Meet the 2018 LAUNCH Circular Innovators

Customers are sending a clear message – consumption patterns are changing, and changing quickly. But in order to truly shape a circular society, we need to mainstream these inspiring efforts. This year, LAUNCH has found 10 Innovators whose inspiring ideas are already moving communities across the world towards more circular and sustainable ways of living. Curious?

At LAUNCH we imagine a world where renting, leasing or subscribing to a service gives you access to better experiences, more customized products, or even saves you money. This has been at the core of this year’s LAUNCH Circular Innovation Challenge. We set out on a journey to find pioneering Innovators around the world that are engaging customers in the circular economy, and we received 125 amazing innovations from around the world representing 36 different countries.

Today, we are thrilled to announce the 2018 selected LAUNCH Circular Innovators:

 

“To help and inspire people to live within the limits of one planet and at the same time meet people’s needs and dreams is a main objective for IKEA. Circularity is the future of retailing and our way of fulfilling those objectives. We really look forward to meet this year’s selected creative and inspiring Innovators.”

Håkan Nordkvist, Head of Sustainability Innovation, IKEA Group

 

The LAUNCH Partners and the team have selected this year’s Innovators following an extensive review conducted by more than 35 professional experts from research organizations, government institutions, and global companies. Thank you to everyone involved in the whole process. It has been an amazing journey and we are honored to have received applications from such an inspiring group of Innovators from around the world.

What’s next for the Innovators?

Ready to help this year’s Innovators are investors, experts, and companies like IKEA, VF Corporation, Walmart, Novozymes, Kvadrat, Nature’s Path, Waste Management, Sympatex, and other leading global organizations. The selected Innovators and organizations will meet at the Forum on December 5-6, 2018 in Bentonville, Arkansas, with two preceding Innovator preparation days that will be jointly hosted by Waste Management and Walmart.

At the Forum, the Innovators will present and discuss their solution and Call to Action with around 35 industry executives, experts, government officials, and investors.

Everybody will be helping scale the innovations by offering expertise, mentorship, guidance to the innovators, access to market partners, and facilitate opportunities for investment. Following the Forum, Innovators will have an accelerator program with commitments that will help them bring their innovations to scale.

“We are witnessing a new generation that is ready to share more. A generation where experience and community play a big part in their life – more than the goods they purchase.  We are looking forward to engaging with and helping them do so with this years 10 LAUNCH Innovators.”

Barruch Ben-Zekry, Director – Sustainable Business Value, VF Corporation

Want to connect with the Innovators?

If anyone is interested in connecting with one of the selected Innovators or has inputs and ideas that can help them scale, please do not hesitate to reach out to Toke Sabroe from the LAUNCH Circular team at toke@launch.org

Stay tuned!

This year, we will again be providing live updates from the Forum, so do not miss out! Make sure to connect with us on Facebook for live videos and interviews, and follow us on Twitter #launchcircular for highlights and a live Twitter conversation.

If you are curious about more information about the innovators, you can find more information at their website:

 

WOW! 125 innovators from 36 countries!

This year 125 innovators from 36 different countries have applied to become on of this year 10 LAUNCH Circular innovators. Thank you all for your help this year – and for your applications!

Since 2014 Leaderlab has been leading the LAUNCH Circular program on behalf of the partners.

This year we have been exited, thrilled and even a bit nervous about this year’s LAUNCH Circular challenge. Would there be enough innovators out there working with New Circular Business Models and Customer Engagement?

By the deadline September 1st we had received applications from 125 innovators from 36 countries. Are you curious about how we will select the top 10? Read more here

In the following video, Natasha Frank (LAUNCH Innovator 2017) explains what she have gained from being part of the LAUNCH community.

Read more about this years challenge here.

 

Making Circularity Great Again

Tim Brooks LEGOHow do we accelerate the transition to a Circular Society?  And what role will customers, corporations, cities and governments play in realizing this vision?

