Within the worldview of extractive, outcomes-only, scarcity-based economic thinking, it is impossible to achieve a circular economy. To minimize the use of resource inputs and the creation of waste—a circular economy—requires (1) explicit feedback loops; (2) coordination across a set of these feedback loops; and (3) the capacity to learn and adjust across this set over time. These three requirements do not exist within the linear-causal worldview of mainstream economic thinking; they have literally been integrated out of mainstream thinking. These requirements do exist within leading-edge, agreements-based thinking. What these leading-edge initiatives are learning can be differentiated from what is impossible to achieve from an extractive-economics worldview, when seen with agreements evidence mapping.

This chapter uncovers what is impossible within extractive-economic agreements, and what becomes probable through the collaboration-based principles of circular economies in regenerative communities. The chapter describes why extractive-economic agreements cannot achieve circular economies, develops a framework of agreements and a process for mapping the evidence of agreements, applying them to highlight four case studies from Europe, Africa, Latin America, and the USA. This shows how agreements can be shifted from an extractive-agreements basis to a collaborative-agreements basis, shifting from the impossible to the probable.