English | Spanish | Portuguese

Jul 09 - Sep 10, 2024
Registration Deadline
Course Length
9 weeks
Course Fee
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 By shifting your organization to a Circular Economy, you can ensure growth over time while treating waste as a design flaw. In a Circular Economy, a specification for any design is that the materials reenter the economy at the end of their use, therefore increasing profits while ensuring sustainability, longevity, and societal wellbeing. By doing this, we take the outdated linear system and make it circular with increased resiliency for the environment and business infrastructure. 


This course provides a fundamental yet multidimensional understanding of the meaning and evolution of a circular economy, including the roles of material science, economic and institutional structures, and technology. We will begin with a global perspective of circularity and its measurement and assessment at this scale, carefully comparing and contrasting biotic and abiotic cycles. We will then look at circular economies through a systems approach, examining frameworks and policy at an institutional level and making use of analytical tools that allow us to evaluate circularity. Finally, we will explore innovation and evolution in this area with a focus on circular economies at corporate and social levels, looking at specific examples like water, metals, and waste recycling. 

Circular Economy: Transition for Future Sustainability, with curriculum developed and taught by MIT faculty, is delivered in collaboration with Global Alumni. Contact Global Alumni for more information about this program:

Global Alumni is an ed-tech company that collaborates with institutions to manage enrollments (including all payment services and invoicing), technology, and participant support. 


In the Circular Economy course, you will understand the foundations of circular economy and how you can apply it in your organization. Further, you will: 

  • Define the different ways of reaching a circular economy through technology and material science and how to quantify circularity. 
  • Develop strategies for a more equitable distribution of costs and benefits.
  • Determine institutional and economic structures and policies that enable the possibility of a circular economy policy. 
  • Explore successful and unsuccessful case studies in sustainability and circular economies. 
  • Further apply the importance of recycling plastics and electronics to tackle environmental concerns and e-waste. 
  • Gain an understanding of how material transport plays an influential role in sustainability. 
  • Study the circular economy lifecycle and apply the best energy alternatives for circular economies. 
  • Uncover the importance of co-mingled waste.

A wide range of professionals may benefit from this program, including: 

  • Industry leaders in sustainability, managers and engineers in companies that want to be more sustainable, academics and policy leaders in sustainability 
  • Industry analysts and investors 
  • Climate Consortium  
  • Industries and sectors that are very materials-intensive 
  • Managerial level audience (every industry including finance)  
  • Major companies in English-speaking, Spanish-speaking, and Portuguese-speaking markets 


This course really helped to understand all the emerging frameworks that reframe so much of what I have experienced in land conservation and nature-based solution space. I advocate for incentivized solutions in the public and private sectors, so this course helped me repackage case studies to incorporate fundamental principles, values, and visions for circular economy. I see how it will help with project management and project advising. It also introduced me to entirely new view of the world through industrial ecosystem management. I tend to work with companies and clients to turn land from an undervalued resource into a working capital asset, extending the life and ecosystem functions of the natural landscape. I can now talk about this from a circular economy business model that will add value and continue to differentiate my expertise. The content was incredibly robust and comprehensive. I appreciated continued access to the curated porfolio of resources provided. It was definitely more than I expected.
SHARON RICHARDSON - Circular Economy Activist, Resilient Lands Matter
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