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Circular Business Models for Sustainable Urban Food Systems

Discover how circular business models transform urban food systems to tackle grand challenges through innovative solutions.


Explore how circular economy can foster sustainable urban food systems

In a scenario where the world’s population will reach 9 billion people in 2050, with almost 70% of them concentrated in urban areas and requiring three times more resources than we currently use, the traditional ‘linear economy’ is no longer suitable.

On this course, you’ll discover how to design and build circular food systems for resilient, smart and sustainable cities.

You’ll explore the catalytic role of cities to foster healthy and inclusive food policies, adopting systems thinking, institutional innovation, and participatory approaches in order to fulfill the 2030 SDGs.

This course is primarily designed for policymakers, public institutions, intermediaries, and educators. It would also appeal to anyone with an interest in issues of sustainability and urban food systems.

A Spanish version of the course can be found here.

Please note this course runs without facilitation. The Educators won’t be able to join the discussions themselves or respond to individual comments, but the course encourages a strong learning community. The learning is focused around debate and discussion – supporting other learners, sharing your own experience and knowledge, and listening to new perspectives. We hope that you will enjoy interacting with and learning from each other in this way.


By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to:

  • Explore the Circular Economy principles, concepts and measurements in the context of SDGs

  • Identify and assess challenges and opportunities when designing Circular Food Systems

  • Assess how Urban Food Policies can support urban-rural linkages and guide the transition to Sustainable Urban Food Systems

  • Develop and assess Circular Business Models and their role in creating product-service combinations to achieve Food Circularity

  • Develop skills and practical tools to disseminate awareness and educate third parties on Urban Food Circularity to foster Sustainable Food Systems

Duration & Dates


Audience & Eligibility

Policymakers, public institutions, intermediaries, and educators. Anyone with an interest in issues of sustainability and urban food systems






English, spanish

Registration Open & Seats




Keep me informed

Structure & Modules

Week 1: Thinking and Acting Circular in the context of SDGs: why and for whom?

  • Thinking Circular in the context of SDGs: Definitions, Origins and Concepts
  • Implementing inter-connected Circular Economy thinking at micro, meso and macro level
  • Circular Economy Roadblocks and Enablers

Week 2: Designing Circular Food Systems: Challenges and Opportunities

  • Circular Food Systems: Tools and Measurement
  • Urban and Local Food Policies
  • Drivers and Barriers for Food Systems Circularity

Week 3: Unlocking Value Creation through Circular Business Models

  • From Business Model Innovation to Circular Business Models
  • Best Practices of Circular Business Models in Urban Food Systems
  • Circular Business Model Design approaches

Week 4: Engaging Food System Stakeholders Effectively

  • Unlocking the potential of CE through Systems Thinking
  • Educating on Circularity
  • Communicating Circularity: Sustainability Reporting & Public Engagement


Giacomo Ferretti

This course was an incredible, in depth journey into the fascinating, yet challenging world of sustainable food systems through the lens of Circular Economy, in the context of SDGs and 2030 agenda.

Programme lead

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Paola De Bernardi

University of Turin