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Tool 01:
Circular Strategies Wheel

Explore the problem space

Time 30-40 min
Participants A group of 2-5 people

Get an overview of circular strategies and use it to explore circular potentials.

Why you should use this tool

The purpose of this tool is to give you an understanding and overview of the different circular strategies that can help you start the circular journey of your company or organization. 

The circular strategies wheel illustrates the full lifespan of a product or a service in three different phases; Start of life cycle, product life cycle, and end of life cycle.

This tool helps you relate the different circular strategies within the three phases to your own business to identify challenges, opportunities, and curiosities.


  • Circular Strategies Wheel canvas (size A1 )
  • Post-its (green, yellow, and pink)
  • Pens

How to use the tool

Step 0 · Preparation · 5 min
Print out the circular strategies wheel canvas (A1) and hang it on the wall or place it on a table. Make sure the team can easily read and work on the poster at the same time.

Step 1 · Brainstorm · 10-15 min
Do a brainstorm individually and in silence based on the different circular strategies. Map out where you see a potential for your business with green post-its, and yellow post-its where you are most curious to learn more. Lastly, use the pink post-its to identify where you see challenges or obstacles for your circular possibilities.

When brainstorming we recommend that you do it individually in silence and set a timer to 5 minutes, to begin with. When time is up, you can share your post-its by reading them out loud and if necessary repeat the process by having a second brainstorming session and sharing again. Sometimes, you get inspired by others’ ideas and insights and new inputs will come to your mind. 

Step 2 · Discuss in team · 15 min
Discuss in the team, the mapping of the circular business strategies.

Start going through the different post-it notes that have been written by different team members in the brainstorm session. 

Use this discussion to get a clear idea of the most crucial and important post-its and answer the question: ‘What is most interesting for you to focus on, when starting to build your circular business model?’

We recommend that you continuously revisit the circular strategies wheel when getting new insights or ideas – hang it somewhere in the organization so that your colleagues can contribute as well. 


What now?

Having identified the most interesting circular focus you should now go to Tool 02: How Might We.

With so-called “How might we” questions, you formulate explicitly what you would like to answer or solve in the following idea development.

Go to Tool 02: How Might We

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