This week, eBay hosted the LAUNCH Big Think on Customer Engagement and New Business Models, an opportunity for brands such as IKEA, LEGO, Apple, eBay, Interface, Dell, VF Corporation, Novozymes, Kvadrat and organisations like the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and GreenBiz to come together to understand how we can collectively build a circular society. During the Big Think, Sofus Midtgaard, the Director of Circular at LAUNCH, caught up with a number of the Big Think attendees to gather their thoughts on this vital circular economy dialogue and on what it takes to achieve a truly Circular Society by 2030.

“If this group can come up with something that really sparks interest and gets people excited, that would be the biggest thing for me.” Barruch Ben-Zekry, Director of Sustainable Business Value at VF Corporation.

“If we can really answer a need or answer an innovation challenge for consumers, we’re onto a winner.” Tim Brooks, Vice President, Corporate Responsibility at LEGO Group.

“I think there are new conversations that are going to emerge, but ultimately this is just about something that’s better than a broken system that we’ve created.” Del Hudson, Head of US Operations at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

“I hope that we can get a variety of innovations ranging from technology to more social and legislative… To have a mix of that would be wonderful.” Håkan Nordkvist, Head of Sustainability Innovation at IKEA.

“We have to create these systems and these products and services that are just inherently better.” Mikhail Davis, Director of Restorative Enterprise at Interface.

“The opportunity to get that many companies in a room and to talk about the challenges in creating a Circular Society is always a great moment.” Chris Librie, Head of Global Impact and Giving at eBay.

To see more photos from the Big Think, visit the LAUNCH Flickr. For more on the LAUNCH Circular Movement, visit launch.org/circular and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

What happens next?

All inputs given at the Big Think will be actively used over the coming months to form the Innovation Challenge along with further interviews to ensure a diverse representation of voices. By the end of April, we will send you a summary of all insights and the process. Until then, you can read more about the LAUNCH process and next steps in the booklet we sent to you previously this week (see page 12-13 and page 21).

Eight innovators with the potential to revolutionize the mobile, textile and furniture industry

IMAGINE A WORLD WHERE YOU RATHER THAN OWNING ALL OF YOUR FURNITURE JUST HAD IT DELIVERED AS A SERVICE? OR A WORLD WHERE SMARTPHONES WERE MODULAR AND YOU COULD EASILY REPLACE THE BATTERY OR THE SCREEN? OR WHAT ABOUT A WORLD WHERE YOUR JEANS OR T-SHIRT COULD HAVE A SECOND LIFE DUE TO AN RFID CHIP?

This is exactly what three of this year’s eight selected LAUNCH Circular Innovators are now working on making a reality. To help them succeed and scale, LAUNCH partners IKEA Group, Nike Inc., Kvadrat, eBay, Novozymes, as well as leading companies, Scientists, Investors, and Government Representatives will team up with the innovators at Kvadrat HQ in Ebeltoft Denmark Nov. 29-30, 2017.

Anders Byriel Circular Economy

“This year’s LAUNCH innovators represent a new age of manufacturing for a circular economy. From innovations in textile dyeing to RFID threads, these companies inspire us at Kvadrat to continue to keep sustainability at the forefront of our decision making. I look forward to hosting this year’s LAUNCH Forum at Kvadrat’s HQ in Ebeltoft.”

Anders Byriel, CEO, Kvadrat

Here, 38 industry executives, design and manufacturing experts, government officials and investors will gather to offer insight and guidance to help scale eight selected innovations. The innovations represent new business models, platforms, technologies and even a new policy that all support the creation of an alternative supply chain and all demonstrate potential to disrupt the linear economy.

“We are constantly looking for new ideas and innovation that can help make our business more sustainable. I’m happy to see the large global interest in the LAUNCH program and look forward to working with new partners and this year’s 8 selected innovators with disruptive ideas and fresh mindsets.”

Håkan Nordkvist, Head of Sustainability Innovation, IKEA Group

 

Flemming Besenbacher, chairman of Carlsberg Group, the Carlsberg Foundation, deputy chairman of Innovation Fund  Denmark, and the Chairman of the Advisory Group on Circular Economy to the Danish Government will be joining the Forum too:

Flemming Besenbacher

“LAUNCH is a great example of how global companies, governments and investors can work with circular entrepreneurs and start-ups. I look forward to joining and speaking at the forum and meeting the partners and 8 selected innovators.”

