Ecodesign Sprint

Sprint combines training, practical learning, innovations and product/service development with design methods.




    Ecodesign Sprint is a three-day training and acceleration programme in the circular economy. It is intended for SMEs and design agencies that want to learn more about the possibilities of the circular economy.

    The primary goal is to provide the participants with in-depth knowledge on the possibilities and business models of the circular economy. Another goal is to develop the business of SMEs and create more sustainable products and services for them.



    » vantage point into the business potential of the circular economy

    » customised support and mentoring

    » boost for product development

    » two product or service concepts or prototypes for further development



    The programme is intended for SMEs, regardless of their sector, location or experience in the circular economy or design. Another target group are design agencies that want to strengthen their expertise in the circular economy.

    QUOTES from companies

    OPINIONS from companies

    » ... We were encouraged to think outside the box and generate crazy ideas, which does not happen in the comfort zone. We were able to develop the concepts together quite far in just two days. ...

    » ... These kinds of workshops open your eyes. ...

    »... We are dealing with such broad entities and so many possibilities which makes it challenging to select ideas to develop. I was surprised of how much material and possibilities there are. But which way to go... well, that sorts itself out through the process. ...

    QUOTES from design agencies

    OPINIONS from design agencies

    » ... From our perspective, EcoDesign Sprint has brought us to a greater understanding on the significant potential of design in enabling and advancing the circular economy. It is a great tool for creating solutions to complex problems. ...

    » ... Once you’ve put these circular design specs on, you cannot take them off anymore. ...

    »... After all, design is such a great tool to create new concepts, processes and alternatives models. So, this has definitely made me realise the business potential of developing circular products and services for companies. ...

  • Sprint Booklet

    The strategic tool for circular business development

    This booklet has been created by Design Forum Finland to introduce the EcoDesign Sprint method and to give the reader an overview of its processes as a whole.

    +++ русская версия +++

    Co-creating a circular future: Case EcoDesign Sprint

    Master's Thesis by Oona Anttila

    This study demonstrates the relevance of using collaborative design in developing solutions that promote the shift to a circular economy. A pilot of the EcoDesign Sprint Approach in Finland was investigated and evaluated. Have a deeper look at the Sprint Approach.

    Circular Design Webinar (on 4 June 2020)
    by Ethica & Finnish Design Forum
    which also introduces the EcoDesign Sprint
    "to kickstart the circular journey"


    Please be in contact if you have any questions.

    Aino Vepsäläinen
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    +358 50 355 6606

  • 2017


    'Design <3 Circular Economy' was a one-day seminar about circular and bio economy and design as a booster of these two fields. The seminar was arranged by EcoDesign Circle and Carbon Sink Design Studio projects in Helsinki in September 2017. The event was part of the Helsinki Design Week and promoted the ongoing open Ecodesign Sprint Call of the project.

    Event’s keynote "Design-led change for the Circular Economy" was held by Dr. Leyla Acaroglu

    Design-led change for the Circular Economy Dr. Leyla Acaroglu, TED speaker, award winning designer and sustainability provocateur



    During the Helsinki Design Week, on the 13th September 2018 Design forum Finland organised an event called Design Forum Talk <3 Circular Economy. There, experiences of the circular economy in general and of EcoDesign Sprint in particular were presented. We were pleased to have many of the EcoDesign Sprint participants present, also from Estonia. The international perspective was also provided by our Swedish and Dutch guest speakers. The presentations and discussions of the event are published here.

    How to create circular business? Sandra Horlings, Brand & Strategy Consultant / Innoboost, the Netherlands

    Designing circular light Kim Lyngaae, Nordic Service Director / Signify (previously Philips Lighting), Denmark

    Let's start the Climate Take Back Erika Frankkila Rydja, Scandinavia Marketing Director / Interface, Sweden

    Discussion: Design & the circular economy


    Design Forum Talk <3 Circular Economy seminar 2019 that was organized during the Helsinki Design Week introduced current themes that combine design and circular economy. The speakers were experts and presentatives of businesses from Finland, Sweden Denmark, The Netherlands and UK. Experts described what bio design means or how design methods can help in identifying and solving complex problems while business cases encouraged the development of circular business models and experimenting with service and sharing economies. The brilliant keynote speech was given by Swedish Jakob Trollbäck, who is the creator of the visual language of the UN Sustainable Goals.

    Maya Færch, Denmark, Senior Consultant from Lendager TWC gave a a presentation "Design for Circularity"

    Koen Meerkerk & Hugo de Boon (the Netherlands) are a Rotterdam based designer duo. With a passion for creating value to things which have been labelled useless, the duo has placed themselves in todays circular economy. Fruitleather Rotterdam is transforming leftover fruits into durable, leather-like material. Watch Koen Meerkerk`s & Hugo de Boon´s presentation "Transforming discarded fruit" and find out how it all began.

    Tuomas Hänninen (Finland) presented how taking circularity into consideration brought the Lumir company several advantages - increased efficiency on the building site, more sustainable & recyclable materials, among others.


    Step 1: Selection


    The companies and design agencies participating in the EcoDesign Sprint were selected through an open call in September 2017 resulting in 22 applications from both companies and design agencies. Three companies and three design agencies were chosen to participate in the Sprint.

    The most important selection criteria were an interest in product and service development according to circular economy, and the willingness to invest time in the Sprint process. In the selection of companies, versatility and divergence were underlined; thus SME's from the food, building and textile industries were chosen this time. In the selection of design agencies the mutual compatibility of a client company and a design agency was underlined.

    Step 2: Audit


    The Audits surveyed the capacity and utilization of design in general and circular design in particular in the companies. They indicated what the organizations should do to adopt circular economy and circular design as part of their strategies and product development processes.

    The Audits were conducted during one working day in each company, consisting of getting familiar with the company and interviewing its representatives. The Audits were conducted by circular economy specialist Anne Raudaskoski from Ethica Oy as the auditor and a project manager from Design Forum Finland as the observer.

    The results of EcoDesign Audit offered extensive information on the company’s current stage and procedures of circular design, and they created valuable background information for the Sprint workshops.

    Step 3: Sprint - First Workshop


    In the workshops, two business concepts after the principles of circular economy were developed for the company. The Sprint teams were instructed by circular economy specialist Anne Raudaskoski.

    In principle, each Sprint had three phases: 1. to understand; 2. to ideate; 3. to create concepts. Each of these phases took one working day.

    During the first workshop day, the lifecycle of the company's products and services was researched, guided by Anne Raudaskoski. The work was based on the EcoDesign Audit reports. This resulted as a business model canvas or roadmap.

    Step 4: Sprint - Second Workshop


    Based on the results of the first day, the selected design agency ran a workshop on the second Sprint day. Here, the methods included co-design and ideation and charting possibilities for business models. Preliminary business concepts were already jointly ideated.

    These two days provided the design agencies with valuable information about the company and its resources, which formed the basis for further development of concepts for the companies.

    Step 5: Sprint - Prototype


    The third day, again with the design agency, resulted as two protypes or concepts. One of the concepts was a short-term proposition which the company can immediately apply in its operations. The other was to be further developed to a roadmap or a vision which would provide with ideas for longer-term changes and operations.



    EcoDesign Sprints have given very positive experiences to all those concerned. The design agencies have gained knowledge and understanding about circular design and realized what pioneering advantage and business opportunities lie in circular economy and design.

    The client companies have been excited about the new opportunities of competitiveness and sustainability, and further cooperation is being planned.

    Both Design Forum Finland and Ethica have found EcoDesign Sprint as a good and versatile tool and there is willingness to develop it further.