Scaling up the circular economy!

The World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF2019) was held in Helsinki 3-4.6.2019. It was the third time this international Forum was organized by SITRA to bring circular economy enthusiastic together to share knowledge, ideas, thoughts and real-life cases on how countries, businesses and other agents have implemented circular economy from a concept to action. WCEF2019 aimed to scale circular economy up! What this means is that it is time to move from talking to action, it is time to move from local to global, it is time to move on from take-make-waste mentality and linear economic model to circular economy.

WCEF2019 had a broad range of international attendance with participants over 90 countries with over 2000 circular economy thinkers and doers. The program was dealing with circular economy issues in cities, governance, international trade, plastics, construction, investments and so forth. The program was really interesting, and it offered a lot of variety. The panel conversations were inspiring, and they offered more detailed insights for instance on plastics and new business opportunities. Carlsberg has an innovation that reduces drastically plastic use, when they use new glue innovation to keep cans together instead of using plastic wraps. The CEO of Carlsberg said that this does not solve all, but this is a good example of business opportunity when thinking and implementing circular economy practices. Another example was by company Tomra which offers bottle and other waste sorting machines and with their machines they sort over 40 billion bottles in a year. They are taking sorting to all over the Europe, some parts of Asia, Australia and USA. A brilliant example of business opportunity on a global scale.

Though, from the point of view of small and medium sized companies, the Forum did not offer as much as we hoped for. We believe that, even though politics and large companies are really important agents in scaling up the circular economy, SME´s in Finland are perhaps the most important change agents. They are the most numerous, they employ the most and they generate the most of new jobs and innovations. The view of entrepreneur was also missing. We believe that entrepreneurs are the real change agents. Besides that, entrepreneurs, especially with growth attitude, have a really important role in societies when implementing circular economy in to their businesses.

What now? Is circular economy still at the level of talk and not action? The answer is both. Certainly, circular economy is going forward in many ways with countries, businesses, third sector organizations, researchers and consumers. The attitudes are changing fast, consumers are demanding businesses to have new solutions and it was great to see that businesses are developing their business with customer-oriented way and they are engaging them into their value chains even more than now.

To conclude, the Forum offered insights on circular economy and the opportunities it offers in many industries. We also got info on circular economy and the effects on regulation, international trade and most importantly we got cases on business opportunities that are already in markets or are in the developing phase. Moreover, circular economy demands new innovations, new ways of thinking, agility to create and exploit the opportunities, that is, scaling up the circular economy!

Ville-Veikko Piispanen

Hanna Lehtimäki

CICAT2025-project is financed by the Strategic Research Council of the Academy of Finland. CICAT2025 aims to facilitate the transition from linear to circular economy. The project supports Finland’s strategic objective to become a global leader in circular economy by 2025. The project will work to identify measures hampering and supporting circular economy and search solutions for companies and regulators to support the transition to a circular economy.

Find more on CICAT2025:

Find more on WCEF2019: Cicat Logo Suomen Akatemia Logo Strateginen tutkimus

Kiertotaloudella kohti kestävämpää talouskasvua – CICAT2025 hanke

Mitä kiertotalous tarkoittaa?

Kiertotalous on taloudellinen malli (reduce-reuse-recycle), jossa tavarat ja palvelut ovat ns. suljetussa kierrossa, toisin kuin nykyinen lineaarinen malli (take-make-dispose), jossa käytämme raaka-aineita, joista valmistetaan tuotteita ja lopulta ne päätyvät kaatopaikalle. Suljettu kierto tarkoittaa tavaroiden ja palveluiden mahdollisimman pitkäikäistä suunnittelua, optimaalista uudelleenkäyttöä, uudelleenvalmistamista ja korjausta. Toimimalla näin on mahdollista luoda arvoa lähes loppumattomia kertoja. Kiertotaloutta on myös jokaisen kotona tekemä materiaalikierrätys. Jokainen voi tehdä pienen teon, jolla on lopulta suuria vaikutuksia.


