Toys that Last: a Circular Design Course


SGN presents "Toys that Last". A series of workshops for the global toy industry to stimulate the reuse, repair, and recycling of toys towards a circular economy.

Bas Roelofs
Bas Roelofs

Toys that last

SGN, the Dutch toy foundation (the organisation behind the annual toy of the year awards in the Netherlands), together with Sonia Sanchez, author of the book changing the world toy by toy organises “Toys that last”: a Circular Design Course specifically for the global toy industry to create a deeper understanding of the opportunities of the circular economy and make a start with actual projects to work on. Whether you are manufacturer, wholesaler, re- or e-tailer this is a relevant course for you!


From separate category to prerequisition

Emile Kalis, head of SGN: “Worldwide every year an incredible amount of toys end up as incineration, landfill or as drifting plastics in our oceans. This needs to change. In order to practically support the industry to begin their journey to a more sustainable and circular way of working, we want to offer some practical support and a platform to exchange experiences.
In 2021 we started with the nomination of toys in the category “sustainable toys” at our annual award gala. This was just the beginning: Within not too long this will no longer be a separate category, but a prerequisite to be awarded at all.”


Circular design course

During the Circular Design Course, participants will develop circular business. Along the way, they will be helped by means of a facilitated design process with knowledge, tools and interaction with other companies and designers.  Afterwards, you will have developed both a long-term vision and a concrete plan that you can put into action right away. You will know what you can do yourself and you will know where and who you can ask for help where needed.


The CIRCO Method

The CIRCO method is based on an academic framework of the Technical University of Delft in The Netherlands called ‘Products that last,’ written by C. Bakker & M. den Hollander, ea. This framework explains five circular business models and six circular design strategies.

​CIRCO expanded this framework with tools and insights, to make it even better suited to application in the business environment. The method offers concrete design tools. Inspiring cases & examples, and it offers trainer support & interaction.


Visual Circo Tracks-EN-v1_Totaal

From linear to circular in seven steps

"In running a sustainable business, we are responsible for simultaneously taking care of society and the environment. Learning with CIRCO has resulted in practical principles that we can apply. The CIRCO methodology helps us adjust our business model to do more than selling toys for children in a sustainable way. We can build an ecosystem of play to give our community a new experience."
Kosin Virapornsawan Managing director & participant in CIRCO course in Thailand in 20221

Our approach

The six-week course will explore the concepts of circular design, with participants identifying business opportunities and utilising circular design strategies to redesign their own company’s propositions, products, services, and business models. On leaving the course, participants will have developed a concrete Implementation Roadmap ready for implementation at their companies, resulting in tangible outcomes from the highly effective course.

​Participants will join other entrepreneurs, designers and industry professionals, learning to adapt the principal elements of circularity to their own organisations. While every company develops its own value proposition, the peer-to-peer discussions and knowledge sharing between companies has been cited as an incredibly valuable aspect of this course.

Over a period of six weeks, participants will:

  • Learn about circular design strategies and business models
  • Redesign their product or service using circular design strategies
  • Develop a new circular business model for their product and service
  • Create a roadmap for implementation to transition to their circular model
  • Build a strong network of like-minded people and companies
  • Have access to a network of specialists fit to support their next steps steps where needed


A tender of two

To make the most of this course, we recommend each company has two members of their organisation joining the sessions: a creative participant working in design/marketing to think out of the box, and one decision-making participant working in sales, manufacturing or finance to move things forward.

Details online edition (in English)

  • Six online sessions (three hours each) with one week in between
    & two individual coaching sessions (1hr each)
  • Coursework between each session (expected 1-2 hours per week)
  • Total time investment time, approximately 25-30 hours per participant
Delivery Method
  • Sessions will be hosted on Zoom
  • Exercises and activities are delivered via Mural
Dates & Times
  • 6 Tuesdays in Q2 (tbd together with the participants)
  • Session times: 09.00-12.00 (CET, Europe); 16:00-19.00 (Shanghai/ HongKong/ Taiwan)
    *Session times may change due to daylight saving timezone variations. A calendar invite will be sent for sessions before the course begins.

2000€ (ex VAT) per company of two participants

Number of Participants

8-12 organisations (two participants per organisation)

A team of two
To make the most of this course, we recommend each company has two members of their organisation joining the sessions: a creative participant working in design/ marketing to think out of the box, and one decision-making participant working in sales, manufacturing or finance to move things forward.

Course Trainers

The Circular Design Course will be hosted by two experienced CIRCO trainers & toy industry insiders. One of them is Bas Roelofs (Sustar | practical navigators to sustainable business, former director of marketing and R&D at BERG toys)

Contact Bas Roelofs if you want to sign in or want to know more.


Photocredit: Daniel K Chueng (via

Bas Roelofs
Bas Roelofs

In een snel veranderende wereld helpt Bas bedrijven om een gezonde boterham te verdienen zonder een troep te maken van de wereld om ons heen. Bas is CIRCO trainer in binnen- en buitenland sinds 2017 en coördinator hoger onderwijs sinds 2019.

Bas is industrieel ontwerper en heeft ruim 20 jaar ervaring als stuurman van marketing en productontwikkeling in drie maakbedrijven (Philips, Berg toys, Thule). Sinds 2015 ondersteunt bedrijven bij het ontwikkelen van duurzame dan wel circulaire waardeproposities. Bas is mede-oprcihter van de design coöperatie Sustar | Practical navigators to sustainable business.

Lees ook het interview met Bas op deze website.

In a rapidly changing world, Bas helps companies to earn a healthy living without making a mess of the world around us. Bas has been a CIRCO trainer in The Netherlands and abroad since 2017, and higher education coordinator since 2019.

Bas is an industrial designer and has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and product development in three manufacturing companies (Philips, Berg toys, Thule). Since 2015 he supports businesses in the creation of circular / sustainable value propositions. Bas is co-founder of the cooperative of designers: Sustar | Practical navigators to sustainable business

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