Event info
Estimated reading time 38 min

WCEF Side Events in 2021

As part of the World Circular Economy Forum, WCEF Side Events will be organised throughout 2021. This list of events will be updated monthly.


WCEF Side Events present circular economy solutions from around the globe and attract an international audience. They address specific topics related to the circular economy and the role circularity plays in the economies of the future, as well as in the fight against climate change and the nature crisis.

Side events can take place any time during 2021, excluding the days of the WCEF+Climate conference in the Netherlands on 15 and 16 April and the annual event WCEF2021 in Toronto, Canada on 13-15 September.  If you are interested in organising a WCEF Side Event, please submit your application to contactus.wcef@sitra.fi using the application form.

Please note that WCEF Side Events organised between 6-26 September are also listed on the WCEF2021 event page.

The call for applications for 2022 WCEF Side Events has also been opened. If you are interested in organising a side event during 2022, please submit your application to us, following the instructions.

WCEF Side Events are part of the World Circular Economy Forum concept. The organisers are responsible for all practicalities, expenses and inquiries related to organising and participating in the side events. Side events may be organised either virtually or locally, depending on the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Click on the headings below to read more.

Tuesday 2 February

Sustainable smart cities

Cities are cornerstones of the sustainable future. In this event, experts from different areas of the smart city ecosystem share their insights about digital and circular innovations of smart traffic, construction, recycling, and more.

Organiser: Taival
Time: 15:00-17:00 UTC+2

Wednesday 3 February

Solutions pathways workshop for circular plastics in Canada

This event is a solutions-oriented, interactive, virtual workshop focused on achieving a circular plastics economy in Canada. The workshop will feature expert insights into practical applications of upstream innovation for plastics packaging and six interactive breakout sessions.

Organisers: Circular Economy Leadership Coalition (CELC) and GLOBE Series
Time: 19:00-21:00 UTC+2

Thursday 4 February

Time to act: the circular economy action agenda

In the lead up to WCEF+Climate, leaders from business, government and civil society come together in a key moment to set out the bold action needed to create a circular economy.

Organiser: Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE)
Time: 16:00-17:30 UTC+2

Tuesday 23 February

Creating the circular and climate neutral city

We need circular cities to reach carbon neutrality and to create thriving communities. Digital solutions are strongly positioned to make this happen. Join a discussion with pioneering cities and participate in the launch of this new international innovation challenge.

Organisers: City of Copenhagen, City of Glasgow, City of Amsterdam, City of New York, City of Toronto, Danish Business Authority, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Danish Design Centre and Leaderlab
Time: 17:00-18:30 UTC+2

Thursday 25 February

The benefits of a circular economy for achieving climate objectives and recovering better

This pre-event of the WCEF+Climate focuses on the importance of the circular economy in achieving our Paris Agreement climate goals and a better recovery. The event will demonstrate how countries like the Gambia, Chile and Vanuatu have included the circular economy in their nationally determined contributions.

Organisers: EU Delegation to the United Nations, Permanent Missions of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Singapore, Kenya and Finland to the United Nations
Time: 16:00-17:30 UTC+2

Tuesday 9 March

Circular economy and digital transition: opportunities for a global recovery*

This event covers how the European Green Deal and the new Biden climate crisis agenda will benefit from AI, blockchain, IoT, edge computing and other technologies as drivers to disrupt linear models and innovate towards a just transition to an inclusive circular economy.
*This event is part of the circularNEXT North America Series.

Organisers: Innovation Texas and International Circular Economy Initiative
Time: 17:00-19:30 UTC+2

Thursday 18 March

Circular Electronics Partnership: from roadmap to action

This interactive event launches the vision and roadmap of the Circular Electronics Partnership (CEP), an organisation of over 20 electronics companies. In its next phase, CEP focuses on implementation, coordinated action and monitoring progress.

Organisers: Global Electronics Council, Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative, International Telecommunication Union, Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy, Responsible Business Alliance, World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the World Economic Forum
Time: 17:00-18:00 UTC+2

Monday 22 to Sunday 28 March

Circular City Week New York 2021

Circular City Week gives people with many different viewpoints a platform for circularity knowledge sharing. The festival will be primarily virtual in 2021 and offers a range of opportunities to engage and actively get involved.

Organisers: Circular City Week New York, the Danish Cleantech Hub, State of Green and the Confederation of Danish Industry
Time: please see separate programme

Wednesday 24 March

Circular events 2021 kick-off

This is the official launch of the Nordic Circular Hotspot’s Partnership Programme and a presentation of Business Finland. What can we learn from Finland? What is the potential for Finnish bio and circular innovation in the Nordic market today and vice versa?

Organisers: Nordic Circular Hotspot and Business Finland
Time: 11:00-13:00 UTC+2

Making public-private innovation work is hard. What to do about it?

Join us for this New York Circular City Week event, when where we explore the opportunities and barriers in public-private innovation projects, specifically related to a circular agenda, and speak about the concrete collaboration opportunities in the Circular Innovation City Challenge.

Organisers: City of Copenhagen, City of Glasgow, City of Amsterdam, City of New York, City of Toronto, Danish Business Authority, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Danish Design Centre and Leaderlab
Time: 15:00-16:00 UTC+2

Thursday 25 March

EU Circular Talks: circular business models at the heart of EU’s new Circular Economy Action Plan 

A shift to a circular economy requires adopting and mainstreaming circular business models. Sitra together with EEA and the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform invite you to discuss the role of circular business models and the changing role of ownership.

