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.

 

How do we make Circularity the obvious choice?

LAUNCH Circular Big Think  2018 at eBay's headquarter. Barruch Ben-Zekry from VF Corporation.

How do we make circular and more sustainable choices accessible and affordable for customers, and profitable for businesses?

This question was at the center of this year’s LAUNCH Big Think that was held on April 9th at the eBay HQ in San Jose, California. Together representatives from companies and organizations like IKEA, LEGO, Apple, eBay, Interface, Dell, VF Corporation, and Kvadrat explored this question alongside organizations like the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, GreenBiz, and the Closed Loop Fund. Together, all 35 participants took a wide and deep view of what attributes are imperative to create a Circular Society by 2030 with customers and new business models being at the center of this change.

To view highlights from the day, take a look at the short video below:

You can also watch the live-streamed videos with IKEA, VF Corp, Interface, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, LEGO Group and eBay at our previous post here.

Curious on the Insights from the Day?

All inputs captured at the Big Think will be actively used over the coming month to shape this year’s Innovation Challenge Statement, to be released in June 2018. If you can’t wait for the announcement of this years Innovation Challenge, we have reflected on the four key innovation opportunities discussed at the Big Think in a Summary Report. The key opportunities identified are:

  • Trust
  • Experiences
  • Ownership
  • Transparency

To learn more, download the full Summary Report with insights and findings from the Big Think, along with more about the LAUNCH Challenge process and next steps:

Download summary report

 

Håkan Nordkvist at LAUNCH Big Think eBay

“For IKEA, becoming circular is a huge opportunity to innovate and find new ways to meet people’s needs and dreams at home within the limits of the planet. By truly understanding people’s needs, we can design relevant offers and meet customers’ needs in new ways. We are just at the beginning, but are starting to test a range of solutions, including exploring new business models.”

Håkan Nordkvist, Head of Sustainability Innovation, IKEA Group

Chris Librie eBay

“eBay as a platform contributes to giving products a second and third life. In that way you can say that our platform is already an important vehicle in the Circular Economy. A key factor in bringing customers and citizens along on this journey towards a Circular Society is convenience. We are excited to host this year’s Big Think and to explore this truly important challenge with world class partners and thinkers.”

Chris Librie, Senior Director – Global Impact and Giving, eBay

Barruch-Ben-Zekry VF Corporation tyo the right in discussion with participants

We are witnessing a new generation that are used to owning less and sharing more. Some characterize them as the ‘Insta-gratification generation’, but I see strong signs that we are facing a generation that is ready for a fundamental shift in ownership and business-models. We are eager to contribute to this exploration.”

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

For more about LAUNCH partners, please contact:

For more information about this years Innovation Challenge please download the summary report or contact: Toke Sabroe, Director Operations, LAUNCH Circular @ +45 22 131 293 toke@launch.org

For more information about LAUNCH Circular please contact Sofus Midtgaard Director, LAUNCH Circular @ +45 30220111, sofus@launch.org.

For more information about LAUNCH please contact Kristin Coates, Executive Director, LAUNCH @ +1 415 465 5533, kristin@launch.org

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).

How do we engage customers in shaping a Circular Society?

LAUNCH Circular Society Vision

What role can we, as customers, play in the transition to a Circular Society?

WE HAVE HEARD IT ALL BEFORE… WE NEED TO SORT OUR TRASH, BUY SUSTAINABLY LABELED PRODUCTS, CHOOSE PRODUCTS WITH LESS PACKAGING, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME MAKE SURE NOT TO BUY TOO MUCH OR WASTE THINGS THAT CAN BE USEFUL.

Try to combine all of the above with a lifestyle where people are encouraged to live healthy, workout, be good parents, loving partners, and make healthy organic dinners, while staying online and updated on everything. It’s no wonder that we as citizens and customers end up making the easy, convenient and affordable choices.

