Select Page

Plenaries & panels

Circularity, Systems Thinking and Sustainability

Format: Plenaries & Panels, RSD9, Topic: Economics & Orgs

Opens plenary video

Part 2: Starts @30 minutes

Prasad Modak

Is the concept of Circular Economy (CE) old wine in a new bottle? Is the canvas of CE really understood?

Indeed, circularity provides a great opportunity for meaningful and creative systems thinking. CE stimulates innovation and generates ideas that can be disruptive. But do disruptive ideas support sustainability?

This presentation will make arguments towards the need to consider circularity in the context of sustainability. It will raise questions whether circularity, while desirable, is achievable. While technology, materials and design can change, influencing our lifestyles and vocations can be challenging.

Is circularity – the Future we want? There are perhaps more questions to answer and there are no easy solutions.


Dr Prasad Modak holds B Tech (Civil Eng), M Tech (Environmental Science and Eng) from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay and Doctor of Eng (Environmental Eng) from Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok.

Dr Modak was a Professor at Centre for Environmental Science & Engineering at IIT Bombay (1984-1994) and later as Professor (Adjunct) at the Center for Technology Alternatives in Rural Areas (CTARA) (2009-2017). He is currently the Executive President of Environmental Management Centre LLP and Director of Ekonnect Knowledge Foundation.

Dr Modak has worked with almost all key UN, multi-lateral and bi-lateral developmental institutions in the world. These include the World Bank, IFC, Asian Development Bank, European Investment Bank, UNEP, UNIDO, UNDP etc and intergovernmental organizations such as the Asian Productivity Organization, Tokyo. Apart from Government of India and various State Governments, Dr Modak’s advice is sought by Governments of Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Mauritius, Thailand and Vietnam.

Dr Modak was founder President of Society for Indoor Environment between 2016-2019. He is currently a member of Indian Resources Panel at MoEFCC and Member of Task Force on Sustainable Public Procurement at the Ministry of Finance, Government of India.

Dr Modak has published several books on environmental management. His book on EIA for Developing Countries was published by UN University (1999) and reprinted by Oxford University Press (2005). Later, this book was translated into Chinese and Japanese. His latest book “Environmental Management Towards Sustainability” was released in December 2017 with CRC Press of Taylor and Francis Group.

Dr Modak has been blogging regularly over the past four years and many of his blogs have been published as books.




Citation Data

Author(s): Prasad Modak: Is the concept of Circular Economy (CE) old wine in a new bottle? Is the canvas of CE really understood?
Title: Circularity, Systems Thinking and Sustainability
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Article No.:
Symposium Dates:
First published: 8 October 2020
Last update:
Publisher Identification:
Verified by MonsterInsights