The shift to a circular economy requires new levels of innovation and collaboration. Everybody’s talking about the tremendous potential of the Circular Economy. Constraints on the planet are driving demand for resource-efficient and closed-loop products, services, and corporate models. But how do we create circular systems, material streams, and new business models to support the transition?
March 2 and 3, LAUNCH and its partners — including Nike Inc., IKEA Group, Novozymes, Kvadrat and several Nordic government institutions, with support from the eBay Foundation — hosted a summit at Nike’s world headquaters in Portland for fifteen Circular Economy startups and innovators to collaborate with partners and external organizations on ways to accelerate the transition to a more circular economy.
“At Nike, we believe that our future growth will depend on a healthy planet for athletes everywhere. This means not just reducing our use of finite resources, but using new resources born out of tomorrow’s innovative technologies. To get there, we will need breakthrough innovation from diverse and unexpected communities working together. That’s what makes LAUNCH and its mission so important. Today’s ideas can grow into tomorrow’s solutions.”
Cyrus Wadia, VP, Nike Inc.
Discussing some of the key systems changes that are needed to drive circular solutions, Hakan Nordkvist, head of Sustainability Innovation at IKEA Group, pointed out that one of the urgencies is to change consumer behavior. Innovations are needed to create convenience in order to engage more people in the system.
”We want to have a positive impact on people and the planet and that includes playing an active role in moving toward a circular economy. We are thrilled to see so many leading companies and pioneering innovators gather at the LAUNCH Circular Innovation Summit to collaborate for a better future.
Håkan Nordkvist, Head of Sustainability Innovation, IKEA Group
Fifteen past and present LAUNCH innovators were selected to participate in the Summit:
One of the participating innovators was May Al-Karooni Founder of Globechain – a platform to connect businesses, charities and people to reuse unwanted items:
The LAUNCH Circular Innovation Summit at Nike’s global headquarters in Portland brought together over 100 industry pioneers, innovators, leading researchers, and investors who can help identify and deliver innovation for a circular economy.
The head of Corporate Sustainability at the Danish company Novozymes, Claus Stig Pedersen, kicked off the second day of the summit.
“We look forward to collaborating with leading companies, government institutions, and innovators on finding new sustainable solutions and building a roadmap to the circular economy. Public-private partnerships are exactly what we need to help sustainable innovations get to scale.”
Claus Stig Pedersen, Head of Corporate Sustainability, Novozymes
Astronaut Cady Coleman shared her perspective from the ultimate circular habitat — the International Space Station.
“To look beyond borders and co-innovate with unconventional partners is key, if we want to achieve great things. I look forward to meeting with amazing people and innovators from all over the world to discuss how we take circularity and closed loop solutions to a whole new level. “
Dr. Catherine Coleman, former NASA Astronaut & PhD in Chemistry
The Summit brought together unlikely partnerships across industry and government including IKEA Group, eBay, and several Nordic government organizations and companies including Novozymes, Kvadrat. A new LAUNCH partner and supporter of this years LAUNCH Circular Innovation Summit was eBay.
“eBay was founded on the belief that our platform can help create an enduring and better kind of commerce. Through eBay, we make it as easy as possible for consumers to sell and participate in the power of the circular economy. By helping to extend the useful life of products, we’re giving them the chance to have many lives and serve many people. We are excited to join this extraordinary network that nurtures innovation and drives towards systems change.”
Chris Librie, Senior Director, Global Impact, eBay
Part of the summit was dedicated to envision a shared Circular Economy Future and co-create a Circular Economy Roadmap.
“You can’t change a system until you know where you want to go. We think the future is a fascinating place from which to begin designing.”
Jeff Hamaoui, co-founder and global lead, LAUNCH
Most of the second day of the Summit was dedicated to identify collective action, pilots and areas of collaborative innovation to accelerate a more circular future.
“It’s been amazing working with so many different companies and having one of our founding partners Nike hosting this event. Our 2017 innovation challenge on Design & Manufacturing for the Circular Economy will be launched on June 5th at the World Circular Forum in Helsinki. Insights and feedback from this week’s forum will be incorporated in this global challenge.”
Sofus Midtgaard, co-founder of LAUNCH Nordic & Circular lead
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. In 2016, LAUNCH ran multiple challenges focusing on Food, Smarter Chemistry and on Closing the Loop.