Future vision for circular economy

Speeding up implementation of the digital circular economy

Transitioning from a linear to a circular economy, where materials and products are restored and reused, will only be achieved by overcoming a number of obstacles. Among these is the complex mix of material transactions which has to be coordinated via good collaboration and connectivity. A challenge to which digitisation holds a vital key.

In the digital circular economy, data is openly shared with due regard to ownership, privacy and accessibility. Data formats and protocols are standardised and interoperable. Users have control over the data generated through their behaviour. Products have digital twins and material passports that optimise their trajectory through the value chain.

Circular companies, which foster their own circular ecosystems, are a good example of how circular economies need to work, being aware that their products contain raw materials they’ll need again in the future. These companies make use of functional electronics in their products, not to make them more flashy, but to make them more sustainable. Circular companies design for longer lifespan and repairability, enabled by use of modular, standardised components.

Circular companies have a data-centric culture and circularity is included in their C-level strategic agenda. Similarly, follow-up and management of sustainability and circular performance is integrated in their ERP systems. They have a 10-year vision for value chain dematerialisation and the introduction of products as a service.

Realising this vision for the economy as a whole requires speeding up of the digitalisation which will facilitate a digital circular economy.

Conference programme

Circular Economy

24 October 2021

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

Circular Economy, ICT

×

Circular Economy ICT

Thematic plenary session

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

Join us online >

Join us in Dubai >

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.

Keynote speech

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.

Presentation

Kirsten  Dunlop

Kirsten Dunlop

EIT Climate-KIC

Chief Executive Officer

Kirsten Dunlop joined EIT Climate-KIC in January 2017 from Suncorp, Australia, where she was Executive General Manager of Strategic Innovation.

At Suncorp, Kirsten founded and led a bespoke division focused on managing and responding to strategic risk through innovation, transforming core business and industry models from within.

Previous to this, Kirsten held roles at Second Road and KPMG. She also worked in the UK and Italy for 15 years.

Presentation

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.

Presentation

Lieze Cloots

Lieze Cloots

OVAM / European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ECESP)

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.

Presentation

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).

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.

Kirsten  Dunlop

Kirsten Dunlop

EIT Climate-KIC

Chief Executive Officer

Kirsten Dunlop joined EIT Climate-KIC in January 2017 from Suncorp, Australia, where she was Executive General Manager of Strategic Innovation.

At Suncorp, Kirsten founded and led a bespoke division focused on managing and responding to strategic risk through innovation, transforming core business and industry models from within.

Previous to this, Kirsten held roles at Second Road and KPMG. She also worked in the UK and Italy for 15 years.

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.

Lieze Cloots

Lieze Cloots

OVAM / European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ECESP)

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.

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).

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.

Plenary session
The democratisation of technology: indigenous values and the future of digitalisation
16:00 - 17:20
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, 16:00 - 17:20 GST (Dubai)

14:00 - 15:20 CEST/SAST (Brussels, Cape Town)

13:00 - 14:20 WAT (Nigeria)

08:00 - 09:20 EDT (New York)

21:00 - 22:20 KST (Seoul)

20:00 - 21:20 CST (Beijing)

17:30 - 18:50 IST (New Delhi)

09:00 - 10:20 BRT (Rio de Janeiro)

Dubai Exhibition Centre & online

Join us online >

Join us in Dubai >

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

UNFCCC

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

Closing

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.

25 October 2021

Deep dive session
Scaling up Circular Economy in Flanders: stories of Flemish circular companies
11:15 - 12:45

Circular Economy, ICT

×

Circular Economy ICT

Deep dive session

Scaling up Circular Economy in Flanders: stories of Flemish circular companies

25/10/2021, 11:15 - 12:45 GST (Dubai)

09:15 - 10:45 CEST/SAST (Brussels, Cape Town)

08:15 - 09:45 WAT (Nigeria)

03:15 - 04:45 EDT (New York)

16:15 - 17:45 KST (Seoul)

15:15 - 16:45 CST (Beijing)

12:45 - 14:15 IST (New Delhi)

04:15 - 05:45 BRT (Rio de Janeiro)

Online

Join us online >

The development of the circular business sector in Flanders has been made possible thanks to a combination of actions by regional government and stakeholder organisations. While the government has continued the mobilisation of information and finances, sector organisations and knowledge institutes, such as VITO, have provided valuable coaching and support. This session examines the effects of all this, via testimonies given by a range of circular entrepreneurs about how they got started and grew their businesses over the past few years.

