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Fabrice Sorin

Fabrice Sorin is a seasoned professional with 15 years experience in commercial, procurement,  strategy, business transformation, operations and management roles in multinational corporations.

He holds a Circular Economy MBA from Bradford university (GB) and publish on service-dominated industries and hospitality.

He now develops and delivers impactful Circular Economy and Circular Design courses and trainings to businesses, consultants, public sectors and communities through the Circulab Academy.

Listen to the episode

Tune in to find out more about regenerative business models and also about:


  • Fabrice’s career background and how he became interested in the concept of circular economy.
  • The different aspects of Circulab’s process and how they complement one another.
  • Why it is not enough to focus on resource circularity.
  • What a regenerative business is and how the concept of circular economy applies. 
  • Reasons why closed-loop production will not help combat climate change.
  • Outline of systems thinking and how it applies to a circular economy.
  • What motivates people to work with Circulab to develop regenerative business practices.
  • Why it is important not to become overwhelmed by the risks of climate change.
  • And much more!


S7E2 Audiogram image

Emily Swaddle  00:22

Hello  and welcome back to HappyPorch Radio! This is season seven, very first episode, and we are here today talking with Fabrice Sorin from Circulab. He is the Academy Manager at Circulab. Circulab offers Circular Economy consulting, and a whole bunch of training to design regenerative business models. Barry, it's good to be back!

Barry O'Kane  00:44

It is really exciting. That was the first thing I was gonna say it's so exciting to be back doing a new season. And having this level of conversation is pretty cool, too.

Emily Swaddle  00:52

Yeah. And then we said, we wanted to zoom out this season and look at the Circular Economy, big picture. Look at it from above. And while we really dived into that first episode of the season, and I think we've zoomed well out, we may be in space now, looking back at it, wondering about the Circular Economy. It's so important as well, like I thought Fabrice was really clearly very eloquent in describing that big picture and this and the importance of systemic thinking. And the way he talked about circularity, I guess, the risk of us viewing circularity as a patch or quick fix within the linear economy and how that's just totally not viable. But in order for Circular Economy to be viable and for that kind of mindset and approach to be viable, we need to think much more systemically, and much more sort of embrace the complexity, and that is how the work that they're doing really multiplies that. That's the other thing I'm really excited about this season is speaking to people who are kind of working at that macro level, so doing consultancy or advising or training and sort of multiplying or being that one step or two steps back from the coalface. It's just really cool. And I thought this conversation was pretty powerful. Yeah, it's really encouraging to hear about people who are pushing back against the idea of quick fixes, and, and sort of simplifications of ideas that could lead towards greenwashing or just ineffective progress, you know, but also that aren't getting overwhelmed by them the complexity of what we're actually faced. Because I think that that can be a real, like, it's really hard sometimes, I'm alarmed by it. So it's really encouraging to hear, you know, the way that Fabrice talked about it and just embracing that complexity, I think. Definitely. And the action focus side, as you said, it's very daunting to when, when you look at things like Fabrice mentions, the IPCC report, but also the recently released circularity Gap Report and all this data and the evidence that's pointing at huge challenges, which can be overwhelming and confusing and scary and even, and then wondering if the solutions are scary. But actually, then the work that he's doing, and that Circulab are doing kind of allows us to talk about solutions, and not just solutions that are taking things away. But solutions that offer positive, more very interesting and actionable, not easy, but actionable paths to regenerative business to circularity, and all the things we're trying to do. And keeping it accessible to as many people as possible, you know, opening those doors to, as you say, amplify the effectiveness by letting many people come in and get the benefits of the training and consulting that they offer.

Barry O'Kane  03:31

There is something as well that we touched on the very end that I think it's really important. I approach this these conversations, from the context of being software engineering software, we're having running a software engineering and development digital product development team. And so I think it's equally important from whatever context, but it's equally important to think about that sustainability, sorry, that system level thinking from the context of where we come. And that's why this conversation is so powerful. It's not a separate conversation. It's a powerful conversation about where each of us fits and each of the industries and places and companies that we work in where that fits. So without any further ado, let's meet Fabrice.

