The Blue Connection
Experience a Circular Future

Experience the transition from a linear to a circular value chain by implementing a successful circular strategy.

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Discover The Blue Connection

From Linear to Circular

It’s increasingly clear that modern businesses need to transform how they operate.
The circular economy provides new business opportunities,
but what does this mean and which challenges will you encounter?

The world is inhabited by more people, of which a higher share lives in cities and is getting older.

Wealth has increased globally, creating a larger middle class, which uses far more raw materials.

The result is increasing CO2 footprints and waste production. As a result, global consumption currently goes beyond the earth’s regenerative capacity.

The Blue Connection is an innovative web-based business simulation game. It engages participants in the transformation from a linear to a circular value chain by implementing a circular strategy for a virtual e-bike manufacturer. In teams of 4, participants will represent the functional roles of VP Finance, VP Purchasing, VP Supply Chain, and VP Sales. Experience the circular way of doing business for a sustainable future!

Key learning objectives

The circular economy provides
new business opportunities

The upside is clear to many… Increase in economic growth* with 1% to 4% through circular strategies which entail maintenance & repair, reuse, remanufacturing, refurbishment and recycling.

These strategies enable companies to:

  • Enter new markets (C2C and C2B)
  • Gain market share
  • Offer new / differentiating (service) propositions
  • Create competitive advantage
  • Utilize latest techologys
  • Apply solutions to sustain our planet & their business

…but what does this mean in practice and which challenges will you encounter?

Valuation of materials and components

Laws and regulation

Counterparty risk

Value chain collaboration

Control mechanisms

Reverse logistics

Ownership of goods

Product quality

The linear “Take – Make – Dispose” system which depletes natural resources and generates waste is deeply flawed and can be productively replaced by a restorative model in which waste does not exist as such but is only food for the next cycle.

- Ellen MacArthur Foundation -

Game setup

Participants get to run their own virtual company called The Blue Connection, a manufacturer of e-bikes. Due to the increased demand for companies to transform how they operate and the new business opportunities provided by the circular economy, the e-bike manufacturer hired a new management team to transform the company’s linear value chain to a circular one. Participants will learn how to adopt a circular approach by transition away from a take-make-dispose linear production towards a circular business models.

Teams will experience the impact of every decision they make,
not just in their own functional ‘silo’ but across their business, and the entire value chain!

The VP Sales

Negotiate on sales contracts with your retailers regarding circularity, warranty and the maintenance service of your product. Decide on a regular sales channel or a product as a service program with your retailers.

VP Supply Chain

Collaborate with the right Recycling Service Providers and oversee the cost and process of disassembling, reusing, refurbishing and recycling. Manage labor capacities for refurbishing and maintaining your product.

VP Purchasing

Manage the design of your product. Selecting appropriate suppliers to source from and deciding on the quality and recyclability of product components to buy.

VP Finance

Determine a buy back price to create a reverse flow of products. Manage the financial arrangement with the bank and the potential lease agreements.

The Concept of Learning by doing

A Complex world requires experiential learning

A high-performing circular value chain requires collaboration ffrom across the organization. Adopting a circular approach from a take-make-dispose linear production can be a serious challenge.

How do you adapt to the circular economy? Ideally, you’d like to experiment with different scenarios wherein people learn to overcome various obstacles and learn from best practices. This is where we come in: through our business simulation games, participants have the unique opportunity to learn by experience by immediately putting complex theories into practice.

Advantages of experiential learning:

  • Highly Engaging
  • Constant & immediate feedback
  • Higher Learning Retention Rate
  • Ability to apply theory to practice
  • Real-world experience minus the risk
  • Promotion of teamwork and soft skills
  • Cost-effective

The benefits of playing The Blue Connection

... to help companies and individuals understand and experience the opportunities and challenges of adopting circular strategies.

Simulation gaming is a powerful way to facilitate learning, engage with clients and to profile your expertise.

Customize your experience!

The Blue Connection can be easily tailored to match your learning objectives. The complexity level, the topics, delivery format, and even number of rounds can be varied to suit your needs.

The Blue Connection simulation game was a great - also sobering - discovery: it gives participants an idea of how to deal with some of the complex, interlocking decisions a Purchasing or Supply Chain manager for example must make, whilst bringing in the circularity factor (recyclability, refurbishing) which players will be unfamiliar with. Great for learning how to work in a team and seeing the more holistic perspective across the decision-making functions of a business, all this with sharp time constraints, on or offline. It is also a reminder that gamification is a stimulating way to learn.

- Phoebe Blackburn
Circular Economy Facilitator & Communications consultant
at Phenomenal Words, Berlin

User interface

The Blue Connection’s simulation software has been designed to be easy to use for anyone, on any platform from PC to tablet. There is no need to read a hefty manual before starting, because all help information is integrated in the game-screens and can be read on a need to know basis.

Mastering Circularity by Ed Weenk

COMING SOON

The Blue Connection will be available with textbook soon!

In 2021, the much anticipated ‘Mastering Circularity’ textbook for The Blue Connection will be released globally. We are committed to growing and enriching educator resources to further empower our Integrated Teaching Concept.

Let’s get you started!

The Blue Connection can be easily implemented into your curriculum or L&D training program!

Read all about how to get started!