Suomen Akatemian Strategisen tutkimusneuvoston rahoittamassa CICAT2025 otimme lähtökohdaksi Suomen edelläkävijyyden kiertotalouden innovaatioekosysteemien kehittäjänä. Neljän yliopiston ja kahden ammattikorkeakoulun viisivuotinen tutkimushanke kehittää tapoja, joilla vauhditetaan muutosta innovaatioekosysteemeistä liiketoimintaekosysteemeihin. Keskeistä muutoksessa on uudenlaisten arvonluomisen tapojen ja käytäntöjen tunnistaminen ja kehittäminen. Toteutamme tutkimuksen tiiviissä yhteistyössä sidosryhmien kanssa, jotka sijoittuvat neljään erilaiseen liiketoimintaekosysteemiin. Ekosysteemit ovat 1. olemassa oleva teollinen ekosysteemi, 2. kehittyvä kiertotalouden teknologinen ekosysteemi, 3. alueellinen kiertotalouden klusterimalli, ja 4. ankkuriyrityksen ympärille kehittyvä liiketoiminnan ekosysteemi.

Tieteellinen uutuusarvo syntyy, kun tutkimme kiertotalouden teknologisia, liiketoiminnallisia, lainsäädännöllisiä ja kulttuurisia katalyyttejä, jotka tukevat liiketoiminnan muutosta ja uutta liiketoimintaa. Monitieteinen konsortio yhdistää osaamista teknologiasta, liiketoiminnasta, politiikasta, taiteesta, lingvistiikasta, lainsäädännöstä sekä sidosryhmävuorovaikutuksesta. Hankkeen tuloksina tuotamme uutta tieteellistä tietoa kiertotaloudesta ja käytännön työkaluja yrittäjien, johtajien, päättäjien ja kiertotalouden asiantuntijoiden käyttöön.

UEF kauppatieteiden rooli

Itä-Suomen yliopiston kauppatieteiden laitoksen innovaatiojohtamisen tutkijat keskittyvät kasvuyrittäjyyteen, liiketoimintamalleihin, kaupallistamiseen, strategiseen- ja muutosjohtamiseen sekä johtajuuteen. Tarkoituksemme on ymmärtää kiertotalouden yrittäjyyttä ja johtamisen katalyyttejä, jotka vauhdittavat kiertotalouden liiketoimintaekosysteemejä.

Projektin kotisivuilta löydät tietoa hankkeesta ja tulevista tapahtumista ja

Voit lukea CICAT2025-kuvauksen täältä:

CICAT2025 (Circular Economy Catalysts: From Innovation to Business Ecosystem) rahoittajana Strategisen tutkimuksen neuvosto Suomen Akatemia, 320194, 320209.

Professori Hanna Lehtimäki

Yliopistotutkija Kaisa Henttonen

Tutkijatohtori Ville-Veikko Piispanen

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Drivers of online sales: An integrated study of customer reviews and backward effects

In February 2018, the third movie in an American series Fifty Shades was released. The movie itself earned a significant amount of success in opening weekend revenue – $38,560,195 in USA (Source: At the same time, the book version of the series also enjoyed additional sales from such release. Interestingly enough, not only the book three, the one on which the movie was based, but the first book in the series also gained major benefits. In fact, even though this is not the first time the series released a movie, the Amazon salesrank of the first book Fifty Shades of Grey still dropped to the lowest point 494 within one week of release from the peak 11,715 it reached two months ago (Source: The decreasing salesrank indicates an increase in book sales on the website.

According to brand extension theories, the phenomenon that an introduction of extension affects the consumption of original product is referred to as reciprocal spillover effect or backward effect. The above-mentioned case of Fifty Shades is an evident example; yet, the phenomenon can be observed in various occurrences such as when artists release new album, etc. Interested in the phenomenon, in my thesis I investigated the effect of releasing a new book on the first book sales using data collected from With the use of linear mixed-effects models, I found that the first book sales indeed decreased during the release of a new book. Besides that, the success of a new book determined the volume of extra sales. One surprising finding was that for popular book, the earlier release of new book enjoys more radical backward effect than the subsequence. However, this might not be the case for less popular book, particularly for extremely unpopular ones

Factors affecting product sales have always been an intriguing topic of research and word-of-mouth communication has been considered as one of the most influential drivers of sales. Especially in today’s world, online word-of-mouth possesses even more profound effect owning to its incredible spread and breadth. Searching on Google Scholar using keywords ‘effect of online reviews on sales’, one can easily find more than 700,000 papers, which demonstrates the rigorous attention of academic community to the topic. As a result, I chose to examine the role of online reviews. The result suggested that book rating alone did not have any significant persuasive effect on sales. In contrast, the number of reviews and its interaction with ratings did the job once consumers are informed about the parent product upon exposing to extension information.

Hien Nguyen

Master’s Thesis title: The reciprocal spillover effect in online book sales. Integrated with the effect of online reviews

Supervisor: Dr. Ville-Veikko Piispanen