Motivations behind actors’ cooperation in circular ecosystems: a systematic literature review and a Brazilian case study

DS 122: Proceedings of the Design Society: 24th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED23)

Year: 2023
Editor: Kevin Otto, Boris Eisenbart, Claudia Eckert, Benoit Eynard, Dieter Krause, Josef Oehmen, Nadège Troussier
Author: Barquete, Sophia; Hofmann Trevisan, Adriana; Gonçalves Castro, Camila; Mascarenhas, Janaina
Series: ICED
Institution: Department of Production Engineering, São Carlos School of Engineering, University of São Paulo
Section: Design Methods
Page(s): TBD
DOI number: -


The circular economy (CE) aims at the cycling of resources through restorative and regenerative strategies. To achieve circularity, coordination of several actors is necessary. The interaction among actors allows the connection between the CE and ecosystem research fields. Although fundamental, the relationships, mainly cooperation, among actors within an ecosystem to foster circularity is not deeply explored in the literature. The objective of this study was to identify the possibilities of cooperation within circular ecosystems, in particular, the motivations that make the actors interact to achieve a CE. A systematic literature review (SLR) and a case study of a Brazilian ecosystem specialized in the recycling of carton packages to manufacture ecological tiles were conducted. The goal was to identify the motivations through the SLR and the case study so the theoretical and the empirical results could be compared. As a result, 28 motivations for actors to engage in ecosystems driven by circularity were identified. In order to achieve a complete and circular solution, actors must be able to clearly understand their roles and relationships so that they can establish new partnerships or reframe those already established.

Keywords: Circular economy, Cooperation, Collaborative design, Case study, Ecosystems

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