Nancy Bocken is Professor in Sustainable Business at Maastricht Sustainability Institute, Maastricht University. She is also visiting professor at Lund University, Sweden and LUT University Finland, and Fellow at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. She is co-founder of HOMIE, a ‘pay-per-use’ business pursuing the circular economy. Nancy's research evolves around the broad field of Sustainable Business, including topics like sustainable business models, business experiments, Circular Economy, sufficiency, and closing the 'idea-action' gap in sustainability through novel tools and approaches. She is the Principal Investigator of Circular X which focuses on ‘experimenting with circular service business models’.
Circular X is an ambitious 5-year research project focused on experimentation with circular service business models. It is funded by the European Research Council (ERC) which supports top researchers from anywhere in the world.
With increasing pressures on resources and the climate it is clear that a new way of doing business is needed. The circular economy is a potential key driver for sustainability and competitiveness. In contrast to the current ‘linear economy’, materials are kept at their highest utility at all times. Despite great policy, business and academic interest, knowledge on how to ‘implement’ the Circular Economy in business is lacking. Project Circular X addresses a new and urgent issue in sustainability research: experimentation with circular service business models.
Examples of such new business models include companies shifting from selling products to selling services and introducing lifelong warrantees to extend product lifetimes. However, circular service business models are far from mainstream and experimentation focused on experimentation with new circular service business models is little understood. Project Circular X will develop a new field in sustainability studies focused on experimentation. It aims to conduct interdisciplinary research in at least 3 continents and 5 countries (the Netherlands, UK, Sweden, China and USA) with 4 objectives:
- Advancing understanding of circular service business models; their emergence and impacts
- Advancing knowledge on circular service business models experimentation
- Developing circular service business models experimentation tools
- Designing and deploying circular service business models experimentation labs
Through its comprehensive international approach, project Circular X aims to deeply advance understandings on how circular service business models manifest themselves in business and how these can be experimented with, which will ultimately advance business activities towards a circular economy transition.
Ankita’s research interests are on designing tools that can foster circular business experiments, balancing the environmental and social costs of circularity, and scaling circular business models to developing countries. She is originally from Odisha, India. and has a BSc. (Hons.) in Zoology & Biochemistry. She moved to Europe in 2017 to pursue an Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s in Environmental Sciences, Policy & Management at three European Universities. Since then, she has worked in various roles; as a consultant for universities, research agencies, and UNIDO, and co-founded a circular water reuse start-up in Sweden. Under Circular X, her current research focuses on exploring how companies can forecast the environmental impact of their circular business model ideas, during the experimentation phase.
Marc’s main research interests are innovation and innovation policy, sustainability assessment and societal transformation. Currently he also works in an action- research project on Urban Living Labs experiments focused on learning and upscaling. He has published on innovation in electric mobility, urban mobility, solar energy and resource efficiency. He teaches an integrative approach to sustainability assessment & innovation. It combines the understanding of stakeholders (perspectives, practices, etc.) with systems analysis (Qualitative Systems Analysis, Life Cycle Analysis, etc.). In Circular X, Marc supervises PhD-students and is excited to contribute to circular services innovation.
Deanna is a PhD researcher in circular business models under the ERC funded Circular X project at the Maastricht Sustainability Institute. Prior to her PhD studies, she completed a BSc in Chemistry at York University in Canada. In 2018, Deanna obtained an MSc in Carbon Management from the University of Edinburgh, finishing with distinction. Her dissertation was on exploring the role of stakeholders in circular entrepreneurship in Denmark. Since graduation, she co-founded a consultancy start-up that helps organizations mitigate their emissions through negative emissions technologies.
