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WCEF Side Events in 2023

As part of the World Circular Economy Forum, WCEF Side Events will be organised throughout 2023. This list of events will be updated monthly.


WCEF Side Events present circular economy solutions from around the globe. 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 2023, excluding the days of the annual WCEF (30 May – 2 June). If you are interested in organising a WCEF Side Event, please submit your application by filling in the application form and sending it to Note that it takes a few days to process the arriving applications and upload the events on this list.

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.

Past events (2023)

Tuesday 31 January

Launch of the state of the art analysis on Nordic circularity

The Nordic Network for Circular Construction project is producing a state-of-the-art analysis on the circularity of the Nordic construction markets. At this event you will hear the key findings of the analysis and an expert commentary on how the findings can be implemented.

Organiser: Green Building Council Finland
Time: 13:00-15:00 UTC+2

Tuesday 21 February

Doing Business with Finland – Namibia seminar

This live event is for Finnish and Namibian companies to explore partnerships. Namibia aims for carbon neutrality as the first African nation. The demand for sustainable solutions in e.g. energy production, construction and agriculture is evident. In addition to matchmaking, presentations on focus sectors and themes are also on the agenda.

Organisers: Finnpartnership and the Embassy of Finland in Namibia
Time: 9:00-14:00 UTC+2

Thursday 23 February

Doing Business with Finland – Zambia seminar

This live event is for Finnish and Zambian companies to explore partnerships. The Zambian circular economy space remains largely untapped, offering wide-ranging opportunities in many areas such as waste, manufacturing and agriculture. In addition to matchmaking, the event agenda also includes presentations on focus sectors and circular economy market needs.

Organisers: Finnpartnership, the Embassy of Finland in Zambia and the AGS Programme
Time: 9:00-14:00 UTC+2

Thursday 16 to Friday 17 March

Biomass-based renewable energy and the recycling economy

The programme of this seminar will update the current knowledge of the use of bioenergy and the role of the circular economy. There will be lectures as well as practical examples by academics, students and industry representatives.

Organisers: NamFin Research Academy ry, University of Namibia, University of Turku and Åbo Academy University
Time: 8:30-14:30 UTC+2

Monday 20 March

Market study launch – circular economy opportunities in Zambia

The recent study highlights the most potential opportunities for Finnish and Zambian companies on waste collection and separation, recycling and reuse of materials, and on waste to energy. Join us to benefit from the expertise and support of the Finnish Embassy in Zambia and the AGS Programme for initiating discussions with key stakeholders.

Organisers: Finnpartnership, Finnish Embassy in Zambia and the AGS Programme
Time: 13:00-15:00 UTC+2

Wednesday 22 March

Preventing waste and closing material loops

The session is part of a webinar series and will be opened by an expert from UNEP who will give a keynote on preventing waste and closing material loops, followed by presentations of best practices around the globe. We will close with information on a challenge competition.

Organiser: CircleHub
Time: 15:00-16:00 UTC+2

Thursday 23 March

Join us for an exciting fireside chat hosted by Noah Schaul, Director Corporate Training at Inchainge. Our guest speaker is Elmer Rietveld, a renowned researcher at TNO. He is experienced in fields such as material science, supply chain management and welfare economics. With expertise in critical raw materials and the circular economy, he is uniquely positioned to offer valuable insights.

Organiser: Inchainge
Time: 15:30-16:15 UTC+2

Tuesday 28 March

Sustainable Nordics 2023

This event showcases the solutions implemented by Nordic companies operating in Argentina. The seminar highlights the sustainability work and initiatives the companies carry out, with the goal of deepening the Nordic link with local authorities and private sector. The event language is Spanish.

Organisers: Embassies of Finland, Norway and Sweden in Buenos Aires and Embassy of Denmark in Brasília
Time: 3:00-9:00 UTC+3

Wednesday 12 April

MEC Ghana kick-off event

Join the official kick-off of the Material Innovation Center & COCA Architects’ upcycling journey in Ghana. This event marks the start of the project to turn cocoa waste into materials for the built environment – at a commercial scale.

Organisers: Material Innovation Center and COCA Architects
Time: 11:00-12:00 UTC+3

Wednesday 12 April

Lagos to the world: next steps

Following the recommendations from the WCEF2022 Nigeria Studio , this event will focus on the next steps for project development in the areas of circular trade, built environment and finance. It will also be a steppingstone for other circular initiatives including the Lagos Circular Economy Hotspot 2023.

Organiser: African Circular Economy Network (ACEN) Nigeria Chapter
Time: 14:00-15:30 UTC+3

Monday 17 April

The power of the elements

Chile is in the forefront of the global efforts to counter climate change as one of the leading mining industry countries. This event will highlight Finnish circular economy solutions with a high-level participation of industry stakeholders, such as Metso Outotec’s CEO, Mr Pekka Vauramo.

Organisers: Embassy of Finland, Santiago de Chile and Metso Outotec
Time: 12:00-14:00 UTC+3

Wednesday 19 April

Nature-based solutions

In this webinar, we will discuss how the development and implementation of solutions in collaboration with nature can help us create resilient and thriving ecosystems.

Organiser: CircleHub
Time: 15:00-16:00 UTC+3

Thursday 20 April

Future-Proof Engineering Education 2023: engineering skills in times of environmental crises

The seminar focuses on ensuring relevant engineering education in Finnish universities. This year the seminar highlights the required engineering skills and competences to ensure a smooth transition to a carbon neutral circular economy. The event language is mostly Finnish.

Organiser: Tekniikan akateemiset TEK (Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland TEK)
Time: 10:00-16:00 UTC+3

Circular economy water solutions for Africa

Africa is quickly running out of water, largely due to climate change, but also on account of institutional failings, governance and the lack of planning infrastructure. During this session, we will explore how the circular economy can be used as a sustainable water management framework.

Organiser: African Circular Economy Network
Time: 15:00-17:00 UTC+3

Wednesday 26 to Thursday 27 April

LOOP Forum 2023: eliminate waste and circulate resources

LOOP promotes circular solutions and technologies, initiating collaboration and dialogue across industries. We also debate challenges and influence policy making while sharing knowledge and building capacity. Join us to gain new insights!

Organiser: Relevant
Time: 10:30-17:00 UTC+3

Thursday 27 April

FRUSH: innovating the circular economy

FRUSH opens up new perspectives on the circular economy and business. Bold claims. Shaking and awakening. Questions and doubts. Mind-opening conversation. Participate live in Forssa’s Kehräämö region or online. Admission to the event is free. The event language is mostly Finnish.

Organiser: Forssan Yrityskehitys Oy
Time: 9:00-16:00 UTC+3

Tuesday 2 May

Doughnut economics and the circular economy: designing for thriving communities

Combining the concept of doughnut economics with circularity provides pathways to address economic, social and environmental challenges at the local level. Join us to learn how doughnut economics can be implemented in cities and regions for thriving and resilient communities.

Organisers: Canadian Circular Cities and Regions Initiative
Time: 18:30-19:45 UTC+3

Wednesday 3 May

Standards accelerating the transition to a circular economy

Common concepts, models and measures drive the transition to a circular economy. At this event we offer an update and insights on ISO Circular Economy standards under development. Participate live in Helsinki or online. The event language is Finnish.

Organiser: Finnish Standards Association SFS
Time: 13:00-15:00 UTC+3

Thursday 4 May

Circular economy robots demo day

The AutoMod project demonstrates mobile robot prototypes for circular economy applications and a robot platform for the city environment. Local robotics companies also present their solutions for 3D printing recycled concrete and plastic. The event language is Finnish.

Organisers: City of Espoo, AutoMod project
Time: 13:00-15:00

Circular economy and robots in Kera, Espoo

Join us to hear and see which circular economy and smart city challenges robots could solve. We will discuss how the circular economy of textiles and plastics evolves in the near future and how you can live circularly. The event language is Finnish.

Organiser: City of Espoo
Time: 16:00-19:00

Friday 5 May

Timeless Thread

This event promotes a circular economy in fashion by encouraging the community to bring their clothes to be fixed for free. We will do this to incentivise the community to move away from a linear take-make-waste model where clothes are only worn a few times before being discarded.

Organiser: Circular Economy Hub Africa
Time: 9:00-15:00

Thursday 11 May

Headache fractions in mixed municipal waste

Many consumer products pose significant waste management challenges and end up in landfill or incinerators. Using findings from an EEA study, this event will discuss the issues and what needs to change to increase recycling and promote circularity.

Organisers: European Environment Agency and the European Topic Centre on Circular Economy and Resource Use
Time: 15:00-16:30 UTC+3

Wednesday 17 May

What happens to the EPR fees paid in Europe for a product that is exported to Africa as second-hand?

The event will look at the international flow of extended producer responsibility (EPR) fees covering used electronics and cars shipped from the EU to Africa. We will discuss the possible solutions we have researched and provoke an open discussion on the best way forward.

Organisers: European Environmental Bureau, Circular Innovations Lab, Footprints Africa and the ACEN Foundation
Time: 16:00-17:30 UTC+3

Wednesday 24 May

Circular Arena

This seminar and fair discusses how collaboration, innovation and learning lead the change towards a circular economy. Speakers represent business, city and research institutes. In the fair you can learn about and network with local circular economy businesses in the Oulu region. The event language is Finnish.

Organiser: BusinessOulu
Time: 9:00-18:00 UTC+3

Industrial water circularity in Morocco

Join us in a webinar to hear about opportunities for collaboration between Finnish and Moroccan companies in sustainable water management ! Various speakers will discuss water challenges in Morocco and in its key industrial sectors. The speakers will also present examples of solutions that Finnish expertise has to offer.

Organisers: Embassy of Finland in Morocco, Business Finland and Finnish Water Forum
Time: 13:00-14:30 UTC+3

Circular economy investor matchmaking event

This event is designed to bring together those promising startups and savvy investors who are interested in exploring investment opportunities in the circular economy. If you are an investor and open to investing in circular economy startups, this event is for you.

Organiser: Impact Hub Berlin
Time: 15:00-17:00 UTC+3

Friday 26 May

Circular economy in action 1: it is not rocket science!

In the first series session we will discuss how circular economy research can contribute to innovation and build knowledge applicable to African countries and situations in which projects are needed with the private sector.

Organisers: Circular Economy Hub Africa and African Leadership University
Time: 11:30-13:00 UTC+3

Monday 29 May

The forests and circular economy in the Tanzanian context

Tanzania’s yearly wood demand exceeds its forests’ sustainable supply capacity by 19.5 m3. This side event will discuss how Tanzania can overcome the wood supply gap while preserving its forests to meet increased demand of the future.

Organiser: Embassy of Finland in Dar es Salaam
Time: 9:30-12:00 UTC+3

Making a profit through sustainability

This event offers a diverse and expert-rich panel discussion on sustainable development and money. We discuss the circular economy and social responsibility with panellists whose areas of expertise are marketing, investments, internationalisation and management. The event language is Finnish.

Organisers: Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce and Måndag
Time: 9:30-12:00 UTC+3

Unlocking the door to the circular economy of the world rubber economy

This event addresses a sustainable rubber economy that is profitable, socially just and environmentally sound. A cradle-to-cradle circular economy guarantees a superior performance and more sustainable mobility.

Organiser: International Rubber Study Group
Time: 10:00-16:00 UTC+3

The role of a producer responsibility organisation (PRO) in a circular economy

This event will highlight a case study of the importance of a PRO under a well-designed and well-implemented circular economy framework. It will use the example of the partnership between Reclay (a PRO), and Borealis, a chemical and plastics manufacturer.

Organiser: Reclay StewardEdge
Time: 17:00-18:00 UTC+3

Investing in circularity and sustainability

Join us to explore the exciting world of sustainable business and circular economy opportunities. We invite investors, startups, ecosystem leaders and industry experts to come together in Helsinki to exchange knowledge, share insights and foster meaningful connections.

Organisers: Helsinki Partners, MiXi Center, the City of Helsinki, Helsinki–Uusimaa Circular Valley and the Museum of Technology
Time: 17:00-20:00

Tuesday 30 May

From waste to value – the Circular economy in Egypt

This event involves the private sector, policy makers and academia in Egypt and Finland. It will explore critical development needs for the circular economy in Egypt and it will bring experts and stakeholders to discuss state-of-the-art solutions and the practical way for implementation.

Organiser: Embassy of Finland in Cairo
Time: 18:00-21:00 UTC+3

Wednesday 31 May

The Mediterranean way(s) – overcoming barriers for a circular transition

This session will look at the Mediterranean region and discuss priority action areas for a circular economy transition. Implementation cases from Jordan and Tunisia will be presented, showcasing their efforts in adopting circular economy practices.

Organiser: GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) GmbH
Time: 10:00-10:30 UTC+3

The role of the Global South in enabling a global circular transition

This roundtable will focus on bridging the Global South and the Global North, breaking cultural and lifestyle barriers through solutions and best practice of mapping circular policies, economic incentives and business models.

Organiser: International Council for Circular Economy
Time: 16:45-18:15 UTC+3

Monday 5 June

Regenerative leadership: the key to a circular economy in harmony with nature and people

Change towards a circular economy starts with each person. During this event you will get insights into regenerative leadership and identify key aspects for being a leader of a circular economy in harmony with nature and people.

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

Tuesday 23 May to Thursday 8 June

The Circular Conversations Tour

Join Sustainable Change Studio to talk all things circularity, climate action and sustainable choices as we take a 7-day overland journey to Helsinki for WCEF. Whether you’re a circularity expert or circular-curious and looking to learn, we want to swap stories with you!

Organiser: Sustainable Change Studio
Time: see separate programme on the event website

Monday 5 to Friday 9 June

Circular economy online matchmaking week

This event is for all companies operating in the Single Market or EU partner countries, no matter your progress with circular economy operations. You can book and manage meetings on this website, and also with the app “b2match”.

Organisers: Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise Europe Network (EEN)
Time: 9:00-19:00 UTC+3

Wednesday 7 June

Circularity in food production: future opportunities and challenges

This panel will zoom in on circular horticulture, the practical implications, and how the EU can support it. We will look at substrate reuse, growing renewable materials for substrates through peatland agriculture and examples of using waste streams to produce healthy food.

Organiser: Kekkilä-BVB
Time: 14:00-15:45 UTC+3

Wednesday 7 to Thursday 8 June

Arctic Circular Economy Forum 2023

ACEF2023 deals with the energy revolution and the solutions offered by the circular economy. This year, we offer free business sparring, circular economy tours, a circular economy competition and illustrations of the circular economy with VR glasses. The event language is Finnish.

Organisers: Circular Economy Centre, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, Lappia Vocational College and Lappia Education Ltd
Time: see programme on event pages

Monday 12 June

Solutions Exhibition

Do you want to make a positive difference in your community? Impactful solutions already exist, let’s spread them! Get inspired by 40+ impactful initiatives that you can bring to your region without reinventing the wheel!

Organiser: Snowball Effect
Time: 17:00-19:00

Tuesday 13 June

The circular economy in the context of a limited supply of biomass

The session will explore the intersections between the circular economy, bioeconomy, climate change and biodiversity, zooming in on circular economy’s role in balancing limited biomass supply and demand and reducing biodiversity and climate impacts.

Organisers: The European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform, EEA, Sinnen-Wandel, Sitra, CERDI and IUCN
Time: 10:00-11:30 UTC+3

Tuesday 20 June

Sustainable (re)construction for Ukraine, Europe and more

“Building Back Better” is well fit for Ukraine. To identify what is “better” we organise a hybrid workshop to address sustainability and the circular economy, especially in the presentation of “re-constructability”.

Organisers: Pantheon Performance Foundation and SUSTCON
Time: 15:00-17:00 UTC+3

Monday 26 June

Australian Circular Economy Forum 2023

We bring together leaders from government, academia, business, NGOs and finance to discuss the circular economy 2030 opportunity. Participants will share evidence-based progress, innovations and commitments with focus groups producing recommendations for a 2030 circular economy roadmap.

Organisers: Circular Australia and Impact X
Time: 1:00-13:00 UTC+3

Thursday 29 June

Circular economy in action 2: unlocking opportunities among waste management and recycling companies in Kigali

During this session, we will discuss the status quo of circularity among waste management and recycling companies in Kigali, Rwanda, and the potential opportunities for the private sector. Stay tuned, many more sessions are coming!

Organisers: ALU School of Wildlife Conservation and the Circular Economy Hub Africa
Time: 17:15-19:00 UTC+3

Accelerating transition towards the circular economy in Latin America from Chihuahua, Mexico

A multi-stakeholder event for governments, citizen observatories, companies and academic institutions to promote reliability and the circular economy in Latin America, under the standard ISO 18091, which enables the achievement of the 17 SDGs.

Organisers: Chihuahua State Government, Mexico, and the Latinamerican Network of Reliable Governments (Red LAGOC)
Time: 17:30-21:30 UTC+3

Tuesday 11 July

Product circularity, and circular and regenerative design

The event brings together expert designers, businesspeople and policymakers to discuss state-of-the-art circular and regenerative design. It will provide insights into how design for product circularity is understood and contribute to the development of methodologies and tools.

Organiser: The Centre for Sustainable Design (University for the Creative Arts)
Time: 16:00-17:30 UTC+3

Thursday 13 July

Closing the sustainability skills gap – insights from experts

The fireside chat will shine a light on a current pressing problem in the learning and development field: the skills gap in sustainability. The event will be hosted by Noah Schaul, Director of Corporate Training at Inchainge, and our guest speakers Marco Rog and Monica Zeilemaker.

Organiser: Inchainge
Time: 16:30-17:30 UTC+3

Thursday 20 July

Circular solutions for nature and the economy

Join the CE-Hub and guest speakers to discuss how circular solutions can benefit both nature and the economy. Designed to engage and promote discussion on key topics, this lunchtime webinar will include short presentation from guest speakers, followed by an audience Q&A.

Organisers: CE-Hub and University of Exeter
Time: 14:00-16:00 UTC+3

Thursday 10 August

Advancing the circular economy: WCEF and materials-as-a-service

This online workshop will shed light on the highlights of ACEN’s experience with WCEF2022 and 2023 and contributions from across the continent. The Forum enables partners to work together, and this session uses breakout rooms to showcase a materials-as-a-service project that has benefitted from this convening power.

Organiser: African Circular Economy Network (ACEN)
Time: 15:00-17:00 UTC+3

Thursday 16 March to Saturday 16 September

Energy Futures: critical minerals, climate neutrality and transition pathways

This exhibition on the energy transition presents 13 research cases across Aalto University’s six schools. The projects cover renewable energy and biodiversity impact, critical minerals and responsible mining, hydrogen technologies and decision-making toolkits.

Organiser: Aalto University
Time: 8:00-18:00 UTC+3

Wednesday 20 September

Future Adaptive Design – Guide and toolbox launch

The programme includes an introduction to Future Adaptive Design (FAD) by RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, inspirational presentations by companies, and a panel discussion. During this hybrid event, RISE will launch a practical guide and a toolbox for FAD.

Organiser: RISE – Research Institutes of Sweden
Time: 14:00-17:00 UTC+3

Wednesday 11 October

Construction Goes Cirular

Join us in the conference dedicated to circular economy and sustainable construction. You will hear inspiring presentations on practical solutions for circular economy in the construction industry and engage in lively discussions on how we can all contribute to sustainable solutions.

Organisers: Peikko Group, Green Building Council Finland and ISCOWA
Time: 8:00-10:00 UTC+3

Wednesday 11 to Thursday 12 October

Circular Economy Forum 2023 Salo

The theme of the seminar is a diverse circular economy and we will cover topics such as the circular economy goals of the new Government programme. Speakers are circular economy experts from various organisations and entrepreneurs in the field. The event language is Finnish.

Organiser: Yrityssalo Ltd
Time: see separate programme on the event website

Tuesday 17 to Wednesday 18 October

Nordic Circular Summit

Nordic Circular Summit explores the circular opportunities of the Nordic region across sectors, silos and country borders, bringing together some of the foremost experts, decision-makers and companies working on circularity.

Organisers: Nordic Circular Hotspot and Nordic Innovation
Time: 10:00-19:00 UTC+3

Wednesday 8 November

Circular solutions to ocean plastic pollution: experiences from Africa

This event looks at experiences and lessons learned in ocean plastic reduction programmes with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Experiences of the Clean Oceans Project Identification and Preparation programme will be shared.

Organiser: European Investment Bank
Time: 8:30-11:30 UTC+2

Wednesday 8 to Thursday 9 November

ASEAN Circular Economy Forum 2023

This inaugural forum brings together global and regional circular economy leaders and practitioners to accelerate ASEAN’s transition towards a carbon-neutral circular economy. The face-to-face event focuses on collaboration, knowledge-sharing and building partnerships.

Organisers: Business Finland, ASEAN CE Stakeholder Platform and others
Time: see separate programme on the event website

Monday 20 November

The pathway to circularity: from guidance to action

4evergreen’s third annual conference will serve as a testament to the alliance’s achievements since its inception in 2020 and set the stage for further advancements. Participants will embark on a cross-industry journey, exploring how 4evergreen has successfully united a diverse group of stakeholders to work towards a common ambitious target.

Organiser: 4evergreen alliance
Time: 14:30-18:30 UTC+2

Monday 20 to Tuesday 21 November

Circularity 2023

Held over two days, Circularity’s program comprises of a multi-stream conference, exhibition, networking events and ACE Awards program. Circularity aims to propel Australia’s economy into the future by showcasing the best of circular design, practice and research.

Organisers: Planet Ark Environmental Foundation, Australian Circular Economy Hub and Diversified Communications Australia
Time: 22:45-07:45 UTC+2

Thursday 23 November

French Institute Nordic Award 2023: News from the north

The Nordic laureates will present their research and share lessons learned from their one-week visit to research institutions in France. A round table will follow addressing the main challenges to the circular economy.

Organisers: French Institutes in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway and Sweden
Time: 15:00-17:00 UTC+2

Tuesday 28 November

Sustainability Talks Istanbul 2023

This event showcases international regulations and innovative solutions that concern the entire textile value chain. The aim is to increase awareness of sustainability in the fashion and textiles sector and to take solution-focused steps with the leading representatives.

Organisers: Orbit Consulting and Kipaş Textiles
Time: 7:00-17:30 UTC+2

Tuesday 12 December

Circular design frontrunners: 50 Finnish companies share results

Finnish companies have developed their strategy and R&D in a globally unique Circular Design pilot programme (part of Finland’s national Circular Economy Programme). What did they achieve and how will they continue the circular path? Join to get inspired, learn and celebrate!

Organisers: Ethica and Design Forum Finland
Time: 13:00-15:00 UTC+2

Thursday 14 December

Circular economy in Finland – sustainability through measuring

What insights does the data provide regarding the circular economy and the management of natural resources? The seminar will delve into the development of the circular economy in Finland in recent years and its implications for our economy and the environment. The event language is Finnish.

Organiser: Tilastokeskus (Statistics Finland)
Time: 9:00-11:30 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 international and local audiences. They also get to highlight their work in supporting the development of a circular economy.

In the beginning, side events were organised around the annual WCEF conference. The WCEF concept has since been updated and selected additional events will be held between the annual WCEF conferences.

All WCEF Side Events are independent events organised by one or more hosts. The hosts of each side event are responsible for all practicalities and expenses related to organising the event, including the virtual event platform and tools, possible venue, programme, invitations, registration, marketing and communications. Sitra will not be responsible for any practical arrangements or costs.

As the initiator of the WCEF concept, Sitra will promote the side events on the WCEF project website, in WCEF newsletters and on social media, based on the information submitted by the side event host in the application form.

If you are interested in organising a WCEF Side Event, please submit your application to using the application form. New side events will be added to this list monthly.

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