Deep dive session
Circular Economy
14:00 - 15:30
Belgian Pavilion

Circular Economy

Deep dive session
Digital technologies for urban mining
15:45 - 17:15
Belgian Pavilion

Circular Economy, ICT

×

Circular Economy ICT

Deep dive session

Digital technologies for urban mining

25/10/2021, 15:45 - 17:15 GST (Dubai)

13:45 - 15:15 CEST/SAST (Brussels, Cape Town)

12:45 - 14:15 WAT (Nigeria)

07:45 - 09:15 EDT (New York)

20:45 - 22:15 KST (Seoul)

19:45 - 21:15 CST (Beijing)

17:15 - 18:45 IST (New Delhi)

08:45 - 10:15 BRT (Rio de Janeiro)

Belgian Pavilion & online

Join us online >

Join us in Dubai >

Increasing the circularity of our materials system requires increased recovery of metals from the urban mine. Recycling processes depend on feed materials with a known and constant composition. Extracting these from end-of-life products thereby requires controlled, high-quality processing. This is an area where more effort and automation are needed. Artificial Intelligence has a valuable role to play, as it can be used to characterise and separate complex products and mixed material flows. Novel technologies are entering the market.

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

Controlled processing of end-of-life products and goods for high grade recovery

The famous leadership writer Stephen Covey stated that “leaders must lead with the end in mind”. The same applies to urban mining, as there’s nowhere the end and beginning are more intertwined than in the recycling business. This is certainly the case at Belgian Scrap Terminal, where products’ endings and beginnings physically meet. However, the same can’t always be said for how leaders perceive the industry.

She will share insights into the recycling industry’s challenges, the prerequisites for successful eco-design and the important role of Artificial Intelligence. She’ll explain how using the power of Artificial Intelligence to reverse-engineer products’ life cycles and integrate this into our daily lives is the main driver for creating a sustainable ecosystem. They say “You are what you eat”. But we are also “what we produce/throw away/recycle”. The question is, are we prepared to lead with that end in mind?

Caroline Craenhals

Caroline Craenhals

Belgian Scrap Terminal Group

CEO, Co-owner

Caroline Craenhals was born and raised in the recycling business. Her great grandfather saw there was value in discarded metals and founded Belgian Scrap Terminal. As she grew up, surrounded by heavy machinery, steel and port terminals, her choices in life were always inspired by the family business.

Caroline studied commercial engineering at VUB Solvay Management School and graduated with great distinction with her thesis “Management of automotive shredder residues”. After specialising further, in 2015 she was invited to join a select group of businesswomen from all around the world taking part in “The Women Entrepreneur Program”, an exclusive leadership programme at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Having accumulated years of management experience in the family recycling business’s branches around Western Europe, Caroline is now CEO and co-owner of Belgian Scrap Terminal Group, which supplies the global market with 1.5 million tonnes of valuable and natural resources via the Port of Antwerp.

Under her watch, Belgian Scrap Terminal has evolved from a purely revenue-driven company into a value-driven one, with a genuine passion for recycling.

Caroline strongly believes in an ecosystem where collaboration, smart recycling and urban mining leave nothing to waste.

Presentation

Machine learning for characterisation of WEEE

Eric  Dewaet

Eric Dewaet

Recupel

CEO/COO

Steven Latré

Steven Latré

Imec

Director Research Centre

Steven Latré is a professor at the University of Antwerp and a director at the Imec research centre in Belgium. He leads the IDLab Antwerp research group (100+ members), which is performing applied and fundamental research in the area of communication networks and distributed intelligence. His personal research interests are in the domain of low-power machine learning and its application to wireless network optimisation.

Presentation

AI-based characterisation of streams containing mixed metals

Many recycling companies are struggling to value-assess complex material/waste streams. Sampling procedures and subsequent chemical analyses are costly and labour-intensive. And with these often taking several weeks to complete, there is also financial uncertainty to deal with.

To address this, VITO initiated the development of an in-line characterisation technology which assesses complex and heterogenous material streams in their entirety. This eliminates the need for subsampling and mass-balances can be produced ‘on-the-fly’.