Fabrice Sorin  04:08

My name is Fabrice. I'm a French national. I work at Circulab and I'm in charge of education, training and research. So quick word about Circulab . We are a design studio and strategy agency. We operate in the field of Circular Economy for more than 10 years now. And we have three key activities which are heavily correlated with one another. We provide training, design and consulting services to public and private actors in France, we are based out of France and globally.

Barry O'Kane  04:48

Brilliant, thank you so much for coming and joining us and HappyPorch Radio. I'm really interested in the three different aspects of circular there as you're describing and how they complement each other. And the fact that you do all three rather than focusing on one or the other and how that works. But just before we talk about that, from your own point of view, what's a quick summary of your life path that take into the point where doing this kind of work and education in the Circular Economy?

Fabrice Sorin  05:12

So for me, I've hit my career pivot. As the cliche said, I worked for quite a wide and large cooperation in the service industry, tourism and transport, you can say I had the not an epiphany, but I became aware of the non viability of economic models and to a larger extent of all lifestyle, especially Western lifestyle, the higher you go into the structures of management in large corporation, for me, at least I can only speak for myself, the more evident, it appeared that that was not the right way to go. So back in 2015 16, I've decided to progressively switch career and upscaling and I went back to studying. So I went back to university and I've unboxed on the Circular Economy, NBA, but for university and that, over the years, I have pivoted to advisory services as an independent. Then I joined Circulab about two years ago. I knew Circulab from when I first started to really seriously look and get trained on Circular Economy, because back in the days, there were that small agency that was already providing free access design tools to really act and deploy and make it operational, the notion of Circular Economy and how you transform business models towards circular business model. So I knew them from before. And then it just happened that the founder and CEO is based in my hometown. So when I went back to my hometown, I guess it was fate or some sort. And I joined them.

Barry O'Kane  06:48

Brilliant. That's a nice, pretty amazing coincidence alignment of the stars to make it come together. It also sounds like that's quite a brave thing to do. You know, making a big career direction change, stepping back and going and studying and things. Did you find that, I mean, obviously, you that you describe the motivation there, but did you find the process difficult? Was it challenging? Would you do the same thing again? Or would you advise somebody else listening, who's thinking the same things to follow the same or different path?

Fabrice Sorin  07:12

I'would do the same thing again, sure. Yes, it's difficult because, I mean, it's when you work, and then you study at the same time, and I'm not the only one. But of course, but that's not an easy thing to do. And yes, it's challenging. There's only so much information you can take in into your brain, if you combine that with what you have to do at work and full time employment. And when you have a fairly mid to high ranking position in a company with the pressure that goes with it. And on top of that you have the commitment to your study, then yes, that's difficult. And the third, the last one is an advice. Anybody that wants to pivot or to upskill, do it. As long as the motivation is there, there's no reason why not. I mean, it's just the beauty in a way of the world we live in is that education is much more accessible in terms of formats now. I mean, distance learning and hybrid learning. And thanks to technology, in 2022, it's much more fluid and the learner experience is much, much better now than it was a few years back. I mean, in 2016, e-learning platforms were in their kind of infancy. Now, you have a much, much wider and more attractive and user friendly, offer of them. So to that extent, I think it's slightly easier to have this distance learning or hybrid learning experience now than it was few years back, so as long as the motivation is there, I would advise to go for it. But it has to have the motivation, because that's that's not easy, especially if you combine it with full time work.

Barry O'Kane  08:42

Yeah, yeah. And it feels like there's a bit of a more and more like the motivation is there from are becoming more concrete for more and more people as we start to realize exactly the opportunities and the problems and the scale of the thing, the transition that we're looking at Circular Economy, the scale of the potential of the transition, I tried to use the term potential rather than just talking about problems and challenges, and try and think about okay, well, there is, there is a path to some positive change here.

