Cluster Economy – Generating Value

European Blue Economy meeting

A cluster economy is an economy in which the maximum profit for one company is not deciding. It is the optimum for the system that is the main drive. By using each others rest streams and adding value to all products in the system the total profit (for people planet and business) will be maximized if we keep the proceeds local.

One month ago about twenty invited people from several European countries came together in Austria to discuss Blue Economy and its progress in Europe. Training by Prof. Gunter Pauli and Dr. Martin Zsifkovits, three universities present (Munich, Pècs and Turin) and a lot of insight and I must say: also a lot of fun!

System Dynamics

The main focus of our training was the quantification of qualitative systems design and understanding the concept of cluster economy. How do you convince policy makers with facts that a specific local system will achieve the desired results with regard to wellbeing, job creation and economic value?

In a Blue Economy the advantages of the economic system are achieved by:

  • defining boundaries
  • having a clear intention of what you want the system to achieve
  • creating value with everything that is available in the system
  • keeping the money inside the system, instead of letting it flow out
  • using the diversity of the community
  • entrepreneurship. Just do it.

The quantification is done with the help of system dynamics. As an example we visited the region of Güssing in Austria, where local energy production has kept millions inside the community and created many jobs. Cluster economy pur sang. We discussed in detail the cases of Las Gaviotas in Colombia and El Hierro in Spain where resilient communities have been built with what is locally available.

Stone Paper

We worked on interesting business cases, such as 3D sea farming and stone paper. Furthermore, we looked at renewable energy production and being connected into a profitable system. Over dinner we discussed the projects in the several European countries: France, Greece, Sweden, Croatia, The Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Hungary and Belgium. We had fun and made new friends.

I went home with a full brain and an uplifted spirit. Now it is time to share the knowledge in our Dutch Blue Economy community. Let’s see how we can strengthen our own cases. That will happen the week after next in BlueCity. We can create this sustainable future, so let’s do it together.

In BlueCity a cluster economy will be created in the form of an urban farming hub in Rotterdam. Tropicana, the tropical swimming paradise at the edge of the city will be transformed to house 50 companies whose rest streams will be connected and value will be added.

On May 25, I will be speaking at the (sold out) Kennisfestival in Deventer. So if you already have a ticket, come and meet me…