So how do we make it convenient, fun, tasty, and even profitable to do the right thing? This challenge is at the center of this year’s LAUNCH Big Think, April 9th at the eBay HQ in San Jose, California, where brands such as IKEA, LEGO, Apple, eBay, Interface, Dell, VF Corporation, Novozymes, Kvadrat alongside organisations like the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, GreenBiz, WeWork and independent experts in customer behavior and consumption patterns will be coming together to understand how we can collectively build a circular society.

After 4 years of focusing on innovation and action around materials, design and manufacturing, LAUNCH is now shifting the focus of work to find innovative approaches to Customer Engagement & New Business Models that can play a role in building a Circular Society.

Haakan Nordkvist, IKEA opening the LAUNCH Circular Innovation Summit at Nike HQ

“For IKEA, becoming circular is a huge opportunity to innovate and find new ways to meet people’s needs and dreams at home within the limits of the planet. By truly understanding people’s needs, we can design relevant offers and meet customers’ needs in new ways. We are just at the beginning, but are starting to test a range of solutions, including exploring new business models.

Håkan Nordkvist, Head of Sustainability Innovation, IKEA Group

History has shown that as citizens and customers, we are creatures of habit, seeking convenient gratification for our basic human needs. History has made it evident that we need to get beyond the moral imperative, and  engage consumers in making more sustainable choices.

Chris Librie

“eBay as a platform contributes to giving products a second and third life. In that way you can say that our platform is already an important vehicle in the Circular Economy. A key factor in bringing customers and citizens along on this journey towards a Circular Society is convenience. We are excited to host this year’s Big Think and to explore this truly important challenge with world class partners and thinkers.”

Chris Librie, Senior Director – Global Impact and Giving, eBay

Some of the key challenges facing sustainable consumption is the intention-action gap. Illustrated by the fact that most of us want to do the right thing, but often end up acting against good intentions.

 

We are witnessing a new generation that are used to owning less and sharing more. Some characterize them as the ‘Insta-gratification generation’, but I see strong signs that we are facing a generation that is ready for a fundamental shift in ownership and business-models. We are eager to contribute to this exploration.”

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

The Big Think on April 9th will help LAUNCH formulate the 2018 LAUNCH Innovation Challenge seeking innovations, solutions and new business models that support building a Circular Society. This year’s challenge will be announced June and innovators from around the world will have until September 1st to submit solutions. This year’s selected innovators will be announced October 16, 2018 and be invited to this year’s LAUNCH Accelerator Forum on December 5-6, 2018.

 

ebay HQ

We invite people who would like to contribute to the LAUNCH Innovation Challenge 2018 to consider and send their reflections and feedback on the the following three questions:

  • What will characterize a sustainable lifestyle in 2030 – and how does it radically differ from the way we live today?
  • What trends and shifts in behaviors will most radically challenge us in our quest for living within planetary boundaries by 2030?
  • What services, innovations, platforms and behavioral trends today show the way toward more sustainable living in 2030?

Please send your feedback and reflections to circular@launch.org or tweet ideas, links to research, trends and  solutions using the hashtag #LAUNCHCircular. We will include feedback in our discussions at the Big Think and in the subsequent challenge formulation. Make sure to connect with us on LinkedIn or Facebook where we will keep everyone posted on this years challenge.

For more about LAUNCH partners, please contact:

  •     eBay: Kari Ramirez, Lead Communications Manager, North America: karamirez@ebay.com
  •     IKEA Group: Jamie Rusby, ‎Head of Sustainability Communications: jamie.rusby@ikea.com
  •     VF Corporation: Craig Hodges, Senior Director, Corporate Communications: Craig_Hodges@vfc.com

For more information about LAUNCH visit www.launch.org or contact:

Kristin Coates, Executive Director @ +1 415 465 5533, kristin@launch.org,

or Sofus Midtgaard Director Circular @ +45 30220111, sofus@launch.org.

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