Thoughts from Tonsley- Adelaide 15-16th Nov 2017

Having presented the CLEAN Cowra initiative as part of the Food Group at Powering the Change conference, this focused on how the circular economic model is deployed at a localised context level, establishing new growth, job opportunities, dispatchable power supply and security, as well as significant environmental and social benefits to regional communities.

Reflections of the event are that implementing circular economic principles requires a significant transformation from the way the current model structures work and will require corporations and businesses moving forward to reshape their outcomes rather than embedding them in current practices.  

Collaboration and un-siloing of industry to achieve cross-sector engagement will enhance the potential for significant benefits in establishing a circular economy at a localised level.  This will require engagement at a social and grassroots level in order to shape the change into a transformational outcome.  This also will demonstrate the capacity for future scaling and developing a replicable model.

It was exciting to be at the new Tonsley Innovation park at the old Mitsubishi Plant, a successful model of  an adaptive reuse of industrial buildings into a new purposed space.

Reflecting on other presentations that posed interesting viable opportunities were what is known as Industry 4.0.  This refers to a new era of industry and the role digitisation will play in this sector. Consideration will need to be made on how this could be utilised for renewable energy, food production and built environment.

A common theme throughout the conference on what is required to  achieve circular transformation - collaborative effort!

In essence, orchestration of how systemic change can be achieved through collaboration at a town scale to develop a demonstrable model that can be replicated and scaled in regional communities.