Futurely AB is thrilled to initiate a strategic partnership and collaboration with Alfa Laval, Rambøll, the ESA business incubation center, the Lendager group, and Science City Lyngby. The purpose of this partnership is the creation of a process-based action design research project to discover ways to co-create a Circular Society (CS). Through this project, partners work together to co-create solutions, such as the creation of a waste management system for a circular society; utilizing efficient processes for the experimentation and development of sustainable materials and products.

The global pandemic may have put a lot of sustainability projects on hold, but we believe it is important to come together as we are nearer to the demand for carbon neutrality. The partnerships will revolve around a fundamental shift in planning and management, from solution-oriented planning to process-oriented planning. Process-oriented planning prioritizes the analysis and understanding of processes already set in place, and the revision of said processes, to accomplish more enduring and well-informed changes within the established systems. This process requires a paradigm shift in the allocation of resources, where more emphasis is given to the analysis of the systems already in place and the context in which they were placed. 


TRACK: Wild Card

PROBLEM – Governments are asking for help in re-opening a sustainable circular society; but the reality is that there is no such society.

The fact that we have reached only 9% of circularity all over the world goes to highlight the need to change the way we operate. Furthermore, it is estimated that by 2030, 60% of new urban areas are yet to be built, thus, we have an opportunity to re-define and re-discover how we create cities and communities around the globe. We strongly believe that all the knowledge, expertise, technology and skills we need to create such circular societies are already out there. Hence, we aspire towards a mindset and methodology of attempting to understand the solutions and information that we have accumulated first rather than adding onto an endless spire of lackluster solutions. We are fast approaching a global climate crisis which will require swift transition. If the global pandemic has taught us anything, it is that most governments and companies (especially small medium enterprises) are fundamentally ill-prepared to tackle these challenges. Thus, there is a need for resilient and adaptable governmental and economic systems, which are better at  planning for damage control and creating long-term value. 


Rambøll, Alfa Laval, Lyngby Science City, Lendager, ESA; Beneficiaries: General public, Local Citizens of Lyngby


As mentioned in the Introduction, Futurely AB proposes a process-based action design research project to discover ways to co-create Circular Society (CS) using waste management as a pilot project. Through the strategic collaboration of 5 key stakeholders: Rambøll, Alfa Laval, Lyngby Science City, Lendager and ESA, a prototype (called RALLE4CS) is created to drive systemic change towards a society that operates in circularity. The main question is: how can these 5 stakeholders possibly come together and collaborate?

By using the WWH© framework, based on Transition Design (Irwin, 2015), we can engage each stakeholder to envision the future of a Circular Society; how they can be a part of that vision, and utilize their core competencies to benefit the city, while benefiting from the collaborations. (We prioritize WIN-WIN processes and solutions!)
Our preliminary work revealed substantial benefits in different areas for all the actors involved, alongside possible solutions the partners can co-create. From this, we picked one of the most interesting solutions: a waste management and material tracking system as a prototype, which can deliver value as follows:

Flower Diagram: benefits for each collaborator

To design and implement the material tracking system, 

  • Alfa Laval can provide access to factories and their innovation centre. Through the process, value can be derived to Alfa Laval by learning how to create factories and products in a more sustainable way, develop new circular business models, and having the chance to explore potential clients for the newly developed ideas. In addition, being able to see how to better use materials can help increase their ESG rating.
  • Rambøll will ensure that the process of collecting and transferring materials is done in an environmentally friendly manner. From transportation and energy consumption, to water and air quality in the factories. Meanwhile, Ramboll will benefit through the provision of a test case for how a potential circular city can look like. They can become a major player in replicating the idea throughout the globe.
  • ESA will contribute by tracking the materials, air quality and different aspects of the process using sensors with accurate data. ESA can compare the data from their satellites to develop machine learning applications to increase the accuracy of satellite data. ESA can collect data throughout the whole process, and by tracking the material, help with long term scalability.
  • Lendager re-imagines ways to use the textile materials to innovate. During the process, they will have access to wider and more advanced facilities, such as machines and labs to test their innovations. On the other hand, this is a great opportunity for them to apply, grow and expand their urban development competencies, by participating in the design process of the circular city. 
  • The municipality of Lyngby and Lyngby Science City will be the hub of the waste management process. Lyngby will gain better access to a variety of materials which will speed up innovation. They will be at the forefront of taking new materials and putting them into practice within the city.
  • Futurely will act as consultants and mediators of the entire process. We are also going to provide a framework to co-create and facilitate the collaboration for cross-sector stakeholders. We will also provide project management services as our key competencies. We will seek out ways for every stakeholder to benefit from the test case and can provide support when the prototype is scaled. We generate economic resources based on the consultancy work done in the projects.


As previously mentioned, it is clear that a truly circular city does not exist yet and we are utilizing a process-based method to design one. For the idea to reach fruition, the city must establish partnerships across various organizations and sectors. A collaboration of several partners specific to the challenge provides an opportunity to pioneer the creation of a prototype for a circular city in Lyngby.

Since the project is ‘action research’, which is a process-based approach – unlike ‘solution-based’ approaches, the financing process is not yet fixed. Thus, the first stage that needs to be done is the stakeholder engagement and research. This can be funded by either CSR, business development, or marketing budget of the key collaborators. By collaborating in the DTU innovation sprint, the partners have shown a strong desire and willingness to initiate a Circular Society , hence the possibility of these partners funding the initial stage is high. Once the overall picture of the project and its possible solutions is established, the project can be financed by inter-governmental agencies such as the EU, the World bank or private investors, as this can help organizations increase their societal impact. 


Our concept could lead the way towards more sustainable communities where materials are turned into products and products are reverted back to materials when they have outlived their purpose; where local businesses thrive alongside their giant, enterprising counterparts; where the community engages as a primary driver and participant in the sustenance of the local ecosystem in novel ways. We imagine a city where knowledge on sustainability trickles down through the proper mediums, with high involvement at all levels of the local society – from the design of the city to participating in green practices by each individual member. A city where knowledge, talent, produce, and infrastructure are continually funneled back into society, revised and expanded on. We aspire towards a mindset and methodology of attempting to understand the solutions and information that we have accumulated first rather than adding onto an endless spire of lackluster solutions.





At Futurely AB, we believe that wicked-sustainability problems need to be tackled in a systemic way, as the result of a system is greater than the sum of its parts. Hence, as change agents, we aim to engage organizations to innovate and redesign their business approach, from a mechanistic paradigm towards an ecological one, and help them become sustainable leaders for the future. Furthermore, this sprint presented a great opportunity for us to aid the development of a circular society, alongside expanding our network to form strategic partnerships to drive and champion the transition towards a sustainable world.


  • (TOP LEFT)Kevalin Saksiamkul ( Design, Leadership, Sustainability
  • (TOP RIGHT) Paolo Nardi ( Computer Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Leadership, Sustainability
  • (BOTTOM LEFT) – Chinomnso Onwunta ( Electrical Engineering, Project Management, Leadership, Sustainability Consulting, Business Analysis
  • (BOTTOM RIGHT)Markos S. Assias ( Software Engineering, Leadership, Project Management


  • Challenge brief: Alfa Laval (Beyond Steel)
  • Challenge brief: ESA (Exploit space as an enabling technology for a sustainable society)
  • Challenge brief: Lendager (Rethinking Textiles)
  • Challenge brief: Rambøll (Clean air)
  • Challenge brief: Science city of Lyngby (Sustainable retail – How to get there?)


Categories: TEAM


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