The heterogenous waste particles are dispersed on a conveyor belt as a mono-layer and scanned using X-rays, a 3D laser scanner and a colour camera. Artificial intelligence is used to recognise the individual particles and assign them with several important physical parameters, such as size, mass, shape, material, texture, etc. The technology creates a ‘digital twin’ for each material particle, which can be further assessed virtually.

This technology has been successfully demonstrated for a handful of streams involving relatively small samples, e.g. a few buckets (‘scan-the-bucket’). VITO is currently working on scaling it up to an industrially useful ‘scan-the-truck’ level.

VITO took on this challenge by joining forces with Ghent University and two industrial partners, Suez and Umicore. Together, they have succeeded in showcasing the industrial relevance of this new characterisation technology. In the near future, VITO plans to introduce the innovative technology as a service to the metal recycling market and subsequently launch a spin-off company selling tailor-made inline characterisation devices.

Kris  Broos

Kris Broos

VITO

Expert Sustainable Materials

Kris Broos graduated as an environmental engineer in 1999 and obtained a PhD in Applied and Biological Sciences in 2003 at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium). After 5 years of environmental research at CSIRO Land and Water in Australia, Kris moved back to Belgium to work at VITO, the Flemish Institute for Technological Research.

With a track record of more than 35 SCI papers and strong involvement in several large EU projects (H2020, EIT Raw Materials, Interreg), Kris has become an expert on Sustainable Materials Management, particularly in the field of transformation of inorganic waste streams into new resources and products. The recycling of construction and demolition waste, metal slags and industrial waste streams are among his main focus areas.

Kris is currently exploring a new strategic research line on the use of sensor-based technologies and machine learning for the inline characterisation of heterogeneous waste streams.

Presentation

Distributed Ledger Technology for transparency and accountability in the recycling system

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

26 October 2021

Workshop
The democratisation of technology: paving the way towards a desirable 2050 future by understanding our younger generation’s aspirations
09:30 - 13:00
Dubai Exhibition Centre (by invitation only)

Circular Economy, Climate, ICT, Youth

×

Circular Economy Climate ICT Youth

Workshop

The democratisation of technology: paving the way towards a desirable 2050 future by understanding our younger generation’s aspirations

26/10/2021, 09:30 - 13:00 GST (Dubai)

07:30 - 11:00 CEST/SAST (Brussels, Cape Town)

06:30 - 10:00 WAT (Nigeria)

01:30 - 05:00 EDT (New York)

14:30 - 18:00 KST (Seoul)

13:30 - 17:00 CST (Beijing)

11:00 - 14:30 IST (New Delhi)

02:30 - 06:00 BRT (Rio de Janeiro)

Dubai Exhibition Centre (by invitation only)

It takes up to 25 years, which is a generation, to transform an industrial sector and its associated value chains. Attaining a desirable sustainable future by 2050 means decisions, action and experimentation around the “new sustainable normal” need to take place now.

In partnership with the Resilience Frontiers Initiative, Zayed University, G-STIC, VITO and 3 ideas B.V., this workshop will use methodology developed by the Resilience Frontiers Initiative together with foresight provided by 4CF to frame a regional case study around date palm oasis ecosystems. A group of students from Zayed University will be engaged to shed light on their social aspirations for the future in the context of natural resources, human settlements, circular economy, new materials, and frontier technologies.

The students, in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team of experts, will be also asked to apply the values, principles and a worldview associated with indigenous networks and their information management systems to the assimilation of frontier technologies, including blockchain.

Facilitated by

Norbert  Kolos

Norbert Kolos

4CF Sp. z o.o.

Managing partner

Norbert Kolos is a managing partner of 4CF. For over a decade, he has headed its analytical team’s contributions to numerous studies and strategies for business, governmental bodies and international institutions, providing foresight, socio-economic and regulatory impact assessments. Norbert has also examined the future of manufacturing and related business (in the packaging, automotive and technology sectors’ models) under Industry 4.0.

In recent years, Norbert has led consulting projects in strategic planning for Norwegian government agencies such as Jernbaneverket, Innovasjon Norge and Kystverket, for the Polish Ministry of Investments and Development, and others. He has conducted workshops and training sessions for decision makers of large corporations and institutions.

