Inchainge’s The Blue Connection is a browser-based educational tool that lets users, including businesses and students, experience the opportunities and challenges of the circular economy firsthand. Inchainge partners with companies and universities to distribute their cloud-based software as widely as possible, bringing practical circular economy knowledge to actors throughout global value chains.
Inchainge was already well established in the educational business simulation market before they worked closely with the Dutch bank ING and Windesheim University of Applied Sciences to develop The Blue Connection. Together they had the know-how and expertise to develop a powerful simulation combining circular training with finance, design, sales and supply chain management concepts.
The circular economy has generated more discussion than action. This is due to widespread uncertainty on how to implement circular economy principles in a business context. There is a need for practical training on circular economy action and business design that can support the uptake of circular business practices.
Inchainge provides a simulation game that gives a concrete and comprehensive overview of the circular strategies available, how they can be implemented, and which decisions must be taken. Users include different businesses and delivery partners such as consultancies and training entities, as well as universities.
In the game players collaborate to run a virtual circular manufacturer. They must make strategic and tactical decisions related to circular product design, recycled materials sourcing, financing and more. Users experience what collaborating to apply circular economy principles in a business environment entails and see how in-game decisions affect the company’s circularity and profitability.
The product’s gameplay lets users assume different roles within the value chain. This allows the users to build an understanding of circularity in their own business area, as well as cross-functionally within an organisation and across the whole value chain. The Blue Connection also allows international competitions and events to be held, where teams compete to create the best circular company.
Inchainge’s main environmental impacts are indirect, coming from users’ increased capability to transition to circular business models.
The largest social impact is increasing access to practical circular economy education. Inchainge’s licensing model, cloud-based distribution and browser-based delivery allows universities and other large organisations to purchase licenses and then train their students or staff as much as needed.