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Ellen McArthur's Foundation Seeks More Circular Economy Pioneers

1st February 2020
British yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur British yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur

British yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur’s foundation is seeking more “circular economy pioneers” through its latest programme.

Postgraduates and professionals with suitable qualifications who are able to attend a four-day workshop in Atlanta, USA, in May are invited to apply for the second such programme run by the foundation.

Ms MacArthur, who became the fastest solo sailor to circumnavigate the globe in 2005, set up her foundation five years later to pioneer a transition from a linear to a circular economy.

“Spending 71 days alone at sea with nothing more than the bare essentials made me understand something for the first time: the meaning of the word finite,” she has said.

“My boat was my entire world and what was in it were the only things I had for my survival. I had to manage what I had down to the very last item. Stepping off the boat at the finish line, it hit me that all of us are living in a world dependent on finite resources,” Ms MacArthur has explained.

Her concept was discussed on the “sidelines” of the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2012 but has now “taken hold” eight years later at this year’s recent event.

Multinationals such as Unilever and Adidas are “embracing” the idea, her foundation says.

Her foundation’s work involves promoting an economic system to extend product lifespans and find repeated uses for components to eliminate waste.

The “linear” model of extraction, production and disposal will gradually be replaced by a circular model which reduces the strain on the planet’s limited resources.

More details on the foundation’s programmes are here


Published in News Update
Lorna Siggins

About The Author

Lorna Siggins

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Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004) on Irish helicopter search and rescue; and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010).

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