Hannah Lou is a PhD researcher for circular business models and ecosystems in the Built Environment within the EU Horizon DRASTIC project. She completed her Masters in Sustainability Science, Policy and Society at Maastricht University, looking at the impact of alternative building practices to reduce embodied and operational energy, the repurposing of waste, bio-based materials and circular construction alas reduced life-cycle costs in the Built Environment. Hannah Lou’s current focus lies on the socio-economic impact of an alternatively built environment. She is part of the EU Horizon project DRASTIC which intends to unwrap the untapped potential of STEEP (social, economic, environmental and technological) factors in the built environment to decarbonize the economy.
JanWithin Circular X, Jan continues his quest to research how businesses can transition to environmental sustainability. He is also a Sustainability Advisor at Cognizant, where he works with the C-Suite of major companies to develop sustainable and circular business models.
Laura is a PhD researcher in businesses driving sufficient consumption under the ERC funded Circular X project at the Maastricht Sustainability Institute. Her background is interdisciplinary with a BA in European Studies and an MSc in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Sciences. Previously, Laura worked on circular economy research and policy in Ireland, providing support for research and circular economy business development. Her PhD research investigates how businesses can drive sustainable consumption through sufficiency-based approaches.
Roger is a PhD researcher on Circular Business Models in the solar industry. He is an external PhD, based at both Maastricht Sustainability Institute and the University of Applied Science in Bern, Switzerland. Previously, Roger was part of the EU-Horizon 2020 CIRCUSOL project. He completed his Bachelor in Business Administration at the University of St. Gallen and worked in an industrial company and a bank before finishing a Master in Business Innovation and CEMS International Management at the University of St. Gallen and the École des hautes études commerciales Paris. After his studies, Roger worked for the circular start-up Grover in Berlin as business development and sales manager.
Kirsi is a PhD researcher in regenerative business strategies and business models. She is an external researcher based in LUT, Finland and part of her PhD is at Maastricht University. Before pursuing a PhD she led a Finnish NGO promoting sustainable consumption, fair trade and human rights in global value chains. Previously, she has worked on sustainable development and corporate sustainability on three continents for NGOs and as a consultant. Her research focuses on planetary and social impacts of business, systems that are needed for regenerative business to develop and thrive as well as regenerative supply chains.
Julia joined for a PhD on circular business models and value chains for renewable energy wind turbines. She is part of the LICHEN Blade project, a collaboration between TU Delft and Maastricht University. Previously, she did a Bachelor on Business Administration at Groningen University. On top of her bachelor's degree, she completed an extracurricular propaedeutic exam in Dutch law. Julia has a Master's in International Business and Management and worked as a teaching assistant for four years. Next to her studies, she interned in business development and export for the African market at Royal Smilde in Heerenveen.
Marco van Hees is a PhD researcher on upcycling strategies and circular business models in the furniture and interior design industry, working on the "Urban Upcycling" RAAK-PRO research project. He has been working in academia as a lecturer in Business Engineering at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and as business model researcher at the AUAS Centre of Expertise City Net Zero. In his spare time, he runs a beekeeping academy in the Amsterdam metropole region and works as a volunteer for the Dutch NGO PUM supporting SME-sustainable entrepreneurship in emerging countries.
Wim is a PhD researcher in circular business models. He is an external researcher based at VITO (Belgium). With a background in commercial studies and economics, his research focuses on the development and evaluation of circular business models and enabling ecosystems. His work on circular economy covers a broad spectrum of applications (solar photovoltaics, smart grids, fashion, polymers, manufacturing, waste incineration) and organizational forms (startups, work integration social enterprises, cooperatives, the informal economy). He is particularly interested in corporate governance, value chain alignment, and the social and redistributive impact of a circular transition. Before joining VITO, his main research area was social and cooperative entrepreneurship.
Rasika is a research assistant, working with Circular X PhD Ankita Das, focusing on the topics of regenerative circular business models and environmental rebound effects. Rasika is from Mumbai, India and has finished her Masters from Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Climate Change and Sustainability Studies. She will soon start an MBA in Energy Management at the Technical University of Berlin. Previously, she worked as a researcher and consultant focusing on climate mitigation, adaptation and the renewable energy sector in India.