regenerative circular economy. The circular economy has been widely employed to mean an economy where materials flow in loops or cycles, human activity runs on renewable energy, economic growth is decoupled from resource use, and natural capital is invested in.
With the term regenerative circular economy, we aim to emphasize three main themes. First, we use the term regenerative to place emphasis on net-positive outcomes and expand beyond the narrow focus of system optimization towards more generative, creative system outcomes. Second, our vision of a regenerative circular economy also foregrounds the importance of place-based and context-specific analysis and action. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach to circular economy principles, we emphasize principles that frame the economy as a nested system spanning local, regional, national, and global scales of production and consumption. In particular, local and regional scales are where latent regenerative potential can be found. Third, we take inspiration from living systems by foregrounding change and adaptive management of socio-ecological systems. We propose learning from the way
resources in natural ecosystems flow. This leads us away from a mindset of engineering tightly controlled closed loops of materials that are isolated from living systems to designing our products to be nutrients for living systems at local and regional scales.