Sunday, 25 April, 2021

Jamie Ounan

We believe that the best solutions are yet to be discovered and the best outcomes yet to be delivered. That is why we prepare organisations for change and help them implement it. We do this through an intimate understanding of their business, a relentless focus on delivery, the use of techniques that challenge the status quo and bridge traditional disciplines. We provide a range of services to public and private organisations including project and programme management, property consultancy, change management and strategy development and strategic advice. Contact us to discuss a project.

Sunday, 25 April 

The Circular Economy: Spaceship Planet Earth, by Jamie Ounan


My son is at the age where he is obsessed by space and becoming an astronaut. Among other things, we’ve been watching videos and listening to stories from inside the International Space Station. The technology is incredible, not least how they have created a near zero waste system. This reminds me of every urbanist’s favourite uncle, Buckminster Fuller, and his analogy of seeing the earth as a spaceship with finite resource. He was one of the many early thinkers who understood that unless we act, or what is now called ‘go circular,’ it would be the end of our humble, beautiful planet Earth as we know it. We’re going from 7 to 9 billion people and unless we change, we will run out of ‘stuff’ (minerals and materials) or there will be a mass extinction from the pollution.

So, what to do?  Starting at home, Inner Circle is launching our Leading the Recovery Series with SOLACE. The series looks at inter-woven, multi-disciplinary solutions to our towns and cities wicked problems post-COVID.



Recovery, decarbonisation and the Green New Deal, well-being, urban resilience, and the circular economy. These are the big topics of our day. And we knew the first session of our Leading the Recovery series had to be with our partners: the world-class Ellen MacArthur Foundation. I want every child to understand that the eponymous leader of EMF is at least as heroic as Neil Armstrong. Our programme kicks off this Thursday, 29 April at 11am, and you can sign up to watch here. This 60 min event will key into those big topics and will no doubt be useful for your strategy and delivery outlook. As a taster, we’ve made a list of a few of our favourite examples of the circular economy in action:

  • We’ve been working on a few ground breaking examples, such as the Bunhill 2 Energy Centre which recovers waste heat from the London Underground for use in social housing.
  • We’re also working with Camden Council rethinking the end-to-end process of social housing recladding and a re-employment system to accelerate the Green New Deal.

In the spirit of this newsletter, I also want to share some fun and informative lessons from elsewhere. Here are some other examples to learn from:



As I mentioned, we’re hosting an engaging virtual session this coming Thursday, 29 April on recovery, transformation, and the circular economy. I hope you’ll sign up here to catch these incredible speakers:

Finally, I’m proud to share that our team are humbled to be finalists for Planning Awards 2021: Planning Permission of the Year, for the transformative Grahame Park Estate housing project in Barnet. This is a testament to our stellar partners: hgh Consulting, Patel TaylorNotting Hill Genesis, and the great LB Barnet Team, and the tenacity this team has shown in overcoming complex barriers.