Companies play an important role in the transition towards a circular economy. Embedding circular economy activities and processes is relatively new for most companies and professionals. This transition requires the people working in companies to do things differently. Different from what they were used to and probably different from what they were trained for.
The Sustainability University Foundation started a project to study specific competencies needed to accelerate to a circular economy. The research focuses on effective CE professionals within companies that are leading the way in the circular economy. A set of distinctive circular competencies was found that are also (partly) required in the rest of the organization. The professional of the future combines thinking, acting and connecting. For successful circular change, this professional excels in the combination of the cognitive competencies (1) systems thinking and (2) forward thinking, the functional competency (3) management & entrepreneurship and the social competency (4) interpersonal skills. In addition, a circular economy professional has personal traits such as flexible, investigative, pragmatic, systematic, empathetic, full of initiatives, driven, ambitious and persistent.