Between May and June 2023, each organisation from the Buyers’ Group (spread across Berlin, Guimarães, Helsinki, London, Sandyford, Slovenia and Sweden1) held a series of focus groups with 200 participants with intermediaries, local governments’ staff and businesses and SMEs. The participation of these user groups provided feedback on CircularPSP’s approach and helped understand the stakeholders’ needs, enabling the team to identify and prioritise overlaps across them.
Overall, the participants offered insights concerning the solution CircularPSP will be working on in the upcoming years, including:
- The R-strategies2 are well known. However, waste and recycling dominate examples given and strategies such as ‘rethink’ or ‘refuse’ require more uptake.
- Having access to case studies is key for local administrations and businesses to ignite knowledge transfer and replication across Europe.
- Enabling exchange across user groups is a core request, and it is expected to deepen general awareness about Circular Economy (CE) solutions.
- Users expect a high level of integration with other platforms and solutions already available.
The discussions across user groups also pointed to a relatively siloed view of the CE and the perception that its implementation is lagging. For instance, the intermediaries, i.e., the users with a transversal knowledge of the CE, suggested that governments and the private sector must embrace CE principles more actively and make them part of their organisations’ planning. However, intermediaries struggled to position themselves as enablers of these transitions, which is understood as another need for co-creation and exchange among all stakeholders.
In the coming weeks, we will present personas representing the user groups for the CircularPSP solution and dive into their stories. Meanwhile, the CircularPSP consortium continues to develop the Challenge Brief. The complete research on focus groups will be published during winter.