Organisers: Sitra, the European Environment Agency and the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform
Time: 14:00-15:30 UTC+2

OECD Green Talks Live: international trade and circular economy

This event will discuss the role of international trade in the transition to a resource efficient and circular economy. The presentation will highlight findings from a series of recent OECD reports on international trade and the circular economy.

Organiser: OECD
Time: 16:00-17:00 UTC+2

Wednesday 7 April

Circular Climate Booster: textiles and climate

During the webinar, the various steps in the textiles value chain are discussed with circular fashion experts and entrepreneurs, inspiring best practices and opportunities for international collaboration.

Organiser: Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water management
Time: 10:30-11:45 UTC+3

Circular Climate Booster: plastics and climate

In this webinar we show proven and promising initiatives for closed plastics value chains. Entrepreneurs illustrate what is already happening and share their visions of what is needed to strengthen both the local and international transition.

Organiser: Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water management
Time: 16:00-17:15 UTC+3

Monday 12 April

Circular Climate Booster: going circular faster

This high-level round table discussion is organised as a prelude to WCEF+Climate and WCEF2021. Minister Stientje van Veldhoven, together with officials from other countries, will address the conditions for speeding up the transition to a circular economy.

Organiser: Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water management
Time: 17:00-18:00 UTC+3

Tuesday 13 April

Launch seminar: Nordic Circular Economy Playbook

The Nordic Circular Economy Playbook for manufacturing industries provides you with in-depth understanding on how to achieve a circular advantage for your company. Join us for the launch seminar to hear how the playbook and its tools can support your business.

Organisers: Nordic Innovation, Accenture and Sitra
Time: 13:00-14:00 UTC+3

Wednesday 14 April

Designing national circular economy roadmaps workshop

This session will highlight the benefits and rationale for designing national circular economy roadmaps that are aligned with African countries’ development priorities. Sitra will present their guidebook “How to create a national circular economy roadmap”.

Organisers: African Circular Economy Alliance and Sitra
Time: 12:00-13:15 UTC+3

Uncovering circular economy opportunities in Africa’s mining sector workshop

This session will discuss the opportunities of the circular economy and the roles of relevant actors helping African countries transition to a low-carbon economy. The panel discussion will reflect on the steps required to translate circular economy ambition into action.

Organisers: African Circular Economy Alliance and the KAS Foundation
Time: 16:00-17:00 UTC+3

Why citizens, policymakers, and business leaders need to learn more about the circular economy

In this English-French online press conference journalists will receive a brief on the basics of a circular economy. The survey initiative ‘Imagine Circularity’ engaging cities around the world will also be presented. Journalists need to register here.

Organisers: REVOLVE Circular and Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development
Time: 16:00-17:30 UTC+3

Thursday 15 April

Launch of the report “Five big bets for the circular economy in Africa”

This session will share the outcomes and implications of the ACEA’s market research which was conducted to identify prospects in the African market. Key stakeholders involved in driving the circular economy agenda will come together to share their interventions.

Organisers: African Circular Economy Alliance and the World Economic Forum
Time: 12:00-13:15 UTC+3

Monday 19 April

Imagine Circularity: global launch of the first-ever initiative on how people perceive circularity

The official launch of the first-ever global survey on the perceptions of circularity will involve people of all ages as they present their views on how to educate others on the necessity for moving away from a linear mindset, culture and economy.

Organisers: REVOLVE Circular and Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development
Time: 11:00-13:00 UTC+3

Wednesday 21 April

FRUSH: innovating the circular economy

With local and international speakers, pitch competitions and panel discussions, the fourth annual FRUSH facilitates cooperation between growth-oriented entrepreneurs, startups , investors and research institutes, and aims to accelerate the circular economy.

Organisers: Häme University of Applied Sciences and Forssan Yrityskehitys Oy
Time: 10:00-16:00 UTC+3

An inclusive and just circular economy: entrepreneurship and sustainable business ecosystems*

New circular models can help us close many of the social gaps we now face and set a path for prosperity in our communities. Hear from leaders and entrepreneurs from all over the world how they are transforming linear business models into circular, sustainable and profitable new ventures.
*This event is part of the circularNEXT North America Series.

Organisers: Innovation Texas and International Circular Economy Initiative
Time: 17:00-19:30 UTC+3

Thursday 22 April

The 15-minute circular city

This interactive live stream will focus on the efforts to set up Vienna as a 15-minute city. Learn how the project was initiated, the successes, challenges and the roadmap moving forward. Come with your own thoughts on the subject and be prepared to share!

Organiser: Circular Vienna
Time: 17:00-18:00 UTC+3

Friday 23 April

Circular SMEs across Europe – kicking off the virtual tour from Barcelona to Bottrop

The virtual tour will present good practices from Barcelona to Bottrop from all sectors affected by the EU Circular Economy Action Plan. Travel with us in our monthly events to get inspired and meet across borders via the matchmaking platform!

Organisers: Green Economy Network North-Rhine Westphalia and the Enterprise Europe Network
Time: 11:00-12:00 UTC+3

Thursday 29 April

Introducing extended producer responsibility schemes for packaging around the world

This session focuses on extended producer responsibility (EPR), a key concept for “’closing the loop”’ in the packaging value chain. The EPR Toolbox will be presented and panellists will discuss experiences in introducing EPR schemes in different countries.

Organiser: PREVENT Waste Alliance
Time: 11:00-12:30 UTC+3

Tuesday 11 May

Circular economy roadmaps: countries, regions and cities*

This event presents a series of inspiring stories to help your country, city or business start a circular economy transition. Hear about the challenges and opportunities they found to restart their economies and create value for their communities and citizens with a circular economy approach.
*This event is part of the circularNEXT North America Series.

