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WCEF2019 Side Events

A number of side events will be held together with the World Circular Economy Forum 2019. These side events include networking activities around a specific topic related to the circular economy, or this year’s theme the next era of the circular economy and scaling up the transition.

Image: Minna Hemmilä


Most of the side events will take place on Wednesday, 5 June in the Helsinki capital area, some already during the forum.

Please note that a registration is necessary to some of the side events. Click the heading of the side event to register. 

The World Circular Economy Forum is by invitation only. 



The World Circular Economy Forum 2019 in Helsinki, Finland on 3-5 June 2019 built the next era of the circular economy.


Monday 3 June

Climate crisis is here. Can the EU’s sustainable finance regulation make a difference?

This side event explores the sustainabilityrelated disclosure regulation for the financial services sector through keynotes and two panel discussions with a wide range of experts representing key stakeholders from the private and public sectors. What regulations are planned and will they achieve the intended consequences? 

Time: 8.15-11.45
Location: Klubi restaurantMusiikkitalo, Kansalaistori 2G, Helsinki 
Organisers: Finsif and CFA Society Finland 

Circular Economy Simulation: The Blue Connection

Simulation gaming offers a fun and interactive way to learn, connect and engage with colleagues, suppliers or clients on the circular economy. ING, Inchainge and Windesheim have teamed up to develop The Blue Connection, a business simulation that helps companies and individuals gain an insight into the opportunities and challenges of adopting circular strategies. Join us for breakfast on 3 June to explore what The Blue Connection can do for you and your organisation. At the end of the session, we will arrange for transportation to Finlandia Hall for the opening of WCEF 2019. 

Time: 9.00-11.00
Location: HUONE KamppiMalminkatu 30, 00101 Helsinki Transportation to Finlandia Hall at 11:30 is arranged.
Organisers: ING and Inchainge 

Asoliiteri –A circular economy solution to reduce the carbon footprint from everyday living

The housing company Asokodit (Asuntosäätiön Asumisoikeus Oy) and the CoReorient Oy start-up have developed a consumer circular economy solution, which, with support from the versatile cultural centre Vuotalo (City of Helsinki), is now available to everyone in Helsinki.

Time: 12.00-16.00
Location: Mosaiikkitori 2, Helsinki
Organisers: Harri Paloheimo

Cleantech Venture Day

Cleantech Venture Day is the biggest cleantech investment event in the Nordics. Meet the top Nordic cleantech companies, investors and other key enablers and join us to make your next big deal.

Time: 15.00-19.30
Location: NewCo juhlasali & Pörssitalo
Organisers: Avanto Ventures, Helsinki Metropolitan Smart & Clean Foundation, City of Helsinki

My2050 gaming session

My2050 is a unique adventure game about climate change and the future. In the game, YouTube superstar and climate influencer Niha Bee will be your guide to the future, as she shows you what life is like in the 2050s and how climate change has been tackled. 

Time: Monday 3 to Wednesday 5 June: any time
Location: Next to Finlandia Hall. The start of the gaming session is by the statue located at the crossroads of Töölönlahdenkatu and Karamzininkatu (60°10’28.4″N 24°56’08.0″E)
Organiser: Visia Cooperative, Osuuskunta Visia

Tuesday 4 June

Cleantech Venture Day

Cleantech Venture Day is the biggest cleantech investment event in the Nordics. Meet the top Nordic cleantech companies, investors and other key enablers and join us to make your next big deal.

Time: 8.30-17.45
Location: Finlandia Hall, Veranda (Mannerheimintie 13e, 00100 Helsinki)
Organisers: Avanto Ventures, Helsinki Metropolitan Smart & Clean Foundation, City of Helsinki

We want future! -festival

The We want future! festival brings circular economy solutions into life in a whole day youth event. During the day different workshops, pop up events, discussions, fashion shows and exhibitions showcase how can we save the climate in our everyday lives. The central library Oodi will be packed with opportunities to make solar panels, cook and try out delicious cricket and left over – foods, learn what business solutions secondary high school students have created, repair and remake clothes and participate in inspiring discussions about making the future we want happen. 

Time: 10.00-19.00
Location: Oodi Helsinki Central Library, Töölönlahdenkatu 4, 00100 Helsinki
Organisers: Sitra, Economy and youth TAT, Ilmastoveivi2019, UN youth of Finland, Finnish Agenda2030 Youth Group, MY2050, Central library Oodi

Asoliiteri –A circular economy solution to reduce the carbon footprint from everyday living

The housing company Asokodit (Asuntosäätiön Asumisoikeus Oy) and the CoReorient Oy start-up have developed a consumer circular economy solution, which, with support from the versatile cultural centre Vuotalo (City of Helsinki), is now available to everyone in Helsinki.

Time: 12.00-16.00
Location: Mosaiikkitori 2, Helsinki
Organisers: Harri Paloheimo

Smart & Clean Pool Party

Come join the conference crowd for a night of music and mingling in Helsinki. The party will be a fun evening of music and mingling, but also offering showcases of the best Smart & Clean solutions from the Helsinki metropolitan area.

Time: 18.00-21.00
Location: Allas Sea Pool (Katajanokanlaituri 2a, 00160 Helsinki), gathering point: Lakeside exit from Finlandia Hall
Organiser: Helsinki Metropolitan Smart & Clean Foundation

Circular economy business from wood

From quantity to quality. Novel, high-value products from Finnish forests. Come, hear, touch and see what the future of cosmetics, chemicals, medicines, plastics, smart packaging and textile fabrics look like. 

Time: 19.00-20.30
Location: Oodi, the Helsinki Central Library, Töölönkatu 4, Helsinki
Organisers: VTT (Technical Research Centre of Finland) & LAMK (Lahti university of applied sciences)

Wednesday 5 June

Circular Economy in Local Governments

The Nordic Council of Ministers has published a new Nordic Guideline for Circular Economy in Local Governments. This event presents the guideline and is targeted at local and national governments as well as circular economy practitioners and businesses co-operating with local governments in the transition to the circular economy.

Time: 08.30-12.00
Location: Scandic Park Helsinki, 46 Mannerheimintie, 00260 Helsinki, Room: Discover 2
Organiser: The Nordic Council of Ministers and PlanMiljø Denmark

Construction and the Circular Economy

Half of the world’s raw materials are used in construction. Therefore, we need to change the way we plan, build and use buildings. The time for action is now. We are inviting experts in the construction sector, architects, engineers and real-estate owners to join us for this event. We will share the latest developments, scientific results and best practices with you. Together we can steer the construction sector towards the greater use of circular practices.

Time: 8.30–19.00 
Location: National Museum, Mannerheimintie 34, Helsinki 
Organiser: Ministry of the Environment of Finland and Green Building Council Finland 

WCEF 2019 Canadian Side-Event

The event will explore the unique issues, challenges, and solutions to building a circular bio-economy within the Canadian context. Learn from and explore synergies with stakeholders from government, businesses, industry associations, and research institutions, while meeting with potential buyers and those seeking to make strategic commercial partnerships in the bio- and circular economies. 

Time: 8.30-12.30
Location: VTT, Vuorimiehentie3, Espoo
Organisers: VTT, Embassy of Canada in Finland and Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE)

What does the circular economy bring to the industrial sector?

Deloitte’s event focuses on the value that the circular economy brings to the industrial sector: from operational excellence to new business. How have the industrial sector’s big players adopted circular economy thinking at the core of their business? Come and hear inspiring examples from Neste and Kemira, whose solutions enable sustainable value creation for other businesses as well. The event offers a forum for learning, questioning, networking and assessing your company’s circular capabilities. 

Time: 8.30-11.00
Location: Deloitte’s office, Porkkalankatu 24, 00180 Helsinki
Organiser: Deloitte

Business Collaboration and Innovation in the Circular Economy – Bilateral Event Norway–Finland

Circular Norway, The Norwegian Embassy and Innovation Norway are pleased to invite you to our WCEF2019 side event. The event is open to Norwegian and Finnish participants and focuses on circular business models mainly within the food and textile industries. Both Norwegian and Finnish companies will share their experiences and best practices of making the transition to a circular economy. There will also be a session for discussing and exploring learning points from the WCEF2019.

Time: 9.00-14.00
Location: Norwegian Embassy, Rehbinderintie 17, 00150, Helsinki
Organisers: Circular Norway, The Norwegian Embassy and Innovation Norway

The circular economy, trade and sustainable development

The transition to circular economy in Europe will have impacts on international trade. This in turn will have implications for third countries, including in particular those in the developing world. This expert workshop explores the global dimensions of the European circular economy, with focus on trade, just transition and empowering developing countries. 

Time: 9.00–12.30 
Location: Ministry for Foreign Affairs of FinlandEteläesplanadi 4, Helsinki
Organiser: Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP)

Circular Business Models: from theory to practice

There is increasing acknowledgement that business models are vital to the circular economy. There is growing literature on how new business models can – at least theoretically – promote greater circularity. It is time to put the theory into practiceAt this event, leading European research institutes will share their first-hand experience of working with companies to develop and implement circular business models. The audience will participate in discussions on outstanding business innovation needs and challenges, and on how best to collaborate to co-create solutions. 

Time: 9.3012.30 
Location: Holiday Inn Helsinki City CentreElielinaukio 5, 00100 Helsinki
Organiser: ECERA – the European Circular Economy Research Alliance

Building a sustainable textile sector: solutions for developing circularity 

This side event focuses on solutions for developing circularity in the textile sector. It brings textile companies from the Netherlands and Finland to the WCEF2019. The aim is to help the formation of new circular business partnerships between Finnish and Dutch companies. Come and hear about innovations in the Dutch and Finnish textile sector and learn about the companies offering their solutions or new business partnerships for tackling circular economy challenges. After a short pitching session, the participants will have the chance for one-on-one conversations and networking. 

Time: 10.00-12.00 
Location: Allas Sea Pool, Katajanokanlaituri 2a, Helsinki
Organisers: Finnish Textile & Fashion, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Combating climate change by circular economy and systemic change:
closing the material loops and creating new business possibilities

In the seminar, experts and innovators reveal how closing the material loops can slow down the climate change and create new business possibilities. Topics vary from water systems, algae and nutrients to textiles, battery metals and systems perspective for reducing overconsumption.

Time: 10.00-12.00 
Location: School of Business, Aalto University, Ekonominaukio 1, Espoo, Lecture hall Jenny ja Antti Wihurin säätiö
Organisers: Aalto University

Plastics and replacement materials in the circular economy system – challenges, opportunities and consumer impacts

Plastics are one of the main environmental focus areas of our time. However, plastic is also a very efficient packaging material. New plasticreplacement materials are produced from renewable raw materials and are very often biodegradable. But are the challenges associated with their environmental impacts? What environmental impacts does recycling have? And most importantly, how does recycling plastics or plastic replacement materials affect consumers? How can we encourage consumers to act and what is required from society to create an effective circular economy? These are the questions we will be addressing at our event – come and listen and take part!

Time: 10.00-12.00
Location: Meeting Park Forum, Mannerheimintie 20 B, 6th Floor 
Organisers: Circular Economy Club Helsinki / Lucrativo Sustainable Solutions, co-hosted with FCG Finnish Consulting Group

A visit to the biggest Kierrätyskeskus (Reuse Centre) in Finland – see how 4 million products find new homes every year

A detailed rundown of how Kierrätyskeskus manages to circulate over 4 million products annually, and how only 10% of our material flow ends up being incinerated. Visitors will see how items circulate from donation to store shelves, some even getting a completely new lease of life after a pit stop at our workshops.

Time: 10.00-12.00, 14.00-16.00, 17.00-19.00
Location: Pääkaupunkiseudun Kierrätyskeskus, Kutojantie 3, 02630 Espoo
Organisers: Pääkaupunkiseudun Kierrätyskeskus Oy / Helsinki Metropolitan Area Reuse Centre Ltd.

Closing the loop: ASEM’s transition towards achieving a circular economy

The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) is launching a review of the implementation experience of Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) countries on SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production. This side event launches the publication Closing the Loop: ASEM’s transition towards achieving a circular economy and discusses the framework, strategic direction and findings of the publication through a panel discussion with the authors and key leaders of the publication and the foundation. 

Time: 11.00-13.00
Location: Crowne Plaza Helsinki, Mannerheimintie 50, 00260 Helsinki, Finland.
Organiser: Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF)

Scaling up process and product innovations to bridge the circularity gap

VTT Bioruukki Pilot Centre is an open access innovation hub that offers a unique test bed and piloting environment to develop commercially viable but also visionary technological solutions that respond to the biggest challenges of the circular economy. This side event will be built on guided tours highlighting the facilities through selected case examples, an exhibition of renewable material and product prototypes and networking with experts focusing on the circular economy of plastics and textiles. 

Time: 12.00-16.00
Location: VTT Bioruukki Pilot Centre, Ruukinmestarintie 2, 02330 Espoo, Finland. VTT arranges transportation to the event from the center of Helsinki.
Organiser: VTT

Circular and sustainable workshop

The circular and sustainable workshop is an exploration of cases and lessons that strategically aim for truly circular and sustainable business within a safe operating space for humanity. The Natural Step International will convene its network and showcase lessons from circular economy projects around the world. The event is hosted with the support of NELIS (Next Leaders Initiative for Sustainability). Representatives from both networks and invited guests will engage with participants from the WCEF to explore cases and lessons from the use of backcasting as a tool for helping create a truly circular and sustainable economy. 

Time: 12.30-16.00
Location: We+ Europe at Kaapelitehdas1 Tallberginkatu00180 Helsinki
Organiser: The Natural Step International, in collaboration with NELIS (Next Leaders Initiative for Sustainability)

Circular Canada: Exploring the Circular Economy on the Road to WCEF 2020

Join us for an opportunity to learn about the unique circular economy opportunities and challenges for Canada as a vast, resource-rich economy, and to contribute ideas for the development of the agenda for WCEF 2020.

Time: Workshop 13.00-16.30 & Reception 16.30-18.00
Location: HOTEL ARTHUR Ballroom, Vuorikatu 19, FIN00100, Helsinki
Organiser: Circular Economy Leadership Coalition (CELC)

A Call to Action: How can we build sustainable e-commerce together?

Online retail is becoming more and more common around the world. We at Posti have researched the environmental impact of online retail, and how online retailers and customers can diminish the carbon footprint of their purchases. We’re happy to invite you to discuss the results of our report with us as well as to explore sustainable solutions with experts from the field.
The speakers include Timo Huhtamäki (Marketplace Lead,, Hannu Saarijärvi (Professor of Marketing at Tampere University) and Johanna Sarviharju (Director, Digital CX, Reima). Please note: This event is held in Finnish.

Time: 14.00-16.00
Location: Think Corner, Stage, Yliopistonkatu 4, 00100 Helsinki
Organiser: Posti Group

Bear’s Den

Six companies will get the chance to pitch and convince our panel of judges about their business plans in the Bear’s Den.  The name Bear’s Den derives from the grilling the companies will receive from our panel, and from you, the audience. The companies will not know in advance the questions they’ll be asked. Part of “Circular Forerunners”– a group of WCEF2019 side events focusing on business and financing.

Time: 14.00-15.30 
Location: Amanda, