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Futures Studies: The operational tool for a Circular Economy.
The Circular Economy (CE) as a new economic and development paradigm has gained significant traction in recent years. While the CE sets a very defined vision for our sustainable future it still operates in the here and now. As such, existing guidance on and research into the CE lacks a necessary understanding on how to go from ‘here’ to ‘there’. This is the operating field of Future Studies research and methodologies. It is therefore puzzling that the two communities whilst working towards a similar goal, that is a sustainable tomorrow, are not talking to each other. This paper critically reviews existing literature in both fields to highlight the lack of collaboration between these disciplines. It further provides a detailed understanding of where the synergy sits and how this untapped potential could be accessed. As such, this paper represents a first stepping stone to embed realistic considerations of futures into the circular economy debate. What if the future is different to what CE experts anticipate? The Circular Economy community alone cannot answer this question, and this is where Futures Studies can help.