Fabrice Sorin  09:07

Yeah, we do see this as well in the the audience that we train, on a sidenote I had this very interesting conversation with a good friend of mine, that's fairly high ranking in the tech department of a large bank, European bank, and they have this dissemination and acculturation about the challenges through Climate Fresk. Okay, so they deploy a lot of those fresks, to all the employees, actually. And what you mentioned to me says that's becoming a problem for management for the simple reason that you have a certain percentage of the fairly mid ranking employee. So business unit managers, if you want, that once they started to put their fingers in it, if I use that expression, the question what they're doing in the bank, and that becomes an issue because when you reach a certain threshold, it's becoming your away from the HR and higher level of the bank, because if your mid ranking officer or executive do not believe in what it is you're doing, question the core purpose of what you're doing, because they have been made aware of the challenges and especially for a bank. If you're aware of the impact of the finance sector on the climate crisis, a percentage, what you mentioned that a percentage of the employees just not quit, but they start to have a different view of it, some of them quit. And some of them decide to do something else. Launch their own activity or completely pivot. And I think that's something that's it's an interesting trend. It might be going under the radar, but it would be normal. People are clever. If you train them, if you give them the information, and The Fresk are really efficient for that very first layer. If you give them the information, it's only logical that a certain percentage, which can be quite noticeable, after a while, will actually question what they're doing in the structure that they employed. So it's moving, it's from all view and the feedback we have is that it's moving even in large groups being bank or manufacturing or large industries, but it's moving way too slowly. In regards to the urgency of the situation.

Barry O'Kane  11:17

Yes, that makes complete sense. Just for listeners, Climate Fresk, that are the mentioned, we'll link to that in the show notes, for those that haven't heard of it. It's a really interesting, as you say, that sort of quite powerful introductory educational piece about climate and whole conversation around that. So include some notes in the show notes for people interested in finding more about that. That's a really powerful story of that level of education sort of driving change, as you say, it's maybe not happening with the urgency we want. But there is positive science, as you said, people are smart when they get information, we can potentially get involved in change. I don't have much sympathy with a big corporates who are then forced to maybe change at a faster rate than then they want to. But that's not an easy process. I acknowledge that. But just to then sort of segue a little bit in the conversation to the work that you do at Circulab. So we're talking there about the training and educational piece. Tell us a little bit about what that means in Circulab and how that fits into your broader mission with the Circular Economy.

Fabrice Sorin  12:14

Yeah, so maybe it's important that I explain a little bit the position of Circulab when it comes to a Circular Economy. So for the listeners that are familiar with the concept, Circular Economy means a lot of different things. Okay? There's lots of definitions of a Circular Economy, there's actually more than 100 definitions of the Circular Economy. But we can summarize it in two branches, you have resource circularity, which is closing production and consumption loops. And then you have a Circular Economy that operates within planetary boundaries. So the two are not exclusive of one another, the dominant version that is being scaled globally and led by Europe, and by large coperations is the resource circularity angle. Okay. So you can have resolved circularity in a linear economy, a Circular Economy as a set of social norms, because that's what it is. An economy is not based on our science, it's a social science is the the norms that you create that are accepted by a high percentage of the population in a given territory, that's an economy. So Circular Economy that operate within planetary boundaries has an objective a goal of restoration and regeneration. And it has been providing societies with fair, inclusive equitable access to resources and thriving societies. We did that definition. Therefore, our definition of a Circular Economy conditions what it is we're doing. So our view is that a Circular Economy has to be based on systems thinking. It has to be an economy that is sober in resource use is efficient in resource use. And importantly, it has the aim of regenerating natural and human ecosystems to that order that really frame A the type of mission we accept with clients, our position, we come upstream, so we really come into the design phase, the designing goal is where everything is related to the design. And design is not what it looks like I'm quoting. It's not me. It's how it works. That's why we said Circulab is a design agency. We don't design products and services, we design business systems. So therefore we train consultants, we train companies, we train public actors to design business ecosystems that works according to the principle of a Circular Economy. That's one thing go back to your question in regards to trainings. We have a position where we don't we come much later than the Fresk. We basically provide methodology and tools to act. So we're not there to substitute ourselves to the academic sector, the universities and by the way, we work more and more with business schools and universities across Europe and the world. But we're not there to substitute to the vulgarization the acculturation, the knowledge, the theoretical knowledge of the Circular Economy if you want, we're really there to provide a methodology and design tools to act and to design, create a circular and regenerative business model and business ecosystems. So that's really the position of Circulab. And in terms of who we train, our audience are predominantly people that already are either consultants or are consulting agencies or design agencies. And that want to have a methodology tool, a set of tools to what they ought to do. The set of tools and methods they already use, so that they can redesign value chain stakeholder ecosystem business models, to go towards circular regenerative models. So that's really the position we have on the upskilling and training of actors.