Norbert Kolos is currently the chair of the Polish node of The Millennium Project, an international foresight think-tank based in Washington, and a member of the World Future Society. He also teaches strategic foresight at the Naval Academy in Gdynia, having earned master’s degrees in both economics and management at the University of Warsaw.

Kacper  Nosarzewski

Kacper Nosarzewski

4CF Sp. z o.o.

Partner

Kacper Nosarzewski is a partner at 4CF and a board member of the Polish Society for Futures Studies. As a NATO expert, he is an author of methodologies and facilitator of foresight projects for civilian and military clients. Kacper advises on strategic foresight enterprises and international institutions, such as UNESCO and UNDP. He led the Scenarios of National Development 2050 project for the Polish Ministry of Infrastructure and Development.

Kacper has also managed projects for medium and large companies and government agencies around the world in the high-tech, food & beverage, financial, logistics and defense industries. These include the Polish and Dutch Ministries of Defense, Brazilian mining corporations, the Republic of Colombia’s Ministry of Labour, Polish FMCG companies and government agencies in Tunisia and Norway.

He is a member of the Polish branch of The Millennium Project – the world’s largest foresight think tank – and a member of the World Future Society, as well as being the author of various scientific articles, workshops and media commentaries on the future of industries, cities and companies.

Kacper Nosarzewski currently teaches foresight at the Naval Academy, AGH University of Science and Technology, and has a seminar on future cities at the Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies, University of Warsaw. He is a graduate of the University of Warsaw and an alumnus of the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Programme.

Ibon  Zugasti Gorostidi

Ibon Zugasti Gorostidi

Prospektiker - Millennium Project

Director

Ibon Zugasti is an International Project Manager at LKS Cooperative (the Management Consulting Division of MONDRAGON Corporation), a Board Member of the Millennium Project Global Futures Think Tank, a Member of the Board of Foresight Europe Network – FEN, Deputy Director of the Foresight Iberoamerican Network – RIBER and Associate Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science. Ibon is also the Managing Partner/Director in PROSPEKTIKER – European Institute for Futures Studies and Strategy and a member of the PREPARE Network.

Since 1999, Ibon has led several high-impact consultancy and research projects in fields such as foresight, regional sustainable development, labour & training and energy for different Governments around the world (including USA, Canada, UK, Colombia, Uruguay) and cities (including Montreal, Preston, New York City) and corporations (including Repsol, Telefonica, Iberdrola, Guggenheim, MONDRAGON). He has also advised the Committee of the Regions of the EU about the launching of a European Platform on Territorial Foresight. In the USA, Ibon advises the Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative (BCDI) in New York City and collaborates closely with the nationwide 1worker1vote movement.

Ibon has co-authored several publications such as “The Future of Business Organizations and Cooperatives” (Millennium Project), “An initial assessment of territorial forward planning/foresight projects in the European Union” (Committee of the Regions of the EU), “The Future of Work and Technology 2050” (Millennium Project) and related articles such as “Why the U.S. Needs More Worker-Owned Companies” (Harvard Business Review) and “Mondragon: Maintaining Resilience through Cooperative Strategies” (Oxford University). He also contributes to the Millennium Project’s annual “State of the Future” publication.

Ibon attained his bachelor’s degree in business administration and his master’s in strategic management at the University of Deusto (Spain) and Marquette University (USA). He has taught strategic and cooperative management and foresight at international level at many universities and seminars (including Oxford University, TEC Monterrey, Singularity University and Yonsei University).

Partners and co-creators

Youssef  Nassef

Youssef Nassef

UNFCCC

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.

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).

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.

Marco  Sosa

Marco Sosa

Zayed University

Associate Professor and Chair of Design at CACE

Marco Sosa is an Architect (RIBA), Associate Professor and Chair of Design at the College of Arts and Creative Enterprises, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi. He holds a bachelor’s degree (Hons) and postgraduate diploma in Architecture, as well as a master’s in Architecture of Rapid Change and Scarce Resources from the London Metropolitan University. In 2012, Sosa published a photography book about the oldest functional mosque in the UAE. He has also designed, participated in and curated exhibitions, nationally and internationally.

