Plenary conference programme

Sessions overview

Our digital conference platform will turn all live sessions and panel debates into a great interactive experience and offer plenty of opportunities to interact with speakers and participants. Sessions labeled will be live-streamed from the conference venue in Dubai.

Plenary session
High-level plenary opening session: setting the scene
10:30 - 11:15
Dubai Exhibition Centre

Plenary session
High-level governmental session: shaping a post-pandemic world
11:15 - 12:30
Dubai Exhibition Centre

Thematic plenary session
Circular economy: integrating local approaches for global sustainable development
14:00 - 15:30
Dubai Exhibition Centre

Circular Economy

×

Circular Economy

Thematic plenary session

Circular economy: integrating local approaches for global sustainable development

24/10/2021, 14:00 - 15:30 GST (Dubai)

12:00 - 13:30 CEST/SAST (Brussels, Cape Town)

11:00 - 12:30 WAT (Nigeria)

06:00 - 07:30 EDT (New York)

19:00 - 20:30 KST (Seoul)

18:00 - 19:30 CST (Beijing)

15:30 - 17:00 IST (New Delhi)

07:00 - 08:30 BRT (Rio de Janeiro)

Dubai Exhibition Centre & online

The principle of circular economy is being adopted in policy strategies around the world, based on a common understanding. However, the starting points for transitioning to circularity are not consistent, because existing local habits, consumption and production systems vary widely from place to place. The approach and tools developed for facilitating circular business will need to be adapted to local circumstances.

Circular economy naturally focuses on local product value chains. Aspects within various circular economies will therefore differ between regions. But this is no reason not to collaborate. We can learn a lot from each other and develop an overall circular economy together. Collaboration and solidarity are critical to meeting the world’s SDGs. And this will not be possible if markets remain guarded by closed-shop practices.

Digital technologies, however, are not bound by borders. They can connect every corner of the globe, making distance irrelevant. This is why digitalisation is a vital enabler for developing a common route towards sustainable development and sustainable management of materials.

The plenary session brings together international initiatives and programmes that aim to build circular economy expertise.

Chaired by

Karl Vrancken

Karl Vrancken

VITO

Research Manager Sustainable Materials

Karl Vrancken is Research Manager Sustainable Materials Management at VITO. He is responsible for the strategic management of VITO’s Materials programme. He also has a part-time position as professor at the University of Antwerp (Department of Bio-engineering), where he teaches sustainable resources management.

Karl has broad experience as a researcher and project manager in projects on sustainability assessment and transition, waste management and treatment, secondary raw materials, best available techniques (BAT) and integrated pollution prevention and control. He has also worked as a Detached National Expert with the European IPPC Bureau in Seville (Spain), where he was the author of the BAT Reference Document for the Foundries sector.

Karl is the initiator and chairman of the European Circular Economy Research Alliance (ECERA) and strategic advisor to the European Topic Centre on Waste and Materials for a Green Economy, a consortium of European organisations working in partnership with the European Environment Agency (EEA). During its start-up phase, he was interim Chief Operations Officer to the Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) EIT RawMaterials that was founded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

He is an expert speaker on circular economy in the media and at various national and international conferences.

Presentation

Opening speech: introducing the GACERE initiative

Inger  Andersen

Inger Andersen

UNEP

Executive Director

Inger Andersen is Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. Between 2015 and 2019, Andersen was the Director-General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Andersen has more than 30 years of experience in international development economics, environmental sustainability, strategy and operations. She has led work on a range of issues including agriculture, environmental management, biodiversity conservation, climate change, infrastructure, energy, transport, water resources management and hydro-diplomacy.

Between 1999 and 2014, Andersen held several leadership positions at the World Bank including vice president of the Middle East and North Africa, vice president of Sustainable Development and head of the CGIAR Fund Council.

Prior to her 15 years at the World Bank, Andersen worked 12 years at the United Nations, first on drought and desertification, beginning with the UN Sudano-Sahelian Office. In 1992, she was appointed UNDP’s Water and Environment Coordinator for the Arab Region.

Andersen holds a bachelor’s degree from the London Metropolitan University North and a Masters in Development Economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Panel discussion

Panel discussion

Inger  Andersen

Inger Andersen

UNEP

Executive Director

Inger Andersen is Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. Between 2015 and 2019, Andersen was the Director-General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Andersen has more than 30 years of experience in international development economics, environmental sustainability, strategy and operations. She has led work on a range of issues including agriculture, environmental management, biodiversity conservation, climate change, infrastructure, energy, transport, water resources management and hydro-diplomacy.