Barry O'Kane  16:02

That is the reason why we invited you here to talk to us. I think you've articulated at the start of what you said there really, really clearly about differentiating the sort of pure resource circularity as you said, resource circularity can happen in within a linear system. But then this broader is much more systemic, much deeper change. That's pretty powerful. Thanks for articulating that so well.

Emily Swaddle  16:23

Can I ask before we move on, just to really hone in on this point, resource circularity can exist in a linear economy. So why is it not enough to just focus time and energy on that resource circularity.

Fabrice Sorin  16:40

Because of the laws of physics, laws of physics are what they are, as much as I'd like to, I can't change them. I actually had a talk to some executive MBA class business school last week, and when I said that there was a bit of a blank in the room. And then those people were very clever and much more qualified than me. But it's always strike me as our tendency to live in a fairy tale. And that's what we have to be very, very careful when we propose the Circular Economy as a superior model. Okay, I'm quoting Donella Meadows here: "if you want to change your system, you have to propose a system that is better for most of the stakeholder." But we have to be very careful with the Circular Economy. Because A, there's no empirical fact that we can decouple sustainably resource extractions and impact the production processes, and therefore the growth of economic activities, right. That's just let's put it out there. There's no facts for sustainable development, I'm ready to hit my heart. If someone can produce a peer reviewed academic paper that prove that you can have long term stable decoupling, ie net decoupling, it's not there. So once you know that, you have to be very careful not to propose the Circular Economy that put aside the laws of physics, it's what the linear economy did. Basically, the Chicago School of Economics, that is, you can say if you summarize it, that that's the basics of all economic models. Even the Chinese economic strategy is more or less based on that version of liberalism, if you want. The laws of physics don't exist, there's no impact. There's no limits, there's no resources. And then the postulate is that technology will always find a way to extract and use more efficiently resources, as we know, for a fact is not the case. The world is financed, and it's complex. It's interconnected. There are rebound effects everywhere. There's tipping points everywhere. So it's much more complicated than that. So that's why we saw circularity. And there's also an explanation why resource circularity has become so popular without cooperation, because there's also the promise. If you take the view of the performance economy, to say that we don't transfer ownership of goods and services, we as the producer of goods and services remain the owner, that there's an economic and financial incentive that is powerful to say, well, actually, we can be more profitable because we reduce the costs of production, as we basically recoup the products already in circulation, if we design them to have longer lifecycle and to have to be easily repaired. It's basically more profitable for us. So I'm not saying it's a bad thing. It's a good thing. The big question is always what's the purpose? What's the goal of it? If you do resource circularity, with the core goal of making more money, I mean, you have to be profitable to an extent, then you're not solving the problem at all. Case in point, you look at the circularity gap report done by the good people at Circular Economy and I think that year's version is really really powerful. Why? Because they go hard in it and I was actually quite surprised to have Deloitte put their name to it. And basically what Circularity Gap Report is saying with a Deloitte branding is that you have to de grow some economies, ie Europe and the US have to the degrow, other economies have to grow up to a point. So we are there in this discussion on the Circular Economy, you are there that that threshold of the past 18 months been very interesting in the academic literature, there is a substantial rebalancing of the research towards the discourse of sufficiency, Circular Economy, ie how much is enough? Right? So we are getting into this, this is very strong incentives for cooperation, to use the circular, the material circularity as a magic wand, if you want, to continue produce and sell more, because that's the economic logic, it is still dominant logic.