In 2014, Marco was appointed Head of Design to the curatorial team for the First National UAE Pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice Biennale. Curated by Rem Koolhaas, this exhibition and its catalogue featured many of Sosa’s photographs. Sosa is interested in materials and their presence as space forming mediums that add materiality to a “place”, together with how to integrate digital fabrication techniques in the studio for Interior design learning.

Lina  Ahmad

Lina Ahmad

Zayed University

Associate Professor at CACE

Lina Ahmad is currently employed as an Associate Professor and Assistant Chair at the College of Arts and Creative Enterprises, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi. Ahmad holds a master’s degree (MArch) from the Architectural Association in London. She has over 10 years of professional experience as an architect working across different sectors and project stages.

Ahmad’s work has been exhibited extensively, including at the UAE’s National Pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice Biennale.

In 2015, she published a book titled “Cellular ‘Network’ City” which presents an investigation into the realm of algorithmic architectural design.

Lina’s work has been published and presented at various conferences around the world. She is passionate about modern heritage and is an advocate of digital fabrication technology, the concept of “design by making” in the design studio and its impact in regional higher education and the UAE creative industry.

Technical experts

Bremley  W.B. Lyngdoh

Bremley W.B. Lyngdoh

Worldview Impact Foundation

Founder & CEO

Bremley Lyngdoh is a climate change and sustainable development professional with over 25 years’ experience working with governments, IGOs, NGOs and the private sector developing a range of innovative projects in Asia, Africa and South America, aimed at producing ecologically sound and economically viable activities that contribute directly to reducing rural poverty and generating productive sustainable livelihoods for vulnerable local communities.

Bremley has a wealth of relevant experience in project sourcing and development. His main strength lies in building strategic partnerships with various governmental agencies, NGOs and multilateral development agencies. Through previous assignments working with the United Nations and the World Bank in Asia, Africa and Latin America, he has gained expertise in the effective monitoring and evaluation of field-based programmes.

Lyngdoh has developed climate change adaptation projects combining integrated agroforestry, regenerative farming, sustainable tourism and renewable energy technologies. To honour his father and build upon his legacy, Bremley Lyngdoh established Spring Valley Farm in Shillong, Meghalaya, and served as Senior Advisor to the Hill Farmers’ Union, which supports 100,000 organic farmers in northeast India to fight climate change and implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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.

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.

Rishabh  Khanna

Rishabh Khanna

Earthbanc AB

Chief Impact Officer

Rishabh Khanna is the Chief Impact Officer at Earthbanc and a member of the ILLP (Initiative of Land, Lives and Peace) steering committee. He is driven by a calling to strike a balance between social and ecological systems.

For over ten years, he has focused on applying new economic and business models in accordance with the planet and all its creatures.

Khanna co-founded The Indian Youth Climate Network and has worked with organisations such as Initiatives of Change, Climate Action Network, African Development Bank, UN Habitat, Ministry of Defence in Sweden, Ministry of New Renewable Energy in India, Ministry of Environment and Forests, TATA Group and more.

Mizi  Fan

Mizi Fan

Brunel University London

Research Director

Mizi Fan is a Research Director, Founder and former Head of Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Brunel University London, United Kingdom. He is the Director of ‘Grow2build’ European Centre of Excellence and Director of Nanocellulose and Biocomposites Research Centre.

Fan was Principal Consultant at Building Research Establishment (BRE), United Kingdom. He has authored or co-authored over 320 technical papers and patents, authored eight textbooks on nanoparticles and natural fibre composites, and edited or been a member of the editorial team for nine international journals on materials, construction and environment.

Fan is a project coordinator and technical manager for 12 EU Framework/Horizon projects, an assessor for ERA (European Research Area) and European R&D Framework programme FP6, FP7 and Horizon 2020, and also an independent assessor of a number of governmental R&D programmes.

Yonghui  Zhou

Yonghui Zhou

Brunel University London

Research Fellow

Yonghui Zhou is a Research Fellow in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Brunel University, London (UK), where his research has primarily covered technology platforms for creating sustainable composite materials, from innovative formulation and functionalisation to their characterisation and application.

He has been working on complex EU-funded research projects since 2014 and has published over 20 articles in highly influential journals, plus three book chapters.