Between 1999 and 2014, Andersen held several leadership positions at the World Bank including vice president of the Middle East and North Africa, vice president of Sustainable Development and head of the CGIAR Fund Council.

Prior to her 15 years at the World Bank, Andersen worked 12 years at the United Nations, first on drought and desertification, beginning with the UN Sudano-Sahelian Office. In 1992, she was appointed UNDP’s Water and Environment Coordinator for the Arab Region.

Andersen holds a bachelor’s degree from the London Metropolitan University North and a Masters in Development Economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Cliona  Howie

Cliona Howie

Climate-KIC

Head of circular economy and Executive Management Team Member

Ke Wang

Ke Wang

PACE

Knowledge Lead

PACE is a global community of leaders working together to accelerate transition to a circular economy. As Knowledge Lead, Ke oversees PACE’s content development and knowledge management. She led development of the PACE Circular Economy Action Agenda, which integrates insights from over 100 organisations and is designed to be a rallying call for business, government, and civil society. Ke has also been a driving force behind mobilising the PACE community to turn calls-to-action into actual, impactful action.

Prior to joining PACE, Ke accumulated over 10 years’ experience leading interdisciplinary research and innovation teams in both public and private sectors. Her work with these included setting up large European projects such as Horizon2020 CIRCUSOL. She holds a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Stanford University and an Executive MBA from Rotterdam School of Management.

Suzanne  Karcher

Suzanne Karcher

WRF

Co-Founder and Executive; National Project Coordinator, ACEN

After completing her studies in Chemical Engineering in Germany, Susanne Karcher founded EnviroSense CC (an Environmental Consultancy) in Cape Town in 1999. Her company specialises in planning, development and facilitation of tailor-made governmental, industrial/commercial and residential “Integrated Resource and Waste Management” programmes ultimately geared towards pollution prevention.

Susanne is a qualified RECP (Resource Efficiency and Cleaner Production) end-use level trainer with the NCPC and a founding member of the African Circular Economy Network. She also provides voluntary mentoring services as a member of the globally operating Circular Economy Club.

As a one-woman consultancy, and in her former role as the Chair of the Southern African e-Waste Alliance, Susanne specialised in furthering collaborative, safe and inclusive WEEE management at an early point in her career. In 2014 she was appointed as part of a national task team that developed a WEEE Industrial Waste Plan, which was only this year replaced by the formulation and introduction of WEEE EPR-based regulation for South Africa.

Since her first encounter with Empa visiting South Africa (back in 2003), Susanne systematically built and cultivated strong relationships with both Empa and the World Resources Forum in the years that followed. As part of an international round table led by the WRF, she contributed to the development of various signature research publications and projects including the ISO IWA Guidance Principles, the related “Worst to Good Practices” fact sheets and the UNEP “Eco-e Manual: Electronics Supplement”. Susanne also assisted the GIZ with SRI-led training initiatives in Ghana and South Africa.

At the end of 2020, Susanne was appointed by WRF and Empa as the National Coordinator for Phase 2 of the SRI South Africa project (2020-2023).

Lieze Cloots

Lieze Cloots

OVAM

Head international policy team

Lieze Cloots is Head of International Policy at OVAM, the Flanders region’s Public Waste Agency, for whom she has organised events such as the WRF’19 on Resources and Circular Economy held in Antwerp. Since 2017 she has been a member of the coordination group for the EU CE Stakeholder platform (ECESP), the European stakeholder network for circular economy that shares good practices, disseminates knowledge and stimulates dialogue and cooperation.

Lieze is the lead expert for Belgium on the European Circular Economy Action Plan. She has over 20 years’ experience in environment and sustainability policymaking and civil society action, at both national and international level. She has represented Belgium in UN negotiations on sustainable development, chemicals, GMOs, the Aarhus Convention and EU waste legislation.

Cloots has been legal advisor to the Belgian Federal Minister of Environment and was policy director for Bond Beter Leefmilieu, the federation of environment NGOs in Flanders. Lieze has also held board member roles for several Belgian and European organisations associated with sustainable development and is a full member of the Club of Rome EU Chapter. She holds a law degree from the Catholic University of Leuven and a master’s in EU law from the Université de Liege.