Emily Swaddle  20:44

I think that's an interesting point that you make about admitting we have to, we have to degrow. You said that there's no empirical evidence to show that we can sustainably move to a system of circularity that will continue economic growth. Maybe the outcome doesn't need to be economic growth. So I think that that's part of that systemic thinking, as you say, to maybe even be think the outcome. Let's focus on the other side of the coin for a second, regenerative businesses. Could you in the same way that you've set out for us what the Circular Economy looks like? Could you explain to us what regenerative business means?

Fabrice Sorin  21:27

Originally to business and the most interesting and exciting research field currently is regenerative economics. So you can attempt to say now that our E so regenerative economics is the new CE Circular Economy. But the two, depending on the definition, you take for Circular Economy, the two, you can interchange them, if you want, ie for us, we take the view, and we're not the only one, that Circular Economy has to be regenerated by intent. So it's always the purpose of it. What was the purpose of the economy? If you look at the Doughnut economics model, that's pretty much a macro economic assessment tool for Regenerative economics. I.e. the Doughnut for those of you that don't know, it's based on the notion of the planetary boundaries. So you have an area or mental ceiling, which you should definitely not overshoot with your different boundaries, and then you have a social and cultural flow. And that flow is access to education, gender equality, etc, etc. So regenerative economics is finding that sweet spot that window of vitality as Sadiq Khan has said, where you should have a production and consumption model, i.e. an economy. But that production and consumption model should really be adjusted to what is necessary for people to live in a thriving society that operates within the planetary boundaries. So regenerative businesses, are and will be businesses that basically calibrate and adjust the activities depending on what is needed in different sectors: transport, agriculture, education, to really remain in that sweet spot. That's how you would, how you can define regenerative economics. I should add that we are 417 parts per million right now, we shouldn't be at 350. So going forward, my children and my children's children, all their business activities will be regenerative. Because they will have to find ways to pump out substantial amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. And repair basically what we've been doing for the past 80 years, I actually make the case that all business will have to be regenerative going forward. And we're just in this transition period.

Emily Swaddle  23:53

So it's a logical step from what we've been saying. But when you say all business will have to be regenerative going forward. It's a huge leap to get there.

Fabrice Sorin  24:04

It's a huge thing. But okay, one in one equals two. So the beautiful technological world that we have been promised to have, that we are all going to be in the metaverse and surveillance capitalism will be the way forward. This will not happen. Well surveillance capitalism is happening. But there is a resource issue, that there's a very good report from Capgemini Invent, it's a French reports, and they basically look at the French low carbon strategy. So according to the EU Green Deal and the fit for 55 package, which is basically the goal of all European Union countries, contributing to the decrease of 55% of GHG emissions, or national government has to provide a roadmap. Which is the low carbon economic development roadmap. The French government did. Very interesting one map obviously, it's just a road map. But Capgemini decided to say, okay, let's have a look at it, is it actually doable in the key sector, so transports, agro, etc, etc. And they look at it from a resource standpoint. So if you want to decarbonize, for example, the energy sector, you have different technological pathways, but you need resources. If you want to do windmills you need access to X amount of rare earth materials, if you want to do solar, you need X amount of this and that materials. They look at the location of the stocks, they look at the known volume of stocks, and what would be needed to actually deploy this low carbon economy. And what they found is that you actually can't do it, you cannot do it, if you have an economy that grows. So it's a powerful statement from Capgemini to make, for those of you that read French, I highly encourage you to read these people, because they actually came up with a new metric, which is the critical availability of resources. And depending on that metric, you can or cannot act, a low carbon transformation in one specific sector. So just to illustrate the point, this brand new technological world will not happen. So we're going to have to question what's really important, and what's the purpose of an economy? It's a hard questioning, again, I go back to the point, it's much much easier to believe that deploying closed loop production will solve the problem. It will not. I mean, the Circularity Gap Report I go back to it this year is 7.2%. That's the level of circularity in the world. Two years ago, it was 8.6. And why? Because we have a growing economy. So if you have an economy, global economy, that grows at 3% compound growth rate per year, you have an economy that double every generation. You cannot sustain that with the tangible resources available on this planet it is just a fact. Sand, which is used for concrete has what? 20 years of stock? So what do you do when you have no sand left? If you don't, you don't build. As simple as that. So that's where we are, those are data that quantify. Now, the science of matter, your flow analysis is now really granular. So it's very interesting and metabolic are really good at doing that. And Circular Economy in a Circularity Gap Report, if you look at the equation, you can argue that, you know, it's not exhaustive enough, okay, fair enough, but it's getting really granular. So you know, the stock stuff flowing in the input and output in a given area, and the stocks are finite. So that technological world is not, will not happen, simply because there's not enough resources for it to happen.

