Development of Business Education for Circular Economy in Latvia
International Conference "New Challenges of Economic and Business Development – 2016. Society, Innovations and Collaborative Economy" 2016
Juris Benders, Džineta Dimante, Dzintra Atstāja, Tatjana Tambovceva

To develop a sustainable, low carbon, resource efficient and competitive economy, transition to more circular economy is essential. Circular economy through eco-design, waste prevention and increased reuse and recycling of products, provides that value of products, materials and resources is maintained in the economy for as long as possible. Circular economy and eeco-design are highlighted into EU policy perspective. Europe 2020 strategy emphasises the policy objectives of sustainable development and is focused to resource efficiency and EU competitiveness. In end of 2015, the European Commission adopted a Circular Economy Package that seems to be a crucial turning point for further implementation of eco-design concept into various economy sectors and will contribute to “closing the loop” of product lifecycles through greater recycling and reuse. Scientific literature also urges to adapt circular economy principles and thinking to tackle current environmental problems, like resource depletion, pollution and climate change. Circular economy according to Ellen MacArthur Foundation definition is an industrial system that is restorative or regenerative by intention and design. Circular economy development initiatives create new challenges for business and policymaking and draw up the new perspectives. Implementation of circular economy principles in business and meeting targets of EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy calls for considerable change in business mindset and hence radical changes in business education. The current paper aims to study what competencies students should acquire in business and economics education and formulate guidelines for human resource development through higher education according to circular economy requirements. We use literature studies, semi-structured interviews and analysis of bachelor and master level business and economics study programmes syllabus in three Latvian higher education establishments as main methods for the study. We concluded that study programmes in higher business and economics education should review the key competences regarding to circular economy issues. Proposed measures in circular economy development requires systems thinking, product lifecycle approach development, transdisciplinary knowledge, long-term thinking, having more flexible approaches in order to recognize interdisciplinary dimensions in environmental problem solving. Creativity, consciousness and proactive attitudes are competences, which could strengthen human resource capacity and eco-design competence. Human resource development according circular economy framework should be considered as a principal precondition for sustainable and competitive economy.

circular economy, eco-design, business education, economics education, competencies

Benders, J., Dimante, D., Atstāja, D., Tambovceva, T. Development of Business Education for Circular Economy in Latvia. In: International Conference "New Challenges of Economic and Business Development – 2016. Society, Innovations and Collaborative Economy", Latvia, Rīga, 12-14 May, 2016. Riga: University of Latvia, 2016, pp.21-21. ISBN 978-9934-18-140-5.

Publication language
English (en)
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