Plenary session
The democratisation of technology: indigenous values and the future of digitalisation
16:30 - 17:15
Dubai Exhibition Centre

Circular Economy, Climate, ICT, Youth

×

Circular Economy Climate ICT Youth

Plenary session

The democratisation of technology: indigenous values and the future of digitalisation

24/10/2021, 16:30 - 17:15 GST (Dubai)

14:30 - 15:15 CEST/SAST (Brussels, Cape Town)

13:30 - 14:15 WAT (Nigeria)

08:30 - 09:15 EDT (New York)

21:30 - 22:15 KST (Seoul)

20:30 - 21:15 CST (Beijing)

18:00 - 18:45 IST (New Delhi)

09:30 - 10:15 BRT (Rio de Janeiro)

Dubai Exhibition Centre & online

Technology is not a new concept limited to advanced societies. In one form or another, it has been around for a very long time, with indigenous peoples sharing technological knowledge within their communities and among their tribal networks.

The digitalisation and social media we are familiar with today bears a notable resemblance to how knowledge was distributed among ancient communities. But as our current technological revolution in its virtual space advances at breakneck speed, the task of maintaining a link with what’s happening “in the real world” becomes even more important. Especially if we are to meet the universal values in the Agenda 2030 transformative promise of “Leaving no one behind”.

This session will set the scene for further discussion around democratisation of technology, by evaluating frontier technologies in the context of how these can benefit from adopting indigenous values. It will also explore the evolution of the digital networks and platforms shaping our social and economic models, with a focus on their impact on our current daily lives and possible implications for the future.

Context will also be provided via a video titled “The ingenious values for the future”, created by students from Zayed University of the College of Arts and Creative Enterprises (CACE, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates), under the leadership of Associate Professors Marco Sosa and Lina Ahmad.

Chaired by

Musonda  Mumba

Musonda Mumba

UNDP, Rome Centre for Sustainable Development

Director

Musonda Mumba, a Zambian National, is the Director for The Rome Centre for Sustainable Development under United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in close collaboration with Italian Government (Ministry of Environment and Ecological Transition). The Centre focuses on three priority areas notably: Climate Change, Sustainable Development and Nature Protection.

In her role, she provides strategic leadership on these matters through convening, collaboration, connecting and co-creation as the world navigates complexity and uncertainty, with the aim of achieving the SDGs collectively. Her ambition is that this work is done with a Systems Thinking lens and also Systems Leadership.

She has over 25 years’ experience in environmental and conservation issues globally. She is also the Chair of the Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration (GPFLR). She is also the Founder of the Network of African Women Environmentalists (NAWE).

She has published widely in various journals, newspapers, articles and contributed to book chapters.

Before joining UNDP, Musonda was the head of United Nations Environment Programme – UNEP’s Terrestrial Ecosystems Programme and served in various roles over a period of 12 years. Before working for UNEP, Musonda worked for the Zambian Government, Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (in Switzerland), WWF (at International, UK and East Africa Regional Offices) and as such working with governments on Africa, Asia and Latin America.

She received her BSc. Ed degree at University of Zambia and has a PhD from University College London (UCL) in Wetland Conservation and Hydrology.

Welcome

Dietrich  Van der Weken

Dietrich Van der Weken

VITO

General Manager G-STIC

Since January 2017, Dietrich Van der Weken has been the General Manager of initiated by VITO, the prime research and technology organisation in Belgium.
Dietrich joined VITO in July 2009, tasked with focussing on cleantech innovation. He was the Programme Manager of MIP, the Environmental and Energy Technology Innovation Platform, a subsidy programme focussed on accelerating the transition to sustainable management of energy, materials and water. Dietrich holds a PhD in mathematics, obtained at Ghent University, Belgium.

Video: The ingenious values for the future

Keynote speech

Achieving intergenerational equity and the future role of frontier technologies

Youssef  Nassef

Youssef Nassef

United Nations Climate Change

Director Adaptation

Youssef Nassef leads the work on adaptation to climate change under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. He has 30 years of experience in diplomacy and international environmental policy and is a seconded diplomat from the Egyptian Foreign Service.

While assuming progressively higher levels of leadership at the UNFCCC, he led UNFCCC support for a number of on-going initiatives on adaptation. These include the inception of National Adaptation Programme of Action, National Adaptation Plans, the Nairobi Work Programme (an international knowledge hub for impacts, vulnerability and adaptation) and the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage.

Youssef holds a doctorate in international technology policy and management and a master’s degree in international environmental policy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, as well as a master’s degree in Middle East studies and a bachelor’s degree in computer science and physics from the American University in Cairo.

Keynote speech

Inclusivity and digital technologies in support of the coexistence of humanity with nature

Hindou  Oumarou Ibrahim

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim

United Nations

SDG Advocate

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim is an environmental activist and member of Chad’s pastoralist Mbororo community, a UN Sustainable Development Goal Advocate and Conservation International Senior Fellow.