Barry O'Kane  27:47

Which ties back to what you were saying about the laws of physics. That's just the reality of it. As you mentioned a number of things there. And for those listening, we will link to those those interested in policy can go and check out some of the European stuff. And that French report, which sounds really interesting, but also everybody go and check out their very recent Circularity Gap Report. If you haven't already, we'll make sure to link to that. Let's though come back to the work that you're doing in Circulab, and try and make that conversation we just had, trying to make that I liked what you said about the mission in Circulab provide that being action, given that definition of the Circular Economy and that reality that you've just set out. So you talked then about the type of training and providing that training to who you provide it to. And you talk a little bit a bit more about what that is. And I guess the change that you're seeing or the changes that you're hoping to see with that service that you're offering. And then in addition, we can talk a little bit about the design and so on the consultancy as well.

Fabrice Sorin  28:38

So in terms of training, we have, I'd say two type of training, the training that we provide as ready-made courses, which are available on the brand Circulab Academy. And here we train, we have four trainings right now. We have one on circular business models, one on circular design, and then we have another one on biomimicry, we have another one on circular packaging. So different blocks. But for us, what we're known for mostly is all tools, because in order for us to be coherent, we provide our tools as free access and the Creative Commons license. So everybody can download them and use them if they respect the conditions of the license. And for us. Again, as I mentioned, the beginning training is, is about providing a tools that are available, ready to use and the knowledge of how to deploy the tools. All the tools that we have our qualitative tools, there's a heavy bias towards measuring quantitative tools. There's a lot of lifecycle assessment being done. That's really good. There's lots of eco design being done that is really good. But if you are training, eco designing a cup of coffee, if you don't think the system rounded equal designing means nothing, it has no purpose. And you will be surprised or dominant is that logic of still being focused on the product or the service and not looking at the wider ecosystem business ecosystem around it. So for us the mission is really to disseminate that notion of system thinking applied to innovation and transformations of business models and value chain. So that's what we try to do in our trainings. On the Circular Economy trainings, trainings are done, you have some programs in asynchronous. So you can do it on your own, you also have programs that are blended, so you have asynchronous content, and then you have some live Q&A sessions with a trainer, and most of our trainings will, actually all our trainings, how we validate the theory is through applicative exercise of our tool. So we can, for example, in our flagship course, which is called Master Circular Design, it's a 40 hour course of eight weeks, we put the participant in small court, therefore, we try to replicate a project team if you want. And then we'll give them a challenge at the beginning. So currently, the cohort that is doing this course, their challenges, what are the impacts environmental, social, economic origins in the UK. And they take that and the idea is that they A investigate and map the system of this problematic, what is the system? Who are the actors, what are the negative and positive feedback loops in the system, what are the integrators, the big, the dominant actor, the systems, and they go down to the value chain, then the partner, the stakeholder ecosystem, and finally to the business model, the idea for us and what we try to put in all our trainings, either the turnings down, ready made are the one that we tailor for specific economic actors, public or private, is to really infuse that notion of complexity, you have to accept the complexity, if you want to have the right answer to it. Move away from the silo and look at the big picture, look at the, through a system's perspective, look at all the actors and how they can interact with one another. So that's really the flavor, we tried to input into all of our trainings. And of course, you have to adapt that to the audience. We work for example, with large telco operator, we work with large luxury brands, upscale agrobusiness. And it's always interesting when you start those trainings, and you introduce system thinking, the complexity of thinking system, people get lost, but very quickly, they understand that to have the right answer, they have to look at the bigger picture. And not only their product, not only their industry, and not only their supplier. So that's really what we try to do. And on that notion of value chain, for example, is very interesting, because when you were looking at value chain analysis, that was, you know, a bit of a niche discussion and a few years back, very interestingly, the new corporate sustainability reporting directive that is done at the EU, that will now force companies to look not only at the scope one, so they all know provision emission scope two also scope three. So scope three, if you're Zara, it means your vendor factories in the middle of China, what's the governance what's the GHG emissions. And that approach is a value chain approach. Value chain is inspired by system thinking. It's based on thinking the system around not only the operation of the organization. So that's the flavor we really tried to input into our training, thinking system, accept complexity, and then only can you provide the right answers.

