Log in
Log in

Cafe IFAL - Action Learning & the Circular Economy

  • 2 Dec 2020
  • 14:00 - 15:30
  • Zoom
  • 5


Registration is closed

Action learning and the Circular Economy

presented by Genevieve Cother, The Action Learning Institute

Wednesday 2nd December 2020 14:00 - 15:30 GMT

A survey of sustainability leaders in global corporations identifies the need for business education design to address disruptive change, such as the circular economy, digital transformation and big data (Roobeek & De Ritter, 2016). They believe that business schools bear responsibility for educating “the leaders and knowledge workers of tomorrow” to face the real and imminent problems of humanity.

However, the circular economy is still largely a theoretical model that global economies are struggling to implement (Iles, 2018). There are many real and perceived barriers to developing circular economies. We must learn how to do it by attempting to do it, in order to see, recognise and confront the forces that prevent us from achieving change.

As such, it presents an ideal opportunity for action learning. In fact, action learning is promoted by recognised thought leaders in circular economy theory, as a method for developing the circular economy (Ellen Macarthur Foundation, 2019). An Action Learning Set Toolkit, has been created specifically for this purpose.  

In 2019, the Tasmanian government funded an action learning program to support small- to medium-sized businesses to increase their resource efficiency and seek opportunities to develop the circular economy in Tasmania. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of action learning to achieve measurable progress toward sustainability goals. The participant experience supports Ballard’s (2005) assertion that action and reflection develop the required conditions of awareness, agency and association toward developing the circular economy.

However, the program outcomes challenge the perceived role of higher education to deliver solutions and an assumed precedence of ‘programmed learning’ in Revan’s Learning Equation.

Case studies from the Tasmanian Business Resource Efficiency Program will be shared, with a facilitated discussion to address the following questions:

  1. What comes first for you: programmed learning or questioning, and why?

  2. How does higher education connect with the ‘real world’ in your neck of the woods?

  3. What can we each do to connect higher education with real world problems?

This session is presented by Genevieve Cother, Business Development Manager at the Action Learning Institute (ALI). ALI is an edtech startup and one of the most innovative registered training organisations in Australia. Our unique approach to formal qualification comes from over a decade of action research in education and training, and the development of supporting technology, to deliver nationally recognised qualifications entirely through action learning.

Genevieve is an industrial designer and Master of Sustainable Design. The Business Resource Efficiency Program was designed and delivered by Genevieve on behalf of Business Action Learning Tasmania (BALT), in partnership with the Tasmanian government.

More information is available online at and

Café IFAL is a virtual discussion forum where Action Learning practitioners can share their experiences of using Action Learning in real situations. Whether you wish to present a piece of work you’ve delivered – the struggles and successes - or simply contribute to the debate, join us at Café IFAL.

The format of this virtual event includes a brief presentation of a particular piece of Action Learning practice, followed by open discussion where we share related experience and create opportunities to learn with and from each other.

Sessions last 90 minutes and take place on the Zoom platform. 

Numbers are limited to 20 people.  Costs are £10 for members and £20 for non-members.  All fees go towards hosting further events.

Email us at:

Find us at:  


Charity Registration Number: 273243  Company Registration: 1301020 England

Registered Office: 39 Bramber Road, North Finchley, London, England N12 9ND

Privacy Policy

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software