Yonghui Zhou has vast experience in the development of natural fibres and bio-based composites, processing of thermoplastics and bioplastics, and recycling and valorisation of municipal wastes. All of this has helped in building up his expertise in material physics and chemistry, low carbon technologies and waste recycling and management.

Deep dive session
Circular textiles
11:30 - 13:00
Indian Pavilion

Circular Economy

×

Circular Economy

Deep dive session

Circular textiles

26/10/2021, 11:30 - 13:00 GST (Dubai)

09:30 - 11:00 CEST/SAST (Brussels, Cape Town)

08:30 - 10:00 WAT (Nigeria)

03:30 - 05:00 EDT (New York)

16:30 - 18:00 KST (Seoul)

15:30 - 17:00 CST (Beijing)

13:00 - 14:30 IST (New Delhi)

04:30 - 06:00 BRT (Rio de Janeiro)

Indian Pavilion & online

Join us online >

Join us in Dubai >

Textiles is a key product category in the European Circular Economy Action Plan. Although there is a long history of collection and reuse of textiles, the existing system is largely based on international trade and minimisation of costs. Achieving sustainability and circularity will only come through systemic change, which will have to consider all aspects of the SDGs. Flexible electronics embedded within textiles for functional and aesthetic reasons is a rapidly emerging phenomenon. These enable tracking and tracing for materials management, but may also complicate recycling of fibres.

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

The SCIRT project: developing a circular value chain in Europe

Tom Duhoux

Tom Duhoux

VITO

Expert Circular Economy

Presentation

The international impacts of changing textiles management strategies

Presentation

Using digital technologies and ecosystems to drive towards a more sustainable textiles and fashion industry

Ariadne Innovation is on a mission to inspire, inform and connect the textile and fashion industry to drive sustainable change, supported by digital technology.

The Ellie.Connect digital ecosystem and platform enables greater collaboration between parties in the sustainable textile and fashion industry. The Ellie digital companion listens to the industry’s needs and challenges and uses the platform’s built-in intelligence to identify the right hybrid solutions and partners. Producers, brands, retailers, buyers and network organisations are thereby able to find the information and connections needed to facilitate the development, production and taking to market of sustainable textile products.

Enabling sustainable growth through collaboration is at the heart of what Ariadne Innovation does. But they do not stop there. They also use virtual and hybrid marketing technology to share these stories.

Julie  Lietaer

Julie Lietaer

European Spinning Group

Co-CEO

Julie is holds a master’s degree in Financial Management from Vlerick Business School. She has several years of experience as a business consultant at Arthur D Little and business analyst at Barco.

She is active as a board member of the Belgian textile federation Fedustria, Textirama Foundation and various educational institutes in Belgium. Julie’s expertise lies in knowledge of fibres and sustainable yarns, as well as in circular product development projects.

Presentation

Flexible electronics for circular textiles

Q&A

Deep dive session
Paving the twin transition (single) road
14:00 - 15:30

Circular Economy, ICT

×

Circular Economy ICT

Deep dive session

Paving the twin transition (single) road

26/10/2021, 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)

Online

Join us online >

Shifting EU industry onto green and digital pathways is now being characterised as a twin transition. A recent study for the European Environmental Agency, conducted by the European Topic Centre on Waste and Materials in a Green Economy, analyses the opportunities Industry 4.0 presents for reducing our production systems’ environmental impact.

With a focus on enabling and sustaining circular economy strategies, the study looked at the ability of digitalisation and Industry 4.0 as a systemic approach.

This session builds on the findings of this study, and speakers will discuss ways of guiding and co-creating a sustainable twin transition.

Chaired by

Holger Berg

Holger Berg

Wuppertal Institute

Co-Head Digital Transformation Research Unit

Holger Berg is Co-Head of the Digital Transformation Research Unit and Vice Director of Circular Economy at the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy. His research interests focus on what digital transformation means to sustainable development, in terms of opportunities and influences, with particular regard to industrial transformation. Berg looks at these topics from the perspective of ecological-business benefits, technological implementation and political design.

Holger Berg is the author of several studies on the connection between digitalisation and sustainability, with a focus on circular economy. In his expert capacity, he supports various national and international organisations and advises governments and the EU on issues related to digital transformation and the circular economy.

