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WCEF Side Events in 2024

As part of the World Circular Economy Forum, WCEF Side Events will be organised throughout 2024. This list of events will be updated monthly.

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Reetta Kohonen

Specialist, Global collaboration, Sustainability solutions

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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 2024, excluding the days of the annual forum WCEF2024 (15-18 April). If you are interested in organising a side event, please submit your application by filling in the application form and sending it to contactus.wcef@sitra.fi. Note that it takes a few days to process 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.

Upcoming events

Tuesday 25 June

Basic Textile Data: best practices and case studies for municipalities

Local leaders are paving the way to circular textiles using data, and the first learnings from Estonia are now available in a practical guide for better textile management. Join us for a live presentation of the Basic Textile Data guide by the authors, followed by a Q&A session.

Organiser: TEXroad
Time: 13:00-14:00 UTC+3

Monday 1 July

Circular Transition Indicators (CTI) for electronic devices – online launch

Discover the power of the CTI, a robust metrics framework positioned to be the universal language of circular performance and accountability. At this event, we will explore key metrics and use cases developed through close consultation with leading companies in the sector.

Organisers: World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and Circular Electronics Partnership
Time: 9:00-10:00 or 18:00-19:00 UTC+3

Friday 27 to Saturday 28 September

Paimio Fashion Week

The Paimio Fashion Week focuses on the future of circular fashion with a two-day event at the historic Paimio Sanatorium on the last weekend of September. Highlights include discussions on materials, consumer behavior and producer responsibility, featuring top Finnish brands, fibre technology experts and politicians. The event language is Finnish.

Organiser: City of Paimio
Time: 10:00-18:00 UTC+3

Tuesday 5 November

Circular economy forum 2024 Salo

Circular economy forum 2024 @Salo gathers the latest news from the circular economy industry in Salo! The themes of the seminar are topical and interesting, such as the Circular Economy Green Deal, bioeconomy, circular economy of plastics and energy. The event language is mostly Finnish.

Organiser: Yrityssalo
Time: 8:30-16:00 UTC+2

Past events

Tuesday 30 January

Unleashing the power of circularity: Jordan’s opportunity to boost employment and growth

This event, first of its kind, will host high-profile national and international speakers pioneering in circularity and sustainability, with distinguished guests in politics, the economy and international cooperation. We will create awareness of circularity’s potential in enhancing Jordan’s economy through material value creation and retention, innovation and employment.

Organisers: Royal Scientific Society (RSS) and Circular Economy Club (CEC) – Amman
Time: 8:00-14:00 UTC+2

Thursday 29 February

Boosting critical minerals supply with circular economy

This event convenes leading Finnish and American experts from government and business to discuss solutions and business cases for improving the supply chains of critical minerals and other materials. The event is aimed at experts working to boost supply in the sectors of renewable energy, electrified transportation, mining, minerals and recycling.

Organiser: Embassy of Finland in Washington DC
Time: 22:00-2:00 UTC+2

Wednesday 13 March

EPR for textiles: Challenges and solutions

In this webinar you will hear what the upcoming EPR regulations entail for the industry; what challenges lie in sorting, recycling and infrastructure; and see best practices on how to make EPR schemes effective and how to build an ecosystem that works Europe-wide.

Organisers: T-REX Project and SCIRT Project
Time: 16:00-17:00 UTC+2

Thursday 14 March

Circular finance dialogue and website launch

Circular South Africa, implemented by the African Circular Economy Network, will launch their website which will enable enhanced collaboration to accelerate the circular economy transition in South Africa. During the event Fetola will share their insights on circular financing.

Organiser: Circular South Africa
Time: 15:00-16:15 UTC+2

Monday 18 March

Launching the first circular economy database for Africa

This new open-source database contains diverse resources from academic publications to reports and policy papers. Join to learn how you can use the database, and how anyone can become part of this initiative to keep the database growing as a joint initiative of the circular economy community!

Organiser: ALU School of Wildlife Conservation
Time: 15:00-16:00 UTC+2

Tuesday 19 March

Innovations in circular economy, recycling and waste management

Join us as we bridge initiatives in Singapore with Nordic innovations in waste management and recycling. This physical event in Singapore aims to foster collaborations and dialogues to connect both ecosystems via presentations by Nordic companies and a panel discussion on the future of recycling.

Organisers: Nordic Innovation House Singapore, Business Sweden Singapore and the Embassy of Finland in Singapore
Time: 8:00-14:00 UTC+2

Thursday 21 March

What is enzymatic recycling and upcycling?

This webinar explores how biotechnological textile recycling presents a more sustainable way of separating fibre blends and creates opportunities for circularity in textile recycling.

Organisers: SCIRT project and BOKU
Time: 12:00-13:00 UTC+2

Thursday 28 March

Behind the scenes of thermomechanical recycling

Join us to uncover the transformative potential of thermomechanical textile recycling – a key to unlocking a sustainable future in textile manufacturing.

Organisers: SCIRT and CETI
Time: 12:00-13:00 UTC+2

Monday 8 April

How the new EU institutions can kickstart the circular economy

This debate is before the Materials and Products Taskforce report launch later in the year, which will set the policy agenda for the EU’s transition to a circular economy. It will take stock of the previous 5 years’ progress and offer policy recommendations for the next 5 years.

Organiser: University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership
Time: 11:00-12:30 UTC+3

Tuesday 9 April

Implementing reuse models and take-back initiatives for food packaging

Join this workshop to develop joint projects and actions to implement reuse models and take back systems for take-away and retail food packaging. In this workshop you can establish partnerships with innovative SMEs, knowledge institutions and public stakeholders across EU regions.

Organisers: Clean, Flux50, and Smart Waste Portugal
Time: 11:00–13:30 UTC+3

Wednesday 10 April

Promoting collaboration for a sustainable and circular bioeconomy

This conference brings together experts with different professional backgrounds and academic disciplines from across the Baltic-Nordic region to share knowledge on a sustainable and circular bioeconomy and discuss ways of promoting it.

Organisers: CIRCLE project and Baltic Studies Centre
Time: 9:30-16:45 UTC+3

Design for the circular economy

The event will bring together companies in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation Network to discuss circular design innovation, showcase best practice in circular design and discuss what policies can foster circular design.

Organisers: DS Smith, Philips and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Time: 10:00-12:00 UTC+3

Develop projects to increase the use of biobased material in packaging

Join this workshop to develop projects for increasing the use of biobased plastic in packaging. Explore topics like decision support tools, R&D for material improvement, business model enhancements and recycling innovations. Participate to plan joint actions and form partnerships.

Organisers: Clean, Flux50, and Smart Waste Portugal
Time: 11:00–13:00 UTC+3

Online Climate Fresk workshop

Climate Fresk is a scientific, cooperative and engaging way to raise awareness about climate change. The workshop is based on the IPCC reports breaking down the most important information about climate change. In just three hours, the workshop will help you understand the fundamental science behind it and empower you to take action.

Organiser: Climate Fresk
Time: 15:00-18:00 UTC+3

Thursday 11 April

Empowering entrepreneurs for investment success

This webinar focuses on empowering entrepreneurs and innovators with actionable insights and strategies. It addresses the complexities of securing finance for investment projects and navigating the landscape of the circular economy.

Organiser: InvestCEC
Time: 15:00-16:30 UTC+3

Circular Economy Collage workshop

New to the circular economy or curious to know more? The Circular Economy Collage is a collaborative 3-hour workshop that looks at our existing linear economic model and invites you to explore a different, circular model, that uses fewer resources, designs out waste and respects the limits of our planet.

Organiser: Circular Economy Collage
Time: 15:00-18:00 UTC+3

Friday 12 April

How sustainable is your circular business model? Find out with LCA!

Environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a methodology to assess environmental impacts of the whole lifecycle of a system. Our expert speakers will talk about different circular businesses and what should be considered when doing an LCA of a circular solution.

Organiser: Environmental Impacts Academy
Time: 14:00-16:00 UTC+3

Monday 8 to Sunday 14 April

Online matchmaking for the circular economy

Unlock the doors to global circularity and join the online matchmaking from 8 April to 14 April 2024, the week before WCEF. Connect with dedicated professionals in your sector or beyond. Your golden ticket to exciting partnerships, new ideas and top-notch innovation. Register now!

Organisers: Enterprise Europe Network, EEN Flanders, EEN Brussels, and EEN Wallonia
Time: see separate programme on event website

Tuesday 9 to Saturday 13 April

Time out! Rethinking construction – exhibition

Aalto University’s exhibition is a critical comment on the overuse of resources for construction. The exhibition presents practical examples of the unsustainable level of raw material extraction and suggests alternative approaches for containing construction within our planetary boundaries.

Organiser: Aalto University
Time: 10:30–19:00 UTC+3

Monday 15 April

Circular economy business run

We are delighted to invite you to join the upcoming circular jog across the beautiful Parc de Bruxelles on the opening day of the WCEF2024. Connect with like-minded professionals and circularity enthusiasts and enjoy a laid-back opportunity to network and exercise.

Organiser: Retrieve
Time: 8:45-10:00 UTC+3

Tuesday 16 April

AI Action Lab for circularity

This session explores the potential of artificial intelligence for accelerating the transition to a circular economy. You will gain inspiration about the topic and practical advice on how to empower AI in your circular economy work.

Organisers: AI for Good, Circular Leadership and Limelights
Time: 18:30-19:30 UTC+3

Networking for changemakers

GreenMix is made for sustainability professionals to connect and accelerate their personal network. Join the special edition “Circularity in Brussels” event. Make new contacts during the networking game, immerse in original music beats and meet like-minded professionals.

Organiser: GreenMix Brussels
Time: 18:30-23:00 UTC+3

Food security: The importance of food system transformation

This session will look at how farmers and growers, processors, packagers, distributors, policy makers, and consumers must work together to transform the way food is grown, produced, processed, packaged, distributed and consumed.

Organiser: European Food Forum
Time: 18:30-21:00 UTC+3

Ending plastic pollution: funding the fight, reaching treaty goals

As the world gears up for the fourth round of negotiations on the landmark global plastic treaty, Minderoo Foundation is thrilled to host an exclusive WCEF side event in the heart of Brussels to delve into the financial instruments and measures crucial to realising an ambitious plastics treaty.

Organiser: Minderoo Foundation
Time: 18:30-21:30 UTC+3

Friday 19 April

Innovation Forum 4 Plastics

The event showcases the innovative solutions of EU-funded projects to boost plastic recycling and circularity, reduce plastic pollution and thus, contribute to the EU Plastics Strategy, the EU Circular Economy Action Plan and related regulatory frameworks.

Organiser: EuRIC (European Recycling Industries’ Confederation) on behalf of the CIMPA project, European Research Executive Agency (REA) of the European Commission, Circular Plastics Cluster
Time: 10:00-14:00 UTC+3

AdoptIDee Final Event

The AdoptIdee project, funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ program, lands in Abruzzo to transfer to Italy the format of school-business collaboration. Four companies have proposed their challenges on optimising internal business processes centred on circular economy issues. Now, 120 students will pitch their solutions to the proposed challenges to companies and the public.

Organiser: Innovalley Open Innovation Hub – AdoptIDee Foundation
Time: 15:00-19:00 UTC+3

Circular Friday: top picks from WCEF2024

Cradlenet attended the World Circular Economy Forum 2024 in Brussels. During this members’ meeting, we report our insights from the event. Which were the highlights and what circularity issues were people talking about?

Organiser: Cradlenet
Time: 12:00-13:00 UTC+3

Monday 22 April

Regulatory sandboxes as enablers for cleantech and circular innovation

EU energy independence and decarbonisation targets require innovative solutions. Regulatory sandboxes enable experimentation for scale-up and acceleration of cleantech solutions while ensuring safety, reliability and consumer protection. Join the debate!

Organisers: University of Vaasa and RMIT University
Time: 12:00-18:00 UTC+3

Circular economy and sustainability workshop

Gain new knowledge from professionals about the circular economy and its importance in our lives. In the workshop, put plants in second-hand pots and learn how to make a hanging plant holder with a knotting technique. The event language is Latvian.

Organisers: DARE and Valmiera Development Agency
Time: 14:00-17:00 UTC+3

Valvan opens its doors to visitors

We are thrilled to announce that our System Circularity & Innovative Recycling of Textiles (SCIRT) sorting and dismantling partner, Valvan, is opening its doors! Come to Menen, Belgium, to see the Fibersort textile sorting machine and Trimcleam machine, which removes items like buttons and zippers from clothes. You will be taken through their facilities and gain an understanding of how their machines function and ask questions.

Organiser: SCIRT and Valvan
Time: 15:00-17:00 UTC+3

International projects and partnerships for textile sorting and recycling

Join this workshop to co-develop innovative projects focused on textile sorting and recycling, alongside experts from various regions within the EU. This event provides the opportunity to collaborate on joint projects and build partnerships to drive circular economy initiatives in the textile industry.

Organisers: Smart Waste Portugal, Clean and Flux 50
Time: 16:00-17:30 UTC+3

Tuesday 23 April

Promoting the circular economy in Latin America: companies and civil society united for sustainability

Explore examples of collaboration mechanisms that promote the green transition, especially in Latin America. The event will illustrate the AL-INVEST Verde partnership model and present other successful collaboration models in the field of circular economy, showing how businesses and civil society can cooperate to promote sustainability. The event language is Spanish.

Organisers: Eurochambres, Sequa, and AL-INVEST Verde programme
Time: 16:30-18:00 UTC+3

Closing the loop: Innovating for a circular tomorrow

Discover innovative solutions for a circular economy, from waste management to sustainable packaging. Join entrepreneurs, investors and climatetech enthusiasts at our event and meet climatetech pioneers sharing insights on shaping a circular future. Get inspired and equipped to make impactful changes.

Organiser: ClimateHack Zurich chapter
Time: 19:30-22:00 UTC+3

Wednesday 24 April

Accelerating sustainable solutions

This panel will showcase real-world examples of successful circular economy practices from startups and corporations, and inspire business leaders to integrate circular principles into their organisations, fostering innovation and sustainability.

Organiser: Forest Valley Institute
Time: 16:00-17:00 UTC+3

Reenvisioning the future of education in construction

A necessary debate on the opportunities and challenges of integrating green and digital skills into construction education. A rethink from the BuildSkills Academy project, which aims to equip the workforce for the EU’s transition to a circular and sustainable future.

Organiser: Circular Berlin
Time: 16:00-17:15 UTC+3

Wednesday 24 to Thursday 25 April

FRUSH goes to ecosystems

FRUSH is an event focusing on the ESG requirements of the circular economy, dealing with the practical requirements of supply chains and legislation. The event offers information about the needs of the business world and the opportunity to create contacts. Culminating in a startup competition, the programme includes expert speeches and panel discussions as well as a possibility for companies and communities to present their activities and services. The event language is Finnish.

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

Friday 26 April

Circular fashion: sustainable consumption and production across textiles, leather, and cosmetics

This webinar highlights how sustainable consumption and production strategies throughout the fashion industry can reduce resource consumption, waste generation and pollution emissions.

Organisers: ASEAN Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform and SWITCH-Asia
Time: 11:00-13:30 UTC+3

Tuesday 30 April

Re-opening of pop-up circular hub (PUCH)

Jupiter is a former department store transformed into the creative planet JUPITER – with art and culture, fashion and music, drinks and design – open to everyone seven days a week. After the official re-opening of PUCH, three WCEF2024 sessions will be streamed. The sessions will be followed by discussion panels with different experts on the previous session’s topic.

Organiser: Fab City Hamburg e.V and others
Time: 12:00-21:00 UTC+3

Global Circular Economy Roadmap Initiative

This initiative was launched in 2022 at the WCEF in Kigali to support policy exchanges, knowledge sharing and create a common vision for an inclusive circular economy. This event will provide an update about the recent developments of the initiative, the future plans and solicit stakeholder inputs to a policy paper to be launched at the UN Summit for the Future in New York.

Organiser: Chatham House
Time: 14:00-16:00 UTC+3

Tuesday 7 May

2050 – Views to the future of plastics

Come hear about the map for the future of plastics as constructed this spring within the project “Closed plastics circle – from pilots into practice.” The future is not set, we make it happen today! The event language is Finnish.

Organisers: the Closed Plastic Circle – from Pilots into Practice project and Helsinki-Uusimaa Circular Valley
Time: 9:00–10:15 UTC+3

Nourishing cities 2040: sustainable urban foodscapes

The event focuses on future circular food production in urban settings. We will create an experience of the future through the use of narratives and images created with AI and gamification, as well as discuss how it affects the participants’ future awareness.

Organisers: VTT and city of Espoo
Time: 13:45-16:00 UTC+3

Clothes swap and interactive workshops

Join us at the Fashion for Good Museum in Amsterdam to find your perfect outfit by swapping your pre-loved items and participate in interactive workshops from Aalto University. There will also be an opportunity to explore upcycling and recycling by creating your own story tags for used garments.

Organisers: Fashion for Good and the T-REX Project
Time: 19:00-20:30 UTC+3

Thursday 16 May

Public procurement: Driving circular transformation in the construction, plastics and textile industries

Do you work in procurement for a municipality, hospital or other public institution? Are you interested in how you can contribute to a more circular economy in construction, textiles or plastics by procuring innovative solutions? Then join experts from Denmark, Belgium and Portugal in this webinar.

Oganisers: Clean, Flux50, Smart Waste Portugal
Time: 11:00-13:30 UTC+3

Circular and regenerative design

The event will gather experts, designers, industry stakeholders and policymakers to share current understanding on product circularity. We identify implementation barriers, highlight gaps in design and development practices, and potentially find new methodologies for design and measurement.

Organiser: The Centre for Sustainable Design® at UCA
Time: 15:00-17:00 UTC+3

Thursday 23 May

Designing for circularity

Join for an introduction of circular design principles and optimising side streams for production. Hear how to design products that last and how digital product passports improve the transparency of products’ value chains.

Organiser: Niimaar
Time: 9:30-10:30 UTC+3

Thursday 30 May

Eliminating hazardous chemicals from fashion and construction value chains

The event will discuss the current state of the global fashion and construction value chains by identifying the environmental risks of hazardous chemical use. It will explore strategies to eliminate hazardous chemicals across both industry value chains.

Organisers: Circular Innovation Lab and UNEP
Time: 15:00-17:00 UTC+3

Thursday 6 June

WCEF2024: Perspectives from Africa

To reflect on this year’s WCEF edition, ACEN is running a webinar to discuss key topics that were raised during the forum and what they mean for Africa.

Organiser: African Circular Economy Network
Time: 16:00-17:00 UTC+3

About

WCEF Side Events are part of the World Circular Economy Forum concept. The organisers of these 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.

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 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 contactus.wcef@sitra.fi using the application form. New side events will be added to this list monthly.

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