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.

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.

Meet the 8 new LAUNCH Innovators Transforming Design and Manufacturing

The LAUNCH Innovation Challenge 2017: Design and Manufacturing for a Circular Economy received an outstanding 112 submissions from innovators representing 39 different countries. Thank you to everyone involved in the process. It has been an amazing journey and we are honored to receive responses from such an interesting group of solutions from around the world. Today, it is our pleasure to announce the eight selected innovators:

  • Circular Devices – PuzzlePhone is a modular smartphone designed for longevity and circularity; it is customizable, repairable, and upgradable
  • 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
  • Colorifix – Converting agricultural residues into pigments and dyed textiles using no acids or solvents – just sugar and biology
  • StrataLayer – Modular build furniture that changes according to life scenarios (picture above)
  • AEROPOWDER – A sustainable insulation material created from waste feathers
  • Recircular – A brokering platform that proposes alternatives for a given waste stream and connects the generator with potential consumers
  • University College, London – A new policy that companies only sell the lifetime services of their products but retain ownership of the materials

The LAUNCH team and partners selected this year’s eight innovators following an extensive review conducted by more than 42 professional experts from research organizations, government institutions, and global companies. Each of the selected innovators offer solutions to accelerate Circular Economy using new design techniques and alternative ways of manufacturing and production.

Aeropowder LAUNCH innovator 2017

AEROPOWDER – A sustainable insulation material created from waste feathers

Living Ink Technologies

Living Ink Technologies – Making renewable and biodegradable printing ink from algae

What’s next?

These eight selected innovators are invited to attend this year’s LAUNCH Accelerator Forum at LAUNCH partner Kvadrat’s HQ, November 29-30. At the Forum the innovators will be joined by 35 industry executives, government officials, investors, and experts in design, manufacturing, and materials. Here, everyone will work together to support and help scale the innovations by offering one-on-one mentorship, access to market partners, and facilitated opportunities for investment with LAUNCH partners and others.

If anyone is interested in one of these innovators, or has ideas that can help them scale, please reach out to Toke Sabroe at toke@launch.org

Let’s connect!

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 and a live Twitter conversation.

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