Learning Factory for Ecodesign

European Ecodesign Initiative: Promoting ecological product design in Baltic Sea countries: Development of a transnational learning factory for ecological product design.

The Learning Factory Ecodesign is a training open for professionals and teachers which aims to convey methods and tools to enable participants to design products and services for a circular economy.


The Learning Factory Ecodesign is a practical, creative and interdisciplinary two-day training. During the training you will learn how to develop a circular system and circular business model for a product by following a user-centric ecodesign process. You will use effective ecodesign methods and practices to develop a meaningful product for users, while minimizing its environmental footprint.


Training for individuals

In future, the training will be offered twice a year for individual participants. Please refer to our website [LINK: www.ecodesigncircle.eu/resources-for-you/learning-factory-ecodesign] for more details on dates, prices and registration.


Training for institutions / companies

In case you are interested in a training within your company, your organization, your association or other interest groups, feel free to contact us at lernfabrik@izm.fraunhofer.de and we can discuss the content and conditions.

We offer the training in English or German.


The Learning Factory Ecodesign is targeted towards professional product designers and developers, engineers, teachers, design lecturers, start-ups, SMEs, business model developers – in general, actors who are interested in learning how to adopt ecodesign practices and profit from the opportunities arising around the circular economy.


How do you develop circular management systems? Our training is based on "learning by doing". In a multidisciplinary team, you will learn to solve complex ecodesign challenges through circular-based thinking. In doing so, you use eco-design methods to develop a product or service while minimizing its environmental footprint. This includes the development of a sustainable, circular-based business model. In addition, you have the opportunity on site to get an insight into manufacturing processes. This illustrates the influence your design decisions have on the environment in the production phase.

At Fraunhofer IZM, you will have the opportunity to gain insight into a production line for microelectronics and to follow the individual process steps. The training can also take place at other locations with a different set up.

Further information can be found on the Start-a-Factory website.


  • Intensive and fast introduction into ecodesign and circular Economy through selected and newly developed methods by ecodesign experts
  • Extend your own qualification towards ecodesign, system design, and user centric design
  • Creative, innovative and fun learning approach – learning by doing
  • Straightforward methods – no previous knowledge required
  • Methods are easy to apply in your daily work
  • Methods are universally applicable to (nearly) any industry or product
  • Methods and content are available online (https://sustainabilityguide.eu)
  • Learn with and from others (interdisciplinary approach)
  • Connect to other experts from different industries, positions, and business areas
  • Get to know ecodesign experts from Fraunhofer IZM


  • Stay competitive – profit from the opportunities of the Circular Economy
  • Use ecodesign as innovation driver – you will be a forerunner
  • Strengthen your image as a sustainable business
  • The methods will help you to optimize processes, products and services and thus save costs, increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, and decrease environmental impacts
  • Interactive and creative training methods for your employees: the methods will help you to strengthen the cooperation across departments through project-based work in interdisciplinary teams
  • This will support the knowledge transfer of eco-design within your company
  • We can come to your premises or you can get to know our institute


Participants will go through an Ecodesign Sprint. The Ecodesign Sprint is a process that marries the best of user-centered innovation and design thinking with sustainable design practices - divided into the six distinct phases Introduction, Discover, Define, Develop, Deliver and Validate. We have adapted the Design Sprint methodology and integrated ecodesign practices and lifecycle thinking. Design thinking was developed by IDEO and Stanford’s design school and utilized by Google Ventures Design Sprint Methods.

1. Introduction Ecodesign basics and craft a challenge to provide focus to the rest of the sprint.
2. Discover Understand the needs and challenges.
3. Define Define the problem: Translating research insights into opportunities for Design.
4. Develop Ideate: Generate ideas for solutions for the problem.
5. Deliver Prototype it in the Circular Lifecycle Canvas by looking at the whole system. Build the solution.
6. Validate Track learnings and validate it. Build the Circular Business Model.


In addition to other speakers and moderators, the main authors of Learning Factory Ecodesign are Mr. Tapani Jokinen and Dr. Max Marwede.                                                                             

Tapani Jokinen

Tapani Jokinen is Design Consultant, Strategic- & Ecodesign contractor in Fraunhofer IZM and owner of TJ-Design, a creative consultancy that fuses strategic innovation and design with sustainability and ethical business to drive positive impact at global level. Furthermore, he is Chief Design Officer at Circular Devices, the Finnish start-up behind sustainable Puzzlephone concept. Tapani is one of the authors of the Ecodesign Learning Factory program where he teaches and facilitates training modules, innovation workshops and lecturing about circular design in seminars and conferences.

Tapani has unique skills to apply design and lifecycle thinking to accelerate Minimum Harmful Products (MPH) and Services and drive sustainability-led innovation in practice, which answers to the growing global demand for more sustainable products and helping companies in transition from linear to circular economy.


Dr. Max Marwede

Dr. Max Marwede is Research Fellow at the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration (Fraunhofer IZM) and holds a PostDoc position in the Junior Research Group „Obsolescence as a challenge for sustainability – causes and alternatives“ at the Technical University Berlin. As a PostDoc he develops an eco-innovation process for long-living products. As part of the department “Environmental and Reliability Engineering” of the Fraunhofer IZM and as a freelancer he supports companies in designing sustainable products and consults German and European public authorities on future eco-design requirements.

He has experience with technology roadmapping, interdisciplinary stakeholder cooperation and project management in industry-oriented research projects in various technology fields (automation technologies, renewable energies and electronics). Part of his work is to facilitate and moderate eco-innovation processes and train engineers and designers how to develop sustainable products. For the latter, Max created the Learning Factory Ecodesign together with Tapani Jokinen.


In 2017, two test runs took place at Fraunhofer IZM in Berlin. First, we invited students for a one-day Ecodesign Sprint, where we successfully tested new tools and methods for generating environmentally friendly innovations. The second pilot training, with a duration of two days, took place in October 2017 with professionals. There we gathered more in depth feedback of the participants, to improve the training furthermore. The teams created impressive results by prototyping circular systems by using a circular lifecycle canvas. Based on this they developed circular business models to maximize the business impact and customer value of their systems.

In 2018, four workshops took place already, with one located in Lithuania. All these workshops helped to further improve the Learning Factory EcoDesign.


Upcoming workshops will take place in 2018/19, with partners of EcoDesign Circle project in Poland and Sweden. The exact dates and registrations can also be found on our EcoDesign Circle website (https://www.ecodesigncircle.eu). 

If you're interested in an individual workshop within your company, your organization, your association or other interest group, don’t hesitate to contact us at lernfabrik@izm.fraunhofer.de

Support and Partner

The training was developed within the EU-project EcoDesign Circle by ecodesign experts from Fraunhofer IZM and Circular Devices during 2016 and 2017 commissioned by the German Environment Agency. The project Learning Factory Ecodesign is carried on behalf of the UBA until 2018 and is sponsored with resources of the German government (Environmental Research Plan – project number 3715 37 309 0).

Learning Factory for EcoDesign


BMBF Junior Research Group

Obsolescence as a challenge for sustainability

Innovation Workshops / Feasibility Studies

Environmental assessment of electronic products

Product Development Consultation