Hindou began advocating for Indigenous rights and environmental protection at age 16, founding the Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad (AFPAT) to introduce new income revenue activities for women and collaborative tools such as 3D participatory mapping to build sustainable ecosystems management and reduction of nature-based resource conflicts. Her vision is to grow support for both traditional knowledge and science to improve resilience to climate change especially for rural communities.

Presentation

Technological hyper-connectivity and the indigenous values of nature

Sandra Piesik

Sandra Piesik

3 Ideas B.V.

Director

Sandra Piesik is an award-winning architect, author and researcher specialising in the implementation of global sustainable legislation, nature-based solutions and traditional knowledge adaptation. She is the founder of 3 ideas B.V. Amsterdam based consultancy, a senior consultant to UN-HABITAT on Urban and Rural Linkages at the Urban Practices Branch, and a former Policy Support Consultant on Rural – Urban Dynamics to UNCCD. Her diverse global engagements range from international lectures, judging of the competitions, nominator of awards, and evaluation of R&D projects for the European Union.

She is a stakeholder and network member of several UN organisations including UNFCCC: The Resilience Frontiers, the Nairobi Work Programme (NWP), the Paris Committee on Capacity Building (PCCB) and Climate and Technology Centre & Network (CTCN).

Her published work includes Arish: Palm-Leaf Architecture (published by: Thames & Hudson in 2012), she is also the general editor of the encyclopaedia, HABITAT: Vernacular Architecture for a Changing Planet (published by: Thames & Hudson, Abrams Books, Flammarion, Editions Detail and Blume in 2017).

Presentation

Cultural values and shared assets. Contextual technological intelligence for the future

Davar  Ardalan

Davar Ardalan

IVOW AI, Inc.

Founder

Davar Ardalan is the founder and chief storytelling officer at IVOW – intelligent voices of wisdom. Realizing that there is a gaping hole in AI algorithms that will define our future stories, Davar created IVOW, to champion culturally conscious data strategies across multiple industries from academia to development and enterprise.

Ardalan, who is also an Executive Producer at National Geographic, served as co-chair of the Cultural Heritage and AI track at ITU’s AI For Good in 2020. Prior to this, she was Deputy Director of the White House Presidential Innovation Fellowship Program in Washington D.C. and before that a long-time journalist at NPR News, where she was Senior Producer of the Identity and Culture Unit.

Ardalan, who has also served as Managing Editor at Hanson Robotics, has been recognized with a NASA Team Leadership award for Space Apps, a Gracie Award from the American Women in Radio and Television and a shout-out in the comic strip Zippy. In May 2014, she was the recipient of a United States Ellis Island Medal of Honor, for individual achievement and for promoting cultural unity.

Presentation

Integrity of platform based social and economic models

Stan  Chen

Stan Chen

RecycleGO

CEO & Co-Founder

An eco-entrepreneur, Stan’s passion for sustainability along with 20+ years of experience in the recycling industry has provided the knowledge needed to design and develop ever-innovative solutions for the recycling industry, the economy, and the environment.

Q&A and discussion

Conclusions

Musonda  Mumba

Musonda Mumba

UNDP, Rome Centre for Sustainable Development

Director

Musonda Mumba, a Zambian National, is the Director for The Rome Centre for Sustainable Development under United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in close collaboration with Italian Government (Ministry of Environment and Ecological Transition). The Centre focuses on three priority areas notably: Climate Change, Sustainable Development and Nature Protection.

In her role, she provides strategic leadership on these matters through convening, collaboration, connecting and co-creation as the world navigates complexity and uncertainty, with the aim of achieving the SDGs collectively. Her ambition is that this work is done with a Systems Thinking lens and also Systems Leadership.

She has over 25 years’ experience in environmental and conservation issues globally. She is also the Chair of the Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration (GPFLR). She is also the Founder of the Network of African Women Environmentalists (NAWE).

She has published widely in various journals, newspapers, articles and contributed to book chapters.

Before joining UNDP, Musonda was the head of United Nations Environment Programme – UNEP’s Terrestrial Ecosystems Programme and served in various roles over a period of 12 years. Before working for UNEP, Musonda worked for the Zambian Government, Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (in Switzerland), WWF (at International, UK and East Africa Regional Offices) and as such working with governments on Africa, Asia and Latin America.

She received her BSc. Ed degree at University of Zambia and has a PhD from University College London (UCL) in Wetland Conservation and Hydrology.