During the past months, the partners of the CI-YOU project have been working on the implementation of the project’s first Intellectual Output, which is related to a state-of-the-art analysis for the conceptualization of the Circular Economy Business Model.
In the first part of the research, partners defined Greek’s current state, which was beneficial for comprehending Greece’s current educational system. In particular, Greek students must attend an 11-year academic cycle comprised of kindergarten, primary school, and lower secondary school. Those willing to continue their education can choose a 3-year upper secondary school or 3-year vocational school cycle.
Regarding the legal framework, Greece’s Circular Economic National Strategy in 2018 focused on the legal, economic, and governance part and its implementation policy. The latter is divided into sustainability, circular entrepreneurship, and citizens’ circular living.
Greece has started making the initial steps in including Circular Economy in the educational curricula. In particular, the nine educational offers of secondary education primarily familiarize students with climate change and business models. The eight programs in Vocational Centers focus on entrepreneurship and sustainability topics, and the thirteen offers at higher education institutes concentrate on business administration, innovation, and sustainability.
Even if Greece hasn’t implemented many Circular Economic Business educational programs, good practices are worth mentioning. Circular Economic e-learning programs, internship offers in organizations implementing circular economy, and a master’s degree in applying entrepreneurial circular economy skills should be considered an essential advantage.
During the research, young people living in Greece have conveyed insightful views. At first, they consider they have a moderate knowledge of the Circular Economy topic. Young people firmly support the essence of using alternative sustainable materials, extending the product life, recycling waste into secondary raw materials, and designing green products. Furthermore, they regard sustainability and customer relationship as the most preferred topics for circular economy training. Youth also prefers presentations with expert inputs and short video tutorials, guides, tools and templates, peer learning, and mentoring sessions concerning the most appropriate learning method.
Professionals having expertise in green entrepreneurship have shared valuable insights. To be more specific, the experts contemplate the essence of developing leadership skills for young entrepreneurs. Blended learning, sharing circular economy businesses, mentoring, and learning by doing are considered the most critical parts of the training process. The majority have agreed that most Greek citizens and local authorities have started raising awareness on the circular economy.
In a nutshell, Greece has set the basis to create and develop circular economy businesses led by skillful young entrepreneurs. More and more young people and experts are willing to collaborate actively and contribute to the global goal of ensuring the environment’s protection.
Christina Triantafyllou, AKMI
Evangelia Karathanasi, iED