Introduction

Holger Berg

Holger Berg

Wuppertal Institute

Co-Head Digital Transformation Research Unit

Holger Berg is Co-Head of the Digital Transformation Research Unit and Vice Director of Circular Economy at the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy. His research interests focus on what digital transformation means to sustainable development, in terms of opportunities and influences, with particular regard to industrial transformation. Berg looks at these topics from the perspective of ecological-business benefits, technological implementation and political design.

Holger Berg is the author of several studies on the connection between digitalisation and sustainability, with a focus on circular economy. In his expert capacity, he supports various national and international organisations and advises governments and the EU on issues related to digital transformation and the circular economy.

Presentation

Unlocking the potential of Industry 4.0 to reduce the environmental impact of production

A recent study for the European Environmental Agency, conducted by Wuppertal Institute, VITO, CSCP and VTT, analyses the opportunities presented by Industry 4.0 to reduce the environmental impact of our production systems.

This study investigates potential benefits and illustrates them based on case studies of existing technology applications. It also shows that technologies for digital manufacturing require close attention with regard to their own environmental footprint. Based on a status quo analysis of the current relationship between Industry 4.0 and circular economy, enabling conditions and barriers for a digitally-facilitated circular economy are then identified. Implications are drawn for European Strategies regarding the twin transition of climate change and digitalisation, for the digitally-enabled circular economy and for company support.

Juan Calero

Juan Calero

European Environment Agency

Expert – Industry and the environment

Juan is an expert in industrial pollution and environment at the European Environment Agency (EEA). He leads assessments and policy support activities around the interface between industry and environment, as well as coordinating the monitoring and reporting of industrial emission data, notably the integrated reporting to the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR) and the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) reporting requirements.

As part of his role, Juan manages projects to do with the role of consumer electronics in the circular economy and on unlocking Industry 4.0’s potential to reduce the environmental impact of production. Prior to working at the Agency, Juan was a principal consultant and project manager in a consultancy firm, where his work focused on assessing European and UK environmental policy, especially related to industrial emissions, chemicals, and air quality.

Presentation

Identity in a circular future

Susanne  Guth-Orlowski

Susanne Guth-Orlowski

Spherity

Chief Innovation and Solution Officer

Susanne is Chief Innovation & Solution Officer at Spherity – a decentralised identity company. Her background is in security technology and she has 20 years hands-on, technical experience in cryptography. After leading technical teams of large German mobile network operators, she moved to more business-related roles, where she drove sales, business development, partnerships and roadmap activities for IT-security services and products.

Today, Susanne consults with companies on how to define IT-Security products & services and bring them to market. She is a strong believer that technology can help the climate goals to be reached and is currently engaged in defining the technical concepts for a digital, decentralised battery product passport to facilitate better recycling and reuse of batteries.

 

Q&A

18 January 2022

Thematic plenary session
Circular economy
09:30 - 11:00
Dubai Exhibition Centre

Circular Economy

Deep dive session
Circular economy
11:00 - 12:30
Dubai Exhibition Centre

Circular Economy

Deep dive session
Circular economy
14:00 - 15:30

Circular Economy

19 January 2022

Plenary session
The democratisation of technology: living the change in a post-pandemic world
10:00 - 11:00
Dubai Exhibition Centre

Circular Economy, Climate, ICT, Youth

×

Circular Economy Climate ICT Youth

Plenary session

The democratisation of technology: living the change in a post-pandemic world

19/01/2022, 10:00 - 11:00 GST (Dubai)

07:00 - 08:00 CET/WAT (Brussels, Nigeria)

08:00 - 09:00 SAST (Cape Town)

01:00 - 02:00 EST (New York)

15:00 - 16:00 KST (Seoul)

14:00 - 15:00 CST (Beijing)

11:30 - 12:30 IST (New Delhi)

03:00 - 04:00 BRT (Rio de Janeiro)

Dubai Exhibition Centre & online

Join us online >

Join us in Dubai >

The prospect of a green post-COVID recovery provides opportunities to shape our future more sustainably and equitably. Living this change will require a shift to holistic mindsets and re-evaluation of our relationships with nature and with each other. Frontier technologies will continue to play an important role, but it will be up to us to define and shape the technological realm’s ethical parameters.

This session will build upon the October 2021 Democratisation of Technology sessions in which indigenous values were introduced in the context of using digital technologies for social good. We will expand by looking at challenges associated with automation and job creation for people, creating new value through collaborative innovation, combating a digital divide and technology on the ethical edge.