Flemming Besenbacher, Chairman of the Carlsberg Foundation


The 2017 Challenge

How do we start to design and manufacture for a circular economy? How do we shift to new business models that support durable products and re-use? These questions have been at the centre of this year’s LAUNCH Innovation Challenge on Design & Manufacturing for a Circular Economy that received 112 applications from innovators from 39 countries covering six continents.

The Innovators

Through a careful review process by a panel of 42 subject matter experts, 8 innovators were selected and invited to participate in the LAUNCH Forum at Kvadrats HQ this year, each based on their positive environmental or social impact potential. Their respective innovations have the potential to significantly shape a more sustainable future of design and manufacturing for a circular economy.

Ranging from start-ups to established companies, the selected innovators will present their ideas and technologies to the LAUNCH Council that is comprised of leading global companies, ministries and research institutions.

The top 8 LAUNCH innovations 2017 are:

  • AEROPOWDER – A sustainable insulation material created from waste feathers
  • Circular Devices – PuzzlePhone is a modular smartphone designed for longevity and circularity; it is customizable, repairable, and upgradable
  • Colorifix – Converting agricultural residues into pigments and dyed textiles using no acids or solvents – just sugar and biology
  • EON – The industry’s first RFID tag in the form of a thread that can integrate with textiles to power recycling
  • Living Ink Technologies – Making renewable and biodegradable printing ink from algae
  • Recircular – A brokering platform that proposes alternatives for a given waste stream and connects the generator with potential consumers
  • StrataLayer – Modular build furniture that changes according to life scenarios
  • University College, London – A new policy that companies only sell the lifetime services of their products but retain ownership of the materials

LAUNCH Innovator Alejandro Santacreu comments on his expectations for the LAUNCH Forum:

“We are eager to discuss with public bodies and conscious corporates how our vision on how Designing for Longevity enables the re-shoring of critical IT solutions, and how this impacts on national security in its most broader definition, beyond privacy and up securing long term welfare.”

Alejandro Santacreu, Founder, Puzzlephone and LAUNCH Innovator 2017

LAUNCH Innovator Natasha Frank is also excited about working with industry pioneers:

Natasha Frank EON.ID LAUNCH Innovator 2017

“A circular fashion industry requires industry wide-collaboration across technology and material science. Our technology and concept is a piece of this ecosystem. The industry partnerships through LAUNCH present an opportunity to move this concept from success to significance.”

Natasha Frank, Founder EON.ID, and LAUNCH Innovator 2017

LAUNCH Circular seeks to scale innovations that can play a crucial role in market evolution by exploring how businesses and alternative solutions use the circular economy to drive opportunities across complex global supply chains. Together with the innovators LAUNCH aims to disrupt and capture the value of the circular economy and by scaling innovations and taking action.

Following the LAUNCH Forum, innovators will take part in an accelerator program to help them bring their innovations to scale.
The LAUNCH Council participants include: Håkan Nordkvist, Head of Sustainability Innovation, IKEA Group, Anders Byriel, CEO, Kvadrat, Mike van der Zanden, Sustainability Director, Supply Chain Innovation Europe, Nike, Ben Maxwell, Circular Economy Lead, eBay, Markus Stutz, Director Environmental Affairs, Dell, Mikkel Stenbæk, Deputy Head of Division, Danish EPA, – together with more than 25 other industry representative, entrepreneurs, scientist and investors. They will provide access to capital, credibility and capacity to help the eight innovators scale globally.

This year, we will be providing live updates from the Forum, so do not miss out! Make sure to connect with us on Facebook for live videos and interviews, and follow us on Twitter with the hashtag #LAUNCHCircular for highlights. We encourage you to follow along and add your voice to the conversation using #LAUNCHCircular.

For more information on this years LAUNCH Challenge on Design & Manufacturing for a Circular Economy please watch this years call for innovators:

For more information on the challenge please watch this years call for innovators:

For more information contact Director, LAUNCH Circular, Sofus Midtgaard: +45 30220111 – or sofus@launch.org.