Emily Swaddle  33:23

That's quite thorough. It sounds like there's all sort of all levels.

Fabrice Sorin  33:27

We've been doing this for 10 years. 

Emily Swaddle  33:32

Do you have an idea of what the motivations are? For the people who come through trainings like yours? I want to get a picture of who these participants are, what levels of the company do they normally sit at? And how are they implementing what they're finding.

Fabrice Sorin  33:49

So, you have different we can put into two categories, you have the audience that comes to get trained by Circulab and register to all ready made courses. So here the profile are what I would call hacktivist. Basically, you have 70% consultant profile, either already have an activity as an independent and wants to have a methodology to what they use already. So those are people that already operate in the wide field of business strategy, business transformations, sustainability advisory services, design. That's the type of profile and those people are fairly capital senior, when I look at, think of the profile, most of them used to be middle or executive management in various industries, that's the type of profile what I will call consultants, that already are evolving in the field of advising companies on how to transform and to adapt to the challenges of the 21st century, if you want to put it. The rest of the audience are business unit managers you know, innovation manager, Head of Product Development that knows they have to embed the notion of circularity into what they do. And the rest are university teachers business course, that want to have the methodology to the content. So that's what already made content. And if I look at the training that we do, and we adapt to either the tender that come from the EU or from other actors, it really depends. But there's two angles, one demand for those in company, should I say training is upskilling, on the notion of a Circular Economy, and importantly, how it works? How could they apply that to what they do? That's one thing. The other layer, which maybe is the more advanced layer, is really for projects, maybe yet product development team that does model profile, that really want to have a methodology, similar to what they would use, if they would get trained on doing a giant development for tech. Here, they want to methodology and tools to do circular design of circular product development. Because in those companies, there is a notion of what is a Circular Economy, but there is a big gap as to okay, how do we implement it? How do we actually take a product that we have? And how do we rethink it, transform it? Okay. That's where we see the demand there's a blurring as well with eco design. But there is a demand to go further. Because there's also a realization in those product developments units that eco design in itself has its limitation. So they have to go further. So that's the different type of profile we have when it comes to training demand.

Emily Swaddle  36:34

I picture myself in this position, you know, coming into a training, one of the many kinds of training that Circulab offers, and realizing the scale of what I'm undertaking here, the scale of what has to be done, maybe not everything has to be done by me, but just the scale of where we need to go and how much there is to do. How maybe do you personally deal with that sense of this is a really big job, and we have loads, that needs to change.

