Braun, Anja-Tatjana; Steinbiß, Kristina

Digital ecosystems transcend the traditional, rigorously defined, collaborative environments from centralised, distributed or hybrid models into an open, flexible, demand-driven and interactive environment. A digital ecosystem is a new-networked architecture and collaborative environment that addresses the weakness of existing network relationships. Previous considerations of digital ecosystems are usually limited to one market or industry sector and are based primary on linear consumption. In the process, the demand for new and regenerative forms of economy that decouple growth from resource consumption is increasing. One approach that justice to this paradigm is the circular economy. The concept of the circular economy goes beyond approaches of resource efficiency and productivity and positions itself between pure efficiency approaches and schools of thought of sufficiency and post-growth economics. A circular economy benefits from a partner landscape that is as heterogeneous as possible from very different sectors, as this allows synergy and symbiosis effects to be leveraged regardless of sectoral boundaries. In particular, bidirectional flows of information and goods in a circular and renewable economy can benefit from a digital organisational form to orchestrate cross-sectoral business relationships. Therefore, a combination of digital and circular ecosystems is needed to create a shift towards a circular economy. Also new and innovative forms of marketing with adapted communication concepts are required to match the need for secondary materials. The intention is to have a constant exchange of materials at the same value-added level across system boundaries. As a result, win-win situations can arise for the partners involved that are ecologically, economically and socially justifiable. Provided in this paper is a detailed explanation of circular and therefor renewable digital ecosystems and their analogy to ecological systems.