaerobic digestion, and aquaponics can be connected in a closed loops system and how the technical aspects of each can be shared.

      Co-authors to your solution

      Mikhail Lepilov, Daniel Bampoh

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      open-source,interdiciplinary, crowdsourcing,SDG12


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