The CIRCO method is based on an academic framework of the Technical University of Delft. It is called ‘Products that last’ and it is written by C. Bakker & M. den Hollander, e.a. This framework explains five circular business models and six circular design strategies. CIRCO expanded this framework with tools and insights, so it is useful and relevant for businesses. The method offers practical design tools, inspiring cases and examples, and it offers trainer support and interaction.

Aimed at companies and design professionals

The CIRCO method is applicable to both companies and design professionals. Companies are invited to participate in a workshop Track that consists of three group sessions, whereas design professionals can follow a 1-day Class, allowing them to play their part in the circular transition as a circular change agent.

Value proposition and peer interaction

In a Track, ten companies participate with two people per company. Participants will explore circular design and identify business opportunities. They will also use circular design strategies to redesign their own propositions, products, services and business models. The participant’s efforts will result in a concrete implementation roadmap, making the Track incredibly effective. Although every company develops its own value proposition, the peer interaction with other entrepreneurs, designers and industry professionals, is highly valued and cooperation between companies is triggered almost every time.

The process of the CIRCO method

The companies participating in a Track will go through the following process:

1. Initiate

This part delves deeper into the (design) principles for the circular economy. The value destruction in the current linear chain is mapped out and the resulting circular business opportunities are identified and selected for each company.

2. Ideate

The most interesting circular proposition from the first part is elaborated on, using circular design strategies and business models. This results in a circular customer proposition with a business model, product (re)design and additional services.

3. Implement

Every company prepares an implementation roadmap to bring its circular proposition to the market. What activity happens when, but also with whom to realize the required changes. All material processed during the Track is documented in a Circular Business Canvas, after which participants conclude with a short pitch.

What has CIRCO accomplished so far?


companies were supported to create circular business


designers were supported to fulfill a role as circular change agent


of the CIRCO participants are now active in circular business

Ready to get to work?