FAQ

Welcome to Circle Lab! We are a diverse group of citizens, industry, academic, and governmental professionals from all over the world, united in our desire to use the circular economy as a framework to tackle both global and local challenges. 
Here’s how we work and how you too can be part of our community: 

What is Circle Lab?

Circle Lab is an online platform for cities, businesses, and citizens to explore, ideate, and implement circular business models and strategies to tackle universal and local challenges. Learn more about Circle Lab here >

Circle Lab has been made possible in part by a grant from the eBay Foundation Corporate Advised Fund, a corporate advised fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

What are challenges on Circle Lab?

A challenge on Circle Lab is an online space for people around the world to brainstorm and refine circular ideas and solutions that address a universal question or problem. A challenge runs for a specific period of time and is open for new ideas, comments, and feedback throughout the entire period. Challenge issuers are committed to supporting the implementation of the solutions that emerge from the challenge once it closes. 

Who can participate in a challenge?

Anyone, anywhere in the world can participate in all of the challenges hosted on the platform, regardless of field or level of expertise! We value diversity and welcome insights from all walks of life.

How can I contribute to a challenge?

There are three significant ways you can contribute to a challenge: 

  • Submit new ideas: Look for the “Add an idea” button under the header (in mobile) or on the right side of your screen (on desktop) and submit your idea there. You should think of ideas as post-it notes during a brainstorming session- they can be as wild as your imagination and as short and concise as you want them to be! We recommend you bookmark your ideas so you can easily find them again when you return to the platform. 
  • Providing feedback on ideas in the form of suggestions or potential pitfalls:  After clicking on an idea, you will find two text boxes in the “Comments” section that you can use to leave constructive suggestions to and/or point out the potential pitfalls of an idea. We encourage you to use the guiding questions above each of the text boxes to frame your feedback and build on others’ ideas.
  • Incorporating feedback into your own ideas: As the Circle Lab community continues to provide feedback and suggestions to the idea you posted, we encourage you to edit and update your idea’s description along the way in order to reflect the conversations around it and any additional input you or someone else would like to add.

What about solutions? 

Solutions are individual ideas or groups of ideas that, together, best address the challenge question and are supported by evidence, a rationale, or provide enough details to be considered for implementation by the challenge issuer.

Only moderators of the challenge can promote ideas to solutions.

Everyone involved in the original idea or ideas that a solution is based on (i.e. anyone who created or commented on the initial idea or ideas) will be notified that the idea the worked on has been used in a solution and will be invited to continue building on the solution alongside the rest of the community. If the solution is selected by the challenge issuer for implementation, everyone involved will receive recognition for their contributions. Additionally, all contributors could have an opportunity to help during the implementation process depending on the needs of the challenge issuer.

What happens to ideas and solutions once the challenge ends?

We are building the platform with an open-source ethos in mind, so all ideas on the platform will be available for everyone to discuss, refine, and use, in an open and public environment. 

All challenge issuers on the platform are committed to facilitating or taking on the incubation process locally, but the Circle Lab community will always be involved in that next step: 

  • either directly by being:
    • Selected by the challenge issuer to carry solutions forward, in which case the challenge issuer will provide you with incubation support
    • Hired to conduct consulting services if a solution needs further refinement before incubation, something anyone on the platform, regardless of their location, can qualify for! 
  • or indirectly by getting:
    • An inside look into the incubation process and potentially having a say in some of the decisions being made throughout
    • Early access to the solution’s end-platforms, products or events, if applicable
    • Recognition for your contribution to the solution in dedicated PR and media channels

This will all depend on the solution and the kind of skills, expertise, and capital it will require but our local incubation partners will always devise a tailored incubation plan that involves both the Circle Lab and local communities.

Who can host a challenge?

Individuals, organisations, and cities all can host a challenge on the platform provided they are committed to supporting the implementation of solutions. Get in touch with hello@circle-lab.com if you’re interested in using the platform to host your own challenge!