Decomposing the complexity of value: Integration of digital transformation of education with circular economy transition

Serdar Turkeli*, Martine Schophuizen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Web of Science)


In this article, we highlight the pressing need for integrating the windows of opportunities that digital transformation of education opens up with circular economy education to accelerate the achievements of sustainability outcomes. Circular economy transition, as a multi-scalar process, relates to several contexts, e.g., product, firm, industry-level transformations ranging from designing local socio-technical solutions to greening global value chains, with multi-level policy and business implications for finance, production, distribution, consumption that are fundamentally consequential to everyday life, work and learning. Drawing on theories of neo-capital, multi-level perspective and structuration, and as methodology, using content analysis and qualitative meta-synthesis of scientific publications in digital education for sustainability, we blended our findings into multi-level, multi-domain structuration blueprints, which capture the complexity of value emanating from the interactions among external structures, internal structures of agents, active agencies and outcomes, for circular economy open online education and massive open online course instructional designs. We conclude that learning and creating multiple values to increase social-ecological value, complementarily to economic value, necessitate activating the complexity of value embedded in digital education and circular economy transitions with customizable niches of learning preferences and journeys of individuals and groups, within broader (and evolving) technological, organizational and institutional structures.
Original languageEnglish
Article number243
Number of pages22
JournalSocial Sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

JEL classifications

  • i29 - Education: Other
  • o30 - "Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights: General"


  • Circular economy
  • complexity
  • digital transformation
  • eductation
  • massive open online courses
  • education
  • digital transformation of education
  • sustainability
  • open educational resources
  • multiple value
  • open online education
  • circular economy
  • MOOCs

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