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Circular Portfolio Canvas


A visual tool that helps you and your team in scaffolding circular activities and experiments across different horizons of time, and to reflect on ‘’connectivity’’ and ‘’linkages’’ towards higher ambitions of circular and regenerative cities.


To the extent that the transition to circular and regenerative cities is a systemic process, thinking through individual activities or experiments is not enough. Instead, you need to continously make sense of the way you are intervening in the system as a whole, and how you are steering and facilitating a path that makes the most of pooling of distributed assets and resources.

This tool helps you organize, visualize and inquire your portfolio of circular activities and experiments. The more you use this tool with diverse stakeholders over time, the more you can make your starting plan richer and systemic. Using the Portfolio as a ‘checkpoint’ – to understand which levers are activated, when in time, how – is also useful to make sense whether there are gaps, weaknesses and strengths across your roadmap.


1. Use the left side of the canvas to define your levers of change. A Circular Economy Lever is an instrument that creates leverage to steer the change of individuals and collectives towards circularity, bridging circular goals with outcomes and impacts. Need examples of levers? Check out how we define levers in Reflow and the specific ones we use in our work with cities.

2. Use the right side of the canvas to brainstorm on long term circular aspirations and desired impacts. If you use the tool on Miro, the ‘card’ function combined with TAGS is very useful to start articulating ‘’dimensions of impact’’ (i.e. socio-cultural, eco-economic, environmental) and the types of actors that are mostly at stake in each dimension.

3. Start with a few levers, brainstorming on possible experiments and activities that, over time, explore such levers in terms of increasing complexity. In Reflow, we initially defined experiments that could be quickly prototyped and implemented in the short run; then, we started to make the picture more complicated, defining a broader path of connected activities towards the set impacts and ambitions.

4. Iterate the tool over time with different actors and stakeholders, to enrich your circular roadmap and understand where you can do more and better. Remember that more than activities and experiments per se, it is important to inquire and make sense of the connectivity between them.