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Circular Business Models for Sustainable Urban Food Systems

Explore how circular economy can foster sustainable urban food systems


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

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.  

You’ll explore how we can foster the development of healthy and inclusive food systems policies in city-regions, where systems thinking, institutional innovation, and participatory planning are at the core.

The course focuses on:

  • Circular Economy principles, concepts, and measurements as applied in Food Systems and within the context of the SDGs.
  • Challenges and opportunities for circular food systems.
  • Urban Food Policies and the role of cities towards circularity. Business Model Innovation as a mechanism to foster circularity
  • Systems Thinking as a guide for the assessment of strengths and challenges of circularity processes.
  • Public Engagement and Communication Strategies for raising awareness and knowledge on circularity.

Who should join the course

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.


The course will be available all year round from 2022 onwards.

Learning objectives and outcomes

Once completed, participants will 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

How to join the course


Project lead

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Paola De Bernardi

University of Turin

Bodo Steiner Pic
Bodo Steiner

Professor of food economics & business management, University of Helsinki, Finland

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