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.

Introduction

Keynote speech

Digital technologies for social good

Youssef  Nassef

Youssef Nassef

UNFCCC

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

Harnessing the power of innovation for nature and people

Zitouni Ould-Dada

Zitouni Ould-Dada

FAO

Deputy Director Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment

Zitouni Ould-Dada is Deputy Director of the Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Before joining FAO, he spent five years as Head of the Technology Unit at UNEP, where he lead work on technology, climate change, renewable energy and energy efficiency. He was a member of the UN Inter-Agency Task Team developing the Technology Facilitation Mechanism and its Annual Science Technology and Innovation Forum to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Ould-Dada worked for the British Government for 15 years providing policy and technical advice in many areas, including food safety, environmental policy, climate change, energy policy, science and technology. He was the Lead Negotiator on International Climate Change and Technology for the UK (2008-2012) and France (2008), chairing negotiations on technology transfer, agriculture, blue carbon and nature and ecosystems, which contributed to reaching the landmark Paris Climate Agreement in 2015. His international responsibilities have also included Chair of EU Expert Group on Technology, Chair of IRENA’s Policy and Strategy Committee and Member of UN Task Team for producing a UN System-wide Approach to Climate Action for the UN Climate Action Summit 2019.

A national of both Morocco and the UK, Ould-Dada holds a PhD in environmental/radiation protection from Imperial College, London, a master’s degree in environmental management and planning from Université de Rennes, France, and a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from Institut Universitaire de Technologie, Perpignan, France.

Presentation

Creating new value through collaborative innovation

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

Combatting the digital divide to build inclusivity

Nibal  Idlebi

Nibal Idlebi

UN-ESCWA

Chief of Innovation

Nibal Idlebi is the chief of Innovation Section at UN-ESCWA. She is a senior policy expert in innovation and technology for sustainable development, knowledge society and digital and open government. She has extensive experience in policies and strategies for advancing the knowledge society, digital government transformation and innovation and entrepreneurship in the Arab nations. She has also supervised several regional initiatives on Digital Arabic Content, building trust in cyber space through cyber legislation, regional profile of information society and she is currently leading the ESCWA initiative on fostering open government in the Arab region.

Idlebi is an active member of several international and regional working groups and a jury member for regional and international awards on innovation, entrepreneurship and digital content. She has also been a jury member for many e-Government Awards in the Arab Region. Idlebi has a computer engineering degree and a PhD in computer science from France.

Q&A and discussion

Closing

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.

Keynote speakers

Circular Economy

Top experts

Circular Economy

Plenary session

Circular economy: integrating local approaches for global sustainable development

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.

Circular Economy ICT

Thematic plenary session

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

Join us online >

Join us in Dubai >

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.

Keynote speech

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.

Presentation

Kirsten  Dunlop

Kirsten Dunlop

EIT Climate-KIC

Chief Executive Officer

Kirsten Dunlop joined EIT Climate-KIC in January 2017 from Suncorp, Australia, where she was Executive General Manager of Strategic Innovation.

At Suncorp, Kirsten founded and led a bespoke division focused on managing and responding to strategic risk through innovation, transforming core business and industry models from within.

Previous to this, Kirsten held roles at Second Road and KPMG. She also worked in the UK and Italy for 15 years.

Presentation

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.

Presentation

Lieze Cloots

Lieze Cloots

OVAM / European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ECESP)

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.

Presentation

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).

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.

Kirsten  Dunlop

Kirsten Dunlop

EIT Climate-KIC

Chief Executive Officer

Kirsten Dunlop joined EIT Climate-KIC in January 2017 from Suncorp, Australia, where she was Executive General Manager of Strategic Innovation.

At Suncorp, Kirsten founded and led a bespoke division focused on managing and responding to strategic risk through innovation, transforming core business and industry models from within.

Previous to this, Kirsten held roles at Second Road and KPMG. She also worked in the UK and Italy for 15 years.

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.

Lieze Cloots

Lieze Cloots

OVAM / European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ECESP)

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.

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).

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.

Deep dive sessions

Implementing digital technologies in circular business

Thematic coordinator

Circular Economy

Thematic partners