ABOUT LAUNCH

LAUNCH was founded in 2009 as a strategic partnership between NASA, NIKE, Inc., the US Department of State, and the US Agency for International Development. LAUNCH identifies and supports visionaries whose ideas, technologies, or programs have the potential to create a better world. Through a series of meetings, events, and an annual forum, LAUNCH has successfully introduced innovations that are solving urgent challenges facing our society today.

Since its founding, LAUNCH has attracted numerous additional strategic partners and supporters including IKEA Group, Novozymes, Kvadrat, eBay, Region Skåne, The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and The Danish EPA.

Learn from LAUNCH Partners and Circular Design Innovators

Have you ever wondered how the startup companies started their adventure? Or how the big corporations work with Circular Economy? Now is your opportunity to meet 5 Circular Economy frontrunners and entrepreneurs working with Circular Economy. Together with The Royal School of Architecture and Design (KADK), we are hosting 3 open seminars about how to design for a Circular Economy. Meet Kvadrat and Really Cph on October 26th, IKEA and Ecovative on November 16th, and Queen of Raw on December 14th 2017.

Learn from Circular Design Innovators

Through the 3 seminars you will get the opportunity to dive into five different personal and professional journeys towards circularity. You will get insights on their vital learnings and learn from their ups and downs from starting companies and working in this space. And who knows, maybe your career path as a designer is another one than one than you imagined.

Ecovative Lamp

The 3 seminars are:

  • October 26th at 15.00-17.00: ‘Recycling Textile into Furniture and Decorative Elements’ – with Charlotte Bastholm Skjold (Head of Design Management at Kvadrat Textiles) & Wickie Meier (CEO at Really Cph)
  • November 16th at 15.00-17.00: ‘Design Inspired by Nature’ and Lamps and Packaging Grown from Mushroom Material’ – with Jonas Engberg (Sustainability Manager at IKEA) & Kenneth Lush (Prototype Engineer at Ecovative)
  • December 14th at 15.00-17.00: ‘Business Models for a Circular Economy’ and an online marketplace for unused fabrics and high quality raw materials – with Stephanie Benedetto (CEO at Queen of Raw)

All seminars is in Auditorium 2 at KADK – read more about each event here:

How to Design for Circularity?

Did you know that decisions made in the design phase determines 80% of the product’s CO2 footprint? The 3 seminars will showcase 3 different ways of making sure that the product or concept is designed from a Circular Economy perspective e.g. using fungal mycelium to grow biodegradable replacements for polystyrene, using recycled textiles, or using leftover and sustainable materials.

On October 26th, Wickie Meier (Really) and Charlotte Bastholm Skjold (Kvadrat) will talk about how they have collaborated together with Max Lamb about recycling textiles into decorative elements and furniture.

On November 16th, Jonas Engberg (IKEA) and Kenneth Lush (Ecovative) will talk about how they have collaborated making mushroom packaging. They will also engage you in their newest material developments and how you can design with the materials yourself. Ecovative have scaled their business and impact over the last 4 years due to their collaboration with the LAUNCH eco-system. They use fungal mycelium to grow biodegradable replacements for polystyrene (see video below).

 

At LAUNCH Circular Innovation Summit in March 2017 at Nike headquarters in Portland, Oregon, Jeff Betts from Ecovative talked about his company’s biomaterials products with Håkan Nordqvist, Director of Sustainability of IKEA (and partner in LAUNCH), and former NASA astronaut Cady Coleman.

On December 14th, Stephanie Benedetto (Queen of Raw) will talk about how she connects designers with global suppliers selected for their innovative raw materials, sustainability value, and avant-garde approach to fashion and technology. Stephanie Benedetto is also LAUNCH Innovator 2016 and have therefore scaled her business through LAUNCH. So if you want to learn from her, she will at the seminar give you insights on how to join the movement and we invite you to engage in the discussion. You can see and introduction to the platform (see video below):

 

Stay Tuned!

For all seminars, we will livestream interviews with the companies. And best of all, we will livestream the whole seminar with Queen of Raw December 14th. So make sure to follow us on Facebook and check in on our account on the seminar dates!

CONTACT US!

Let us help you drive transformational change!