Organisers: Innovation Texas and International Circular Economy Initiative
Time: 17:00-19:30 UTC+3

Wednesday 12 May

Data as an ingredient of circular business

This event covers the business opportunities in connecting data to the circular economy. You will gain insights from experts in the field and hear tangible examples from companies already carrying out profitable data-driven circular business operations.

Organisers: Sitra, FIBS, Climate Leadership Coalition and the Circular Design Innovation Community
Time: 10:30-12:30 UTC+3

Tuesday 18 to Wednesday 19 May

Foro internacional de economía circular

During the forum, we support business and government to generate a circularity road map, help position Chile as a regional circular economy leader and create knowledge sharing opportunities for the public and private sectors across generations. The event language is Spanish; some presentations will be held in English.

Organiser: Fundación Recyclapolis
Time: 16:00-01:00 UTC+3

Thursday 20 to Friday 21 May

Sustainable Bioeconomy Development 2021: adaptation to climate change

The online conference will bring together European and national experts as well as policy makers, researchers and stakeholders to discuss the opportunities related to sustainable bioeconomy development.

Organisers: The faculty of Bioeconomy Development at the Vytautas Magnus University Agriculture Academy and the Faculty of Economics and Social Development at the Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies
Time: 10:00-16:30 UTC+3

Thursday 27 May

Circular SMEs across Europe – plastics and chemistry travel stop

The next stop on our virtual tour will be hosted by Catalonia. We will present the transformation processes of established companies and startups. You will learn about their ways of operating, circular product designs and inspiring philosophies.

Organisers: Enterprise Europe Network (Circular Economy Hotspot Catalonia 2021) and Green Economy Network North-Rhine Westphalia
Time: 11:00-12:15 UTC+3

Frontrunners of the biocircular economy 2.0: Nordic-Netherlands roundtable

This event, organised with the support of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform, will create a united leadership between Nordic and Dutch frontrunners to accelerate the transition to a circular bioeconomy 2.0. The event is followed by an optional digital networking lunch.

Organisers: Business Finland, Nordic Circular Hotspot, Holland Circular Hotspot and Circular Biobased Delta
Time: 11:00-13:10 UTC+3

Accelerating a circular built environment in Canada

This event will be a solutions-oriented, interactive, virtual workshop that will explore the current state and evolving business case for accelerating circularity in Canada’s built environment, construction and real estate sectors.

Organiser: Circular Economy Leadership Coalition
Time: 20:00-22:00 UTC+3

Friday 28 May

Closing your loop: the why, what and how of taking your business circular

Circle Economy and BMI Lab have a developed a joint approach to creating circular business – from strategy building to launching circular solutions on the market. In this online workshop, you will walk through the complete process for developing and validating a circular business model.

Organisers: Circle Economy and BMI Lab
Time: 11:30-13:00 UTC+3

Wednesday 2 June

Circular economy in emerging markets: unlocking the potential for green recovery in developing Asia

During the event a selection of policy papers will be presented to showcase cases of successful implementation of circular economy principles, with a focus on green recovery and economic growth post COVID-19.

Organisers: Asian Development Bank institute and Sitra
Time: 08:00-11:00 UTC+3

Thursday 3 June

Circular action for Dutch and Nordic companies: how can regional clusters help SMEs to become more circular and international?

Regional clusters play a vital role in the circular transition. How can clusters help SMEs to become more circular? What do companies need to overcome challenges? In this event, clusters and companies share their circular successes and challenges.

Organisers: Nordic Circular Hotspot and the Embassies of the Netherlands in Finland, Sweden and Norway
Time: 10:00-11:30 UTC+3

Friday 4 June

Circular SMEs across Europe – virtual stop in Flanders with a focus on circular construction

The next stop on our virtual tour presents the successful Flemish approach to achieve changes in the construction industry. Get to know sustainable alternatives, re-usable solutions and circular building concepts. How can SMEs change the construction scene in Europe?

Organisers: Enterprise Europe Network (Flanders) and the Green Economy Network North-Rhine Westphalia
Time: 11:00-12:30 UTC+3

Monday 7 June

Realising technology innovations to recirculate plastics

This event focuses on the experiences of five leading Canadian companies working on collaborative projects to close the loop on advanced plastics recycling. The panel will discuss the opportunities and challenges across the plastics value chain to scale and commercialise their solutions.

Organiser: Chemistry Industry Association of Canada
Time: 22:00-23:00 UTC+3

Tuesday 8 June

Circular smart destinations*

Travel and tourism companies can be powerful enablers of circularity and benefit from shared circular value creation and value capture in their value chains. Join us to hear how technology can help design more sustainable, resilient and inclusive places and help the tourism industry recover.
*This event is part of the circularNEXT North America Series.

Organisers: Innovation Texas and International Circular Economy Initiative
Time: 17:00-19:30 UTC+3

Wednesday 9 to Saturday 11 June

Industrial circular economy conference

ICE2021 is designed for any industrial manufacturer that wants to remain competitive domestically and globally, shrink their environmental footprint and create value throughout the product life cycle.

Organisers: Lower Columbia Initiatives Organization and Metal Tech Alley
Time: 04:00-0:00 UTC+3

Monday 14 June 

Circular and Fair ICT Pact (CFIT): launch event

Join this event to learn more about the Circular & Fair ICT Pact (CFIT*), an international procurement-led partnership to accelerate circularity, fairness and sustainability in the ICT sector.
*CFIT is an initiative under the United Nations One Planet Network SPP Programme.

