Circular economy advocate Dr. Nancy Bocken lives by the words ‘Sustainable business is good business’. As Associate Professor at the Industrial Design Engineering department at TU Delft, much of her work is dedicated to investigating and proving this very idea. Specializing in the field of sustainable business models, eco-innovation and how design can facilitate systemic industry change, her research was recently awarded the 2015 TU Delft Technology Fellowship.
Bocken’s career in sustainable business research began at the School of Business and Economics in Maastricht, where she obtained a Master of Science in 2005. Another master’s in economics and management at the Sorbonne in Paris, was added to her resumé the following year. She then set her sights on an Engineering PhD from the University of Cambridge, which she completed in 2011. Today Bocken holds positions as a Senior Research Associate at the University of Cambridge and Fellow at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL).
Interspersed through these years in academia are consulting placements at ING, DHL and Accenture. To this day Bocken regularly advises a range of academic institutes, NGO’s, policy makers and industry initiatives on the how to embed eco-innovative strategies into the corporate practice.
One of her latest publications is the book Circular Business – Collaborate and Circulate (2016), which she co-authored with the aim of providing a practical guide on how to initiate and execute a successful circular business. ‘While the interest in ‘circularity’ has increased, many companies are still struggling with how to come to grips with this concept and putting this into practice,’ says Bocken. ‘We aim to close this gap.’