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

Circular Economy

×

Circular Economy

Thematic plenary session

Circular economy: integrating local approaches for global sustainable development

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

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

11:00 - 12:30 WAT (Nigeria)

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

19:00 - 20:30 KST (Seoul)

18:00 - 19:30 CST (Beijing)

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

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

Dubai Exhibition Centre & online

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

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

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

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

Chaired by

Karl Vrancken

Karl Vrancken

VITO

Research Manager Sustainable Materials

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

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

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

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

Presentation

Opening speech: introducing the GACERE initiative

Inger  Andersen

Inger Andersen

UNEP

Executive Director

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

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

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

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

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

Panel discussion

Panel discussion

Inger  Andersen

Inger Andersen

UNEP

Executive Director

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

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

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

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

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

Cliona  Howie

Cliona Howie

Climate-KIC

Head of circular economy and Executive Management Team Member

Ke Wang

Ke Wang

PACE

Knowledge Lead

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

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

Suzanne  Karcher

Suzanne Karcher

WRF

Co-Founder and Executive; National Project Coordinator, ACEN

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

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

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

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

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

Lieze Cloots

Lieze Cloots

OVAM

Head international policy team

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

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

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

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

Circular Economy, Climate, ICT, Youth

×

Circular Economy Climate ICT Youth

Plenary session

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

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

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

13:30 - 14:15 WAT (Nigeria)

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

21:30 - 22:15 KST (Seoul)

20:30 - 21:15 CST (Beijing)

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

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

Dubai Exhibition Centre & online

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

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

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

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

Chaired by

Musonda  Mumba

Musonda Mumba

UNDP, Rome Centre for Sustainable Development

Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

Welcome

Dietrich  Van der Weken

Dietrich Van der Weken

VITO

General Manager G-STIC

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

Video: The ingenious values for the future

Keynote speech

Achieving intergenerational equity and the future role of frontier technologies

Youssef  Nassef

Youssef Nassef

United Nations Climate Change

Director Adaptation

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

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

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

Keynote speech

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

Hindou  Oumarou Ibrahim

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim

United Nations

SDG Advocate

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

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

Presentation

Technological hyper-connectivity and the indigenous values of nature

Sandra Piesik

Sandra Piesik

3 Ideas B.V.

Director

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

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

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

Presentation

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

Davar  Ardalan

Davar Ardalan

IVOW AI, Inc.

Founder

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

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

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

Presentation

Integrity of platform based social and economic models

Stan  Chen

Stan Chen

RecycleGO

CEO & Co-Founder

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

Q&A and discussion

Conclusions

Musonda  Mumba

Musonda Mumba

UNDP, Rome Centre for Sustainable Development

Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

25 October 2021

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

Circular Economy

×

Circular Economy

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

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

Circular Economy

×

Circular Economy

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

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

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

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 & online

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.

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

Circular Economy

×

Circular Economy

Deep dive session

Circular textiles

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

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

08:00 - 10:00 WAT (Nigeria)

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

16:00 - 18:00 KST (Seoul)

15:00 - 17:00 CST (Beijing)

12:30 - 14:30 IST (New Delhi)

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

Indian Pavilion & online

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
Data management and safety
14:00 - 15:30
Dubai Exhibition Centre

Circular Economy

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Circular Economy

Deep dive session

Data management and safety

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)

Dubai Exhibition Centre & online

Material passports and tracking technology will generate data which will be used for managing product value chains. It is imperative, therefore, that circular markets have watertight data security that ensures this is all stored safely and without risk of becoming corrupted, while also remaining appropriately accessible and privacy-protected. The ability to transfer data reliably, with robust filtering capability that restricts the flow of potentially sensitive information to those who want, need and are authorised to receive it, is also a necessity.

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

GAIA-X European cloud infrastructure for data storage and transfer

Presentation

The relationship between personal data and circular economy

Implementing circular business models involves the tracking and tracing of products and materials. Meanwhile, managing the associated data streams means attending to privacy and data security issues. Solid is the name of a global initiative originating from MIT for decentralised storage and sharing of personal data. It allows individual users or consumers to control their own personal data. This presentation will give examples of how this personal online data (or “pod”) technology is relevant to the circular economy.

Yoko  Dams

Yoko Dams

VITO

Research Team Leader

Yoko Dams is a research team leader and data and modelling expert at VITO. As a member of the sustainable materials team, she uses economic models (such as a CGE model), statistical methods and data science to generate evidence-based insights into the dynamics of circular economy strategies for public authorities and for industry. As Research Team Leader, she is responsible for setting up and realising the research roadmap on data technologies.

Presentation

Identity in a circular future

Carsten  Stoecker

Carsten Stoecker (TBC)

Spherity

CEO

Presentation

Using web scraping as a data source for circular materials management

Q&A

18 January 2022

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

Circular Economy

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

Circular Economy

Deep dive session
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

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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

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

United Nations Climate Change

Director Adaptation

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

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

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

Keynote speech

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).

Keynote speech

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

Thematic plenary session

Circular economy: integrating local approaches for global sustainable development

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

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

11:00 - 12:30 WAT (Nigeria)

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

19:00 - 20:30 KST (Seoul)

18:00 - 19:30 CST (Beijing)

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

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

Dubai Exhibition Centre & online

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

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

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

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

Chaired by

Karl Vrancken

Karl Vrancken

VITO

Research Manager Sustainable Materials

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

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

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

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

Presentation

Opening speech: introducing the GACERE initiative

Inger  Andersen

Inger Andersen

UNEP

Executive Director

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

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

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

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

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

Panel discussion

Panel discussion

Inger  Andersen

Inger Andersen

UNEP

Executive Director

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

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

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

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

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

Cliona  Howie

Cliona Howie

Climate-KIC

Head of circular economy and Executive Management Team Member

Ke Wang

Ke Wang

PACE

Knowledge Lead

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

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

Suzanne  Karcher

Suzanne Karcher

WRF

Co-Founder and Executive; National Project Coordinator, ACEN

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

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

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

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

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

Lieze Cloots

Lieze Cloots

OVAM

Head international policy team

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

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

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

Deep dive sessions

Implementing digital technologies in circular business

Thematic coordinator

Circular Economy

Thematic partners