White paper “Learning from CIRCO”

CIRCO is a program of TKI CLICKNL and aims to contribute to the transition to a circular economy. Together with many partners, CIRCO mobilizes large numbers of companies and designers. They are empowered to engage in circular entrepreneurship and collaboration through the application of circular design. The program is part of the National Circular Economy Program (Nationale Programma Circulaire Economie (NPCE)) and is financed, among others, by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.

In the period from 2015 to April 2022, I was program manager NL of CIRCO. After my farewell and a relaxing sabbatical, I decided in December 2022 to analyze the development of 8 years of CIRCO and describe it in a white paper. The reason for this is that several people suspect that a CIRCO-like design approach can also be valuable for accelerating other transitions. That white paper is now available.

3 phases, 10 elements

The essence of the analysis is that the CIRCO design approach can be described using 3 phases and 10 elements. In addition, the document contains various reflections from science (DRIFT, KIA Social Earning Capacity) and an exploration of the reusability of the approach.

The whitepaper is available as a full version (63 pages) and as a summary (8 pages).

Click on the images below to download the desired version.


Full version (pdf, 7MB)

Summary (pdf, 2MB)


I really enjoyed working on it, in great collaboration with many others.

Big thanks to:

  • The 22 ‘CIRCO contributors’ who contributed ideas and provided feedback on previous draft versions
  • Bart Ahsmann from CLICKNL for the foreword, including about the contribution of the creative industry to transitions
  • Derk Loorbach from DRIFT for the reflections on CIRCO
  • Eva Loopik, Arada Vording and Kees Joosten for the reflections from the KIA Social Earning Capacity perspective
  • Inge Oskam from Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and Eefke Schramade from the Province of South Holland for the exploratory dialogue about the reusability of the CIRCO approach
  • Annemarie Wijmenga and Miranda Koffijberg of Communicatiebureau de Lynx for the beautiful design and final editing
  • Aline Gerards who made the first sketches for the visuals for the 10 elements on behalf of Design Innovation Group.


Comments are welcome, via email (info@jeroenhinfelaar.nl), via an interactive presentation, or through a good conversation and a cup of coffee.

I hope you enjoy reading!

Together we learn faster.


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