Fabrice Sorin  37:08

I guess my answer is fairly simple, we're not in a nice situation, the trajectory we are on is close to four degrees warming. So four degrees is a Mad Max let's put it simply, but every tenth of a degree that you avoid, is a good thing. So I said like that there's we know we're not going to reach 1.5, we know we're not going to overshoot two degrees, very, very likely. So if you read the IPCC report, you have a fairly good idea of what's going to happen. And that doesn't look really nice. If you stick to that, then you're going to have to go and see a psychologist on a daily basis, almost. So you have to be aware of it, don't despair, and try to act. And that's what we do here. We try to provide tools and skills and to upskill and to infuse knowledge so that people then can act. And that's why we are making the tool available for free. Because we take the view that if we have more people aware of the challenges A, and B, the more people that have tools to actually act at the level being, you know, top ranking management or being startuppers or entrepreneurs, the better and the more it will go into reducing potentially the impact that we have. And I go back to the restoration and the regeneration, all the activities would have transformed towards that. So I take comfort in thinking that at all small scale, we are contributing to that. And yeah, try not to despair, because what's the point?

Barry O'Kane  37:10

Thank you, we're kind of running out of time. So I actually that's not a bad note to finish on, I think. But we've and I know we've barely scratched the surface of all the work that Circulab does. Just two final questions to finish up. One is, what is your next what do you see as the next sort of step for you in Circulab? Is there a big exciting vision given the action focused mission that you described? And then as part of that, for people who want to find out more, get in touch with you or Circulab where do they go?

Fabrice Sorin  39:14

So far as the next step is really creating partnerships that makes sense with the education sector. And we work more and more towards that. And also with large actors, we started to work with UNESCO because you can have a very large global impact when you have the right relationship with those actors. So that's the next step for us developing those relationships that can you know, multiply the impact globally. That's one and four and also I should add, keep developing tools that can equip the the changemakers we have a tool that is called the regenerative index. If you google it, it pops up first. So that's the tool we are developing. It's a tool for example that give a business a score on how regenerative is their business model right now. So we'll be developing more and more of those tools, and then trying to find the right partners to disseminate that. So that's the next step for us. For the audience that are interested in checking out Circulab, you can follow up on all of these trainings, access to our tools, you can go to Circulab dot Academy. And here you have extensive explanation of each training. And you have access to the tools, resources, publications. And for those of you that are interested in the design and consulting services, you can go to circulab dot com, which is the corporate website and is more dedicated to all the design and consulting activities.

Barry O'Kane  40:35

Wonderful, thank you so much. And for those listening that Circulab, C I R C U L A B dot academy or dot com. Thank you so much, really appreciate that. I think that you shared so much there that is really important. And really the fundamentals of what we're looking to explore this season, I kind of see the work that you're doing as that kind of multiplier effect that you and Circulab. With that the trainings and all that and it's such an important, I think such an important part. And just a final thought to leave the listeners with is coming from a software engineering or technology focused background, the points that Fabrice was making there about the sort of tech optimists kind of technology will solve everything. I think it's so important that we as a sector, think about and apply that systems level at an aware of the complexity and the environment in which our technology operates is so important, if we're going to actually be part of this positive transition that Fabrice is describing. Thank you so much. Really appreciate your time today.

Emily Swaddle  41:27

Thank you Fabrice 

Fabrice Sorin  41:28

Thank you.

Emily Swaddle  41:29

Thank you for listening to this episode of HappyPorch Radio. You can find past episodes, transcripts and show notes at You can also get in touch with us there and let us know what you think. Or if you have any ideas or comments, please rate the podcast, share and subscribe so that more people can find the show.

Barry O'Kane  41:54

Thanks for listening. My name is Barry O'Kane. I founded HappyPorch who fund and support this podcast. At HappyPorch we do technology and software development for purpose led businesses and we're particularly excited about the role of digital as an enabler for the Circular Economy. If you're working on solutions to the big problems we face today problems like climate change, biodiversity loss and global inequality, then let's connect. Visit and get in touch.

Emily Swaddle  42:16

And I'm Emily Swaddle, podcaster coach, facilitator and storyteller. You can find me on my other podcast, the carbon removal show, and you can find out more about that project and everything else I do at where you can also subscribe to my newsletter all about rest. If you're interested in anything I do, feel free to connect. You can email me on [email protected]