Organisers: The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management on behalf of all CFIT partners
Time: 17:00-18:00 UTC+3

Tuesday 15 June

Nordic Circular Arena launch event

The Nordic Circular Hotspot has developed the digital Nordic Circular Arena, a platform that gives all members access to networks, knowledge, event invitations, projects, groups, circular stakeholders and much more. Join this event to learn more!

Organisers: Nordic Circular Hotspot
Time: 14:00-15:30 UTC+3

Tuesday 22 June

Circular design for the sustainability of the offshore renewable energy sector

In this event, European Maritime and Fisheries Fund projects will present how circularity by design contributes to increasing the environmental sustainability and the competitiveness of the offshore renewable energy sector.

Organisers: Climate Infrastructure Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) and the European Commission Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE)
Time: 10:45-13:00 UTC+3

Tuesday 29 June

Women-led plastic recycling market in Africa

The session will feature various works and studies on the involvement of women in plastic waste management. The African Development Bank and Climate Investment Fund will also launch their recent analysis of opportunities to improve plastics and waste management in Uganda.

Organiser: the African Development Bank
Time: 13:00-14:30 UTC+3

Financing circularity: capital markets, institutional investors and ESG*

All aspects of finance will be vital to scale the transition to the circular economy. In this event we will hear from participants in private equity, ESG investing and the capital markets on how to accelerate the transition towards a circular economy in a post-COVID world.
*This event is part of the circularNEXT North America Series.

Organiser: Innovation Texas
Time: 17:00-19:30 UTC+3

Wednesday 30 June

Circular living: the Gatineau Hills and beyond

This event is for those living in peri-urban and rural communities and love small town living! Join us for an educational event to learn about exciting initiatives and perspectives on how local individual actions are, and can be, impactful in shifting communities towards a circular economy!

Organiser: La Pêche Coalition for a Green New Deal
Time: 4:00-5:00 UTC+3

Thursday 1 July

Circular SMEs across Europe – textiles travel stop in the Netherlands

The next travel stop of our virtual tour presents innovative SME’s from the textiles industry. How will our SMEs improve the textiles industry? Join this event if you want to learn about sustainable approaches and alternatives leading to enhanced circularity in the textiles industry.

Organisers: Holland Circular Hotspot, RVO, ZENIT and the Green Economy Network North-Rhine Westphalia
Time: 11:00-12:00 UTC+3

Thursday 15 July

Creative and cultural industries startup Europe accelerathon 

This webinar launches the accelerathon programme that presents innovative projects. The aim of this accelerathon is to find novel solutions in the cultural business focused on the circular economy and sustainable development. 

Organiser: Instituto Valenciano de Competitividad Empresarial (IVACE)
Time: 17:00-19:00 UTC+3

Wednesday 21 to Friday 23 July

Indonesia Circular Economy Forum: towards smart and sustainable cities

The fourth Indonesia Circular Economy Forum (ICEF 2021) brings together global and local stakeholders to identify challenges and produce solutions and recommendations to implement the circular economy in Indonesia. 

Organiser: the Greeneration Foundation
Time: 04:00-11:00 UTC+3 

Wednesday 8 September 

The circular economy – a transformative approach to tackle key drivers of biodiversity loss

Resource extraction and processing cause over 90% of biodiversity loss. To halt and reverse this trend, we need to rethink our production and consumption systems. This #EUCircularTalks features new findings that look at how the circular economy can help tackle key drivers of biodiversity loss.

Organisers: International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF), Institut National de l’Économie Circulaire (INEC), Sitra and the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ECESP)
Time: 16:00-17:00 UTC+3

Focus on Canadian business circularity 

Meet a spectrum of Canadian businesses, from startup to established, to see a snapshot of circularity across the country. Explore how Circular Economy Clubs in Canada are catalysing a B2B networking community to assist businesses in reaching the next level. 

Organisers: CEC clubs in Toronto, Calgary, London, Montreal and Quebec City
Time: 19:00-20:30 UTC+3

Thursday 9 September

Best practices in circular procurement

This webinar introduces Australian and Brazilian experts across different areas of the circular economy. Participants represent government agencies, corporations, SMEs, technological startups and research centres promoting the circular economy.

Organisers: UTS Business School Australia and PUC-Rio Brazil
Time: 1:30-2:30 UTC+3

Circular Carbon Economy

Circular Carbon Economy (CCE) builds on the pillars of circular economy, where operating systems are transformed to more circular systems. The event brings together leaders from academia, government, private sectors to discuss the opportunities in translating CCE into a reality.

Organiser: Ministry of Energy, Saudi Arabia
Time: 12:00-14:00 UTC+3

Circular SMEs across Europe: sustainable packaging

We will present innovative best practices by two in-depth cases. This event gives room for your questions, discussion rounds, and networking. Join this event if you want to learn about sustainable approaches and alternatives leading to enhanced circularity.

Organisers: Enterprise Europe Network (Flanders) and the Green Economy Network North-Rhine Westphalia
Time: 14:00-15:30 UTC+3

Circular economy: opportunities and challenges for countries of the global South

Circular economy principles can enable nations to balance growth with maintaining the global ecological balance. This session will delve into challenges and opportunities for the circular economy from the perspective of emerging and developing economies.

Organiser: Centre for Responsible Business and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
Time: 15:30-17:00 UTC+3

RDV Québec Circulaire: conversation with Éco Entreprises Québec

What kind of a revolution do we want to see in the world of packaging? This event is an inspiring meeting between Fabrice Peltier, designer and author of “The packaging revolution” and Geneviève Dionne, director of ecodesign and circular economy at Éco Entreprises Québec.

Organiser: Québec Circulaire
Time: 18:30-19:15 UTC+3

Achieving systems change through entrepreneurship

During this interactive online event we will deep dive into the topic “system change” with renowned experts and learn how circular and climate ventures contribute to an effective systemic transformation.

Organisers: Impact Hub Zürich and Circular Economy Transition
Time: 18:30-20:00 UTC+3

The take-make-waste problem: an assessment of our linear economy

This is a discussion with various industry leaders on the challenges of managing waste throughout a product’s life cycle from the perspective of food, telling the story of how our economy is designed around a take-make-waste system.

Organiser: Sustainability Leadership
Time: 20:00-21:00 UTC+3

Tuesday 14 September

The Walrus Talks at Home: the next gen on the circular economy

Should we be optimistic about Canada’s economic future becoming circular? The next generation of leaders shares how we can make individual and systemic changes today to create a more sustainable tomorrow. Join to learn what economic and environmental benefits await us.

Organiser: The Walrus
Time: 2:00-3:00 UTC+3

High level meeting of the Global Alliance on Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency (GACERE)

This event is the first high-level meeting of GACERE since its launch in February 2021. High-level representatives of the Alliance and invited guests will meet to take stock of progress on the Alliance’s work and agree on future priorities.

Organisers: the United Nations Environment Programme, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and the European Union
Time: 13:00-15:00 UTC+3

Thursday 16 September

Circularity in action: how Danish businesses create impactful solutions

This is a deep-dive session exploring how eight corporations in different industries have shifted their mindsets and products to make the circular economy not a buzzword but a core value driver for their business.

Organisers: Danish Cleantech Hub, State of Green, Confederation of Danish Industry and Circular City Week New York
Time: 16:00-17:15 UTC+3

Exploring the LEGO Global Youth Survey on the Circular Economy

Join the LEGO Group’s Vice President, Sustainability Tim Brooks as we announce the findings from our Global Youth Survey on the Circular Economy.

Organiser: the LEGO Group
Time: 17:00-18:00 UTC+3

Latin America and the Caribbean’s vision of circular economy 2030

The session’s objective is to present the Latin American and the Caribbean vision for circular economy. The session will showcase what makes circular economy distinctive in the LAC region, what is already being advanced in the region and to discuss challenges and enabling conditions for the vision.

Organiser: Circular Economy Coalition LAC
Time: 17:00-18:00 UTC+3

Circular from the start(up) – how the circular economy concept creates value for accelerator programs

This panel highlights the need for circular innovations, the role of accelerators and incubators to scale up these innovations, and an outline for a circular incubation program.

Organisers: Innovation Texas, ACTION Innovation Network and Tondo
Time: 17:00-19:30 UTC+3

Threading Change Global Innovation Story Map launch

Welcome to the launch event for Threading Change’s Global Innovation Story Map – a research and visualisation toolkit showcasing the stories of ethical brands and organisations within the fashion industry.

Organiser: Threading Change Foundation
Time: 18:30-20:00 UTC+3

Circularity in action: cities as enablers and catalysts

With the Circular City Innovation Challenge as a backdrop, this event is an opportunity for public entities to explore approaches and tangible measures to bring about circularity. Over 10 speakers share views on how cities can become enablers and a catalyst for local solution development.

Organisers: Danish Cleantech Hub, Danish Business Authority, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark in Canada and Circular City Week New York
Time: 19:00-20:30 UTC+3

Pan-Abode Cedar homes for another generation: re-design and re-assembly

Join us on Zoom for a tour of our factory followed by a presentation of two circular case projects and our processes in prefabrication, disassembly and redesign through modern permitting and reassembly.

Organiser: Pan-Abode International
Time: 23:00-01:00 UTC+3

Thursday 16 to Friday 17 September

Low Carbon and Circular Economy Business Action in Canada – second challenge pitch event

This event will gather selected EU innovators to “pitch” solutions to Canadian buyers. Each pitch session will last 60 minutes and feature 3-4 EU companies. Each session is fully open to the public, which is encouraged to participate in the Q&A period.

Organisers: the LCBA Canada Project, ICF, CESO, the Delphi Group and the Cleantech Group
Time: 16:00-20:00 UTC+3

Friday 17 September

Building circular economy networks: from local to global

Meet a non-profit circular economy network built by passionate leaders with a local approach. We strive for global impact awareness on circularity, together with our training institute. Discover with us the main outcomes of several events hosted by the network.

Organisers: Circular Economy Club and the Circular Economy Institute
Time: 15:00-17:00 UTC+3

The importance of internationalisation for a circular future

Discover the importance of internationalisation at universities, learn about the Virtual Exchange Program organised by Windesheim and Inchainge, explore the added value of serious gaming and integrated learning, and understand the role we give to the circular economy in an international learning programme.

Organiser: Inchainge
Time: 15:00-18:30 UTC+3

Systems thinking and blockchain to achieve circularity in global value chains

During this interactive session we will analyse a value chain and its minimum viable ecosystem, understand how blockchain can help us map its pain points, and how systemic thinking can be leveraged to close the loop on the value chain and make it circular.

Organisers: Future Urban Living and Blockchain Climate Institute
Time: 17:00-19:00 UTC+3

Monday 20 September

Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS): how businesses can thrive in the age of climate change and digitalisation

XaaS business and operating models have the power to combine economic value creation and competitiveness with environmental impact. This event will explore critical design principles to configure circular XaaS models, share case studies and provide a perspective on key enablers.

Organiser: SYSTEMIQ
Time: 17:00-18:30 UTC+3

Tuesday 21 September

EPR+: mandatory and voluntary mechanisms for financing the circular economy for plastics and packaging

Extended Producer Responsibility is widely recognised as a key circular economy approach to address packaging waste and pollution. This side event will discuss its advantages, challenges and possible complementary measures such as plastic credits.

Organisers: the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the PREVENT Waste Alliance
Time: 12:00-13:00 UTC+3

Tuesday 21 to Thursday 23 September

Vaivén festival de economía circular en América Latina

Vaivén is an online festival that shows the development of private and public policy experiences of the circular economy in Latin America. This year, the topics will focus on cities, plastics, organics, electronics and industrial symbiosis.
The event language is Spanish.

Organisers: Konrad Adenauer Stiftung regional programme of Energy Security and Climate Change in Latin America (EKLA), UN Environment and the Circular Economy Coalition in Latin America and the Caribbean
Time: 17:00-19:00 UTC+3

Wednesday 22 September

Measuring circular economy solutions in manufacturing and capital equipment

This panel discussion will highlight the work of the Capital Equipment Coalition North America in evaluating the challenges to measure the circularity and sustainability of access-based business models in comparison to traditional ownership-based models.

Organiser: US Chamber of Commerce Foundation – Capital Equipment Coalition North America
Time: 17:00-18:00 UTC+3

CSA Group’s road map to circularity

This event introduces CSA Group’s activities supporting the circular economy in Canada. They will touch on leading work in circularity standards in construction as well as research on photovoltaic recycling, reusing and decommissioning.

Organiser: CSA Group
Time: 20:00-21:00 UTC+3

Organic innovation: lessons about growing circular economy companies

This event will bring together companies that collect and sort organics and those that process them to extract value. They discuss their innovative approaches and the challenges they face in a real-life example of a circular economy value chain.

Organisers: Ontario Environment Industry Association and the Consulate-General of the Netherlands in Toronto
Time: 20:00-21:30 UTC+3

Thursday 23 September

Innovation in product packaging

This webinar introduces Australian and Brazilian experts across different areas of the circular economy. Participants represent government agencies, corporations, SMEs, technological startups and research centres promoting the circular economy.

Organisers: UTS Business School Australia and PUC-Rio Brazil
Time: 1:30-2:30 UTC+3

Growing in circles: protein innovation, food waste revalourisation and agribusiness evolution

This panel discussion showcases Canadian enterprises that leverage circular economy business models and supply chains to produce alternative proteins, revaluate food waste and drive sustainable food system innovation.

Organiser: Upswing Solutions Inc.
Time: 18:00-20:00 UTC+3

Friday 24 September

Key drivers and challenges of a circular transformation

The results of The Circular Transformation Survey show what is needed to catalyse circular solutions and support change makers to overcome their key challenges and to drive the transformation forward successfully.

Organiser: Inchainge
Time: 17:00-18:00 UTC+3

Saturday 25 September

Changing business models and shifting systems thinking in Nigeria

This event facilitates a dialogue between local and foreign changemakers and the youth, discussing the concept of sustainability and circularity in an African context, highlighting ways everyone can get involved in actualising a change.

Organiser: Ambitious Africa Nigeria
Time: 19:00-20:30 UTC+3

29 to 30 September

Making It Circular! Challenge 2021

Our event is a competition on a circular economy for plastics, where entrepreneurs can compete and showcase their best strategies. The two-day event is open to all start-ups, makers and SMEs working on circular plastics in Europe, aiming to bring together the international circular ecosystem.

Organiser: Pop-Machina H2020 Project
Time: 10:45-19:15 UTC+3

Thursday 30 September

Innovation in food waste management

This webinar introduces Australian and Brazilian experts across different areas of the circular economy. Participants represent government agencies, corporations, SMEs, technological startups and research centres promoting the circular economy.

Organisers: UTS Business School Australia and PUC-Rio Brazil
Time: 1:30-2:30 UTC+3

Boosting the circular economy: advances from Finland and around the world 

This event presents the latest results from circular economy research projects and advances in strategic research. 

Organiser: The Circwaste project and the Finnish Environment Institute
Time: 10:00-16:00 UTC+3

Bioeconomy – Made in Kymenlaakso, Finland

This webinar highlights the current bio and circular economy activities in Finland’s Kymenlaakso region and elsewhere in Europe. In addition, the webinar promotes the bio and circular economy, connects potential new partners and strengthens existing partnerships.

Organiser: South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (Xamk)
Time: 13:00-16:45 UTC+3

Ecological equals economical – a deep dive into circular business models

Join us to hear about successful Finnish businesses that demonstrate that circular business models can be just as profitable as linear ones and can be implemented broadly. The event includes a networking session for participants.

Organisers: Business Finland, Sitra, Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Finland and Circular Economy Catalysts: From Innovation to Business Ecosystems (CICAT2025) project of Finnish Universities
Time: 18:00-19:30 UTC+3

Wednesday 6 October

Towards a North American circular economy for electric vehicle batteries

The event aims to advance the development and implementation of a circular economy strategy and infrastructure for EV batteries in North America. It seeks to identify the barriers and the strategic priorities to achieving this vision and how to address them. Read the summary report.

Organisers: Circular Economy Leadership Canada (CELC), Materials Efficiency Research Group (MERG), Natural Resources Canada
Time: 18:00-20:30 UTC+3

INCOSE Social Systems Working Group’s Circular Economy Forum 2021

The INCOSE Social Systems Working Group brings together diverse perspectives, specialised talent and developmental opportunities to address the grand challenges of our time. This is our initial conversation on systems approaches for developing circular economy outcomes.

Organiser: International Council on Systems Engineering Social Systems Working Group
Time: 23:00-03:00 UTC+3

Thursday 7 October

Accelerating circularity: opportunities and challenges for business

This event will launch UNEP’s GEO for Business Brief on the circular economy and provide a practical discussion with business experts. Discussions will include the findings of the brief, employment and skills dimensions of the circular economy, and successful examples from companies.

Organisers: International Organisation of Employers, UN Environment Programme and the International Labour Organization
Time: 15:00-16:30 UTC+3

Monday 11 October

Circular SMEs across Europe – circular water solutions travel stop

Join this event to learn about sustainable solutions in the water cycle! European SMEs will present their innovative views and business approaches on sustainable water usage. Take part and join the matchmaking to get connected in the field.

Organisers: ZENIT GmbH, Green Economy Network North-Rhine Westphalia and the Enterprise Europe Network
Time: 11:00-12:30 UTC+3

Wednesday 13 October

Beyond the lab – activating circularity down under

This event will focus on circularity in Oceania and specifically, Australia. It will showcase examples and projects across government, industry and academia that are beyond the lab to enable environments for a circular economy.

Organisers: RMIT University, Sustainable Buildings and Construction programme and the Victorian Circular Activator (VCA)
Time: 11:30-12:30 UTC+3

What’s hiding in the water – Canadian circular solutions for water and wastewater sectors

Within the framework of Circular Week 2021 Canadian companies will present their circular solutions for the water and wastewater sectors, including industrial water reuse, water nutrient recovery and reuse, as well as water retention solutions.

Organisers: The Embassy of Canada to Poland, Trade Commissioner Service, the INNOWO-Institute of Innovation and Responsible Development, and the Economic Chamber of Polish Waterworks
Time: 15:00-17:00 UTC+3

Media and the circular economy: challenges, (mis)perceptions and opportunities

This event is designed for journalists, media professionals and storytellers to help understand what the circular economy is (and isn’t) and what compelling storytelling can look like. Join us to see where media’s opportunities and pitfalls on this topic lie.

Organisers: REVOLVE Circular and Thomson Media
Time: 17:00-18:00 UTC+3

End of life electronics (EOLE): optimising metals recovery through circular economy approaches

It is important to build awareness of the opportunity to improve critical and strategic materials recovery from EOLE in North America. This event will also identify priorities for action among the private and public sectors, which are consistent with circular economy principles and practices. Read the summary report.

Organisers: Circular Economy Leadership Canada (CELC), Materials Efficiency Research Group (MERG), Natural Resources Canada, Electronic Products Recycling Association
Time: 18:00-20:30 UTC+3

Monday 18 to Tuesday 19 October

Circular Procurement Summit 2021*

This summit offers a learning experience covering the possibilities of public-private tenders and contracts, the carbon and waste reduction opportunities in procurement, showcases from government and private practitioners and exploring market readiness for circular procurement.
*Part of an event series with two four-day events in October and November.

Organiser: Circular Innovation Council
Time: 16:00-19:00 UTC+3

Wednesday 20 October

Experience the circular business game The Blue Connection

In 2020, The Blue Connection was among the 39 inspiring circular economy solutions published by Sitra. Experience the advanced circular business game that is used by companies and universities around the world to make professionals and students experience circular business strategies.

Organiser: Inchainge
Time: 17:00-18.00 UTC+3

Thursday 21 October

Circular SMEs across Europe – automotive and batteries travel stop

Join us to learn about the world of lithium-ion batteries and their reuse possibilities! Our four best practices SMEs from Sweden, the Netherlands and North-Rhine Westphalia present their sustainable business ideas and collaboration methods for circular battery flows.

Organisers: RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Enterprise Europe Network and the Green Economy Network North-Rhine Westphalia
Time: 16:00-17:15 UTC+3

Thursday 21 to Monday 25 October

Innovation hackathon: sustainable student solutions

Post-secondary students from all academic disciplines will compete in a virtual hackathon to create solutions around current circular economy challenges. Participants will get to attend workshops, learn from mentors, network with businesses and share their solutions at our conference.

Organiser: Sustainability Leadership
Time: 22:00-07:00 UTC+3

Monday 25 October

Circulytics: measuring circular economy performance

The circular economy helps companies build long term economic growth and tackle challenges such as climate change and pollution. Circulytics lets companies measure their performance, now with improved user experience and identifying levers for achieving SDG targets.

Organiser: The Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Time: 17:00-18:00 UTC+3

Wednesday 27 October

A just transition towards circular cities – why people matter

Understanding and managing the social impacts of urban transitions towards a circular economy is central to making the transition inclusive, just and long-term. In this online event, experts will discuss the social impacts of a transition to a circular economy in cities.

Organiser: Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)
Time: 14:00-14:55 UTC+3

Thinking in circles and shortening loops: how to advance circular procurement in ICT

This inspirational session includes a policy-based discussion on a circular and fair ICT procurement framework. It explores the new models that have been introduced in Canada and the Netherlands to help accelerate circular and fair innovation in the ICT sector.

Organisers: Consulate General of the Netherlands in Toronto and Closing the Loop
Time: 17:00-18:15 UTC+3

Thursday 28 October

Harnessing trade and economic cooperation for the transition to a circular economy in UNECE region

This regional policy dialogue kicks off a 4-year project supporting transition towards a circular economy in Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. The meeting brings together governments, international experts, academia and the private sector to discuss gaps and potentials for the transition.

Organiser: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
Time: 11:00-13:00 UTC+3

Innovation in Rialto: how a microgrid is building resilience into a city’s wastewater treatment plant

This event offers a panel discussion on a public-private partnership to implement a microgrid project designed to increase the climate resilience of a wastewater treatment plant in Rialto, California, powered by a unique combination of biogas cogeneration, solar and battery storage.

Organiser: Veolia North America
Time: 23:00-00:00 UTC+3

Tuesday 2 to Wednesday 3 November

Impact X Summit Sydney 2021

The Impact X Summit is shaped to be the largest climate event in the Asia Pacific region, leading to COP 26 in Glasgow. Circular economy principles and solutions will be high on the agenda of our plenary and working group industry sessions.

Organisers: Impact X and Blue Impacts
Time: 00:00-9:30 UTC+2

Wednesday 3 to Friday 4 November

Sustainability Leadership Conference and Tradeshow

A virtual conference with speakers, workshops, networking and exhibitors all themed around zero waste and a circular economy. Connect with other businesses, start-ups and students to learn about current waste management challenges and solutions.

Organiser: Sustainability Leadership
Time: 16:00-22:00 UTC+2

Saturday 6 November

Scale up circular solutions to reach the 1.5-degree target

Starting with inspiring stories from community, business and youth, we showcase how circular solutions contribute to reaching climate targets. The subsequent panel will discuss how to integrate and scale up circular solutions into national climate strategies.

Organisers: ECESP Coordination Group Members: EIT Climate KIC, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, Generation Climate Europe and OVAM
Time: 13:00-14:00 UTC+2

Wednesday 10 November

From linear to circular – an indigenous perspective of the circular economy

An indigenous-driven roundtable on the circular economy focusing on knowledge development, indigenous leadership, and inclusion.

Organiser: The Global Centre of Indigenomics
Time: 22:30-1:00 UTC+2

Thursday 11 November

The role of ecosystems and cross-industry collaboration in the transition towards a circular economy

In this edition of the Cireco summit – an annual panel discussion on relevant circular economy topics – experts from various sectors discuss the roles, benefits and necessity of ecosystems and cross-industry collaboration in the circular transition.

Organiser: Cireco Finland Ltd.
Time: 09:00-10:30 UTC+2

Monday 15 to Thursday 18 November

Circular Economy Hotspot Catalonia

This event will be held in Catalonia and will give a comprehensive overview of the current state of the circular economy in Catalonia and Europe. This includes guided tours to local companies from various sectors and a B2B event.

Organisers: Ministry of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda of Catalonia and ACCIÓ, Government of Catalonia
Time: 9:00-20:00 UTC+2

Circular Procurement Summit 2021*

This summit offers a learning experience covering the possibilities of public-private tenders and contracts, the carbon and waste reduction opportunities in procurement, showcases from government and private practitioners and exploring market readiness for circular procurement.
*Part of an event series with two four-day events in October and November.

Organiser: Circular Innovation Council
Time: 17:00-20:00 UTC+2

Tuesday 23 November

The Circular Opportunity: African Stories website launch

The new website shares visual stories and allows users to experience a virtual journey through African circular economy solutions. This launch event will feature a live demonstration of and practice for navigating the site and an opportunity to provide feedback.

Organisers: Footprints Africa Limited, HappyPorch and African Circular Economy Network
Time: 15:00-15:45 UTC+2

Thursday 25 to Friday 26 November

Nordic Circular Summit 2021

This second annual summit presents inspiring Nordic and international speakers and facilitates circular economy collaboration, stimulates debate and enables learning among people from the Nordics and beyond.

Organisers: Nordic Circular Hotspot and Nordic Innovation
Time: 11:00-17:30 UTC+2

Wednesday 1 December

Sustainable trade in supporting global green value chains

This event is to discuss opportunities to mainstream circular economy concepts, balance the responsibility of product lifecycles between producers and consumers, and the trade policies that could be introduced to support a circular economy.

Organiser: China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development
Time: 14:30-15:45 UTC+2

Friday 3 December

Turning point – the circular economy in Canada

This is the public presentation and discussion on the high-level findings of the Council of Canadian Academies’ report on the opportunities and challenges for the circular economy in Canada. Join us to explore the key actions needed to create the conditions for a transition to a thriving circular economy.

Organisers: Environment and Climate Change Canada and Council of Canadian Academies
Time: 20:00-21:30 UTC+2

Tuesday 14 December

Measuring circularity: the stats we need and how to get them

This seminar brings together national statistical offices and international organisations working on circular economy policy.

Organisers: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and Statistics Canada
Time: 16:00-19:00 UTC+2

Wednesday 15 December

Exploring the linkages between the circular economy and trade in Viet Nam

The webinar will provide different perspectives on how trade can be harnessed to accelerate a circular economy transition in Viet Nam in a way that is inclusive and leaves no one behind.

Organiser: Viet Nam Circular Economy Hub – UNDP Viet Nam
Time: 10:00-11:45 UTC+3

Nextextile EU: transforming the textile and fashion industries into a circular economy model

This event is for public and private entities linked to the textile and sustainable fashion industry, such as textile associations, expert European representatives, designers and entrepreneurs.

Organiser: FINNOVA Foundation
Time: 17:00-18:00 UTC+2


WCEF Side Events are part of the World Circular Economy Forum concept. The organisers of these side events have an opportunity to present their circular economy solutions and engage an international and local audience. They also get to highlight their work in supporting the development of a circular economy.

Previously, side events have been organised in close proximity to the annual WCEF conference. The WCEF concept has been updated and selected additional events will be held between the annual WCEF conferences. In 2021, we will be organising a WCEF+Climate conference on 15 April, and the annual WCEF2021 conference will take place on 13-15 September.

At the moment, countries all over the world are struggling with an economic downturn caused by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. To keep people inspired and the discussions around the circular economy ongoing, a number of WCEF Side Events will be organised during 2021.

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