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Why we need to change our thinking on resources

Tuesday, 09 Jun 2015

Information Age

Innovation and technology to play a part.


Australia's resources industry might already be awash with digital innovation but CSIRO's Dr Alex Wonhas believes what we have now is not enough to sustainably fuel new models for economic prosperity.

Dr Wonhas, who is executive director of energy and resources at Australia's peak science organisation, told delegates of the World Resources Forum Asia Pacific in Sydney that more thought needed to be put into how to sustain present and future levels of economic growth without corresponding increases in resource inputs.

"The most important challenge of the 21st Century is how we can bring prosperity to the ever-growing population of our planet and do so in a sustainable way," he said.

That idea is captured by the concept of the circular economy.

Popularised at last year's World Economic Forum in Davos, it describes an industrial model that maximises the use of resource inputs and minimises their wastage. Effectively, it asks industry to do more with less.

In pursuing a circular economic model, Dr Wonhas said three things were critical.

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