Fostering the Circular and Digital Synergy: The Role of Systemic Design in Open Innovation Processes


The green and digital transition are central and intertwined themes in our current era of transformations. If on the one side the circular economy strategies offer a paradigm of change to respond to the green transition, on the other side digital tools are meant to match people and resources, thus enabling circular processes that would otherwise be slower to activate. In this scenario, how are European SMEs responding to such a change? How are they supported and able to catch the business opportunities that these transformations entail? Given the complexity of this transition, a systemic approach is needed to catalyze a European transition towards a circular economy. This paper sheds light on how a systemic design approach supports the ecological and digital transition and contributes to configuring an open innovation process with European SMEs, through the discussion of the results of DigiCirc project (call H2020-INNOSUP). In particular, the results contribute to acknowledging the role of systemic design within an open innovation process, being able to i) understand and intercept SMEs needs; ii) participate and nourish a cross-sectoral dialogue with different thematic, industrial and academic stakeholders iii) strengthen a systemic understanding in both manufacturing and services SMEs iv) transfer the knowledge both within and outside the DigiCirc ecosystem.


Eliana Ferrulli
Student, PhD Researcher, Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy

Silvia Barbero
Student, PhD Candidate, Productive Systems and Industrial Design, Politecnico di Torino


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


Design in Society


Systemic Design, Circular Economy, Digital Transition, Open Innovation

Digital Media


Fostering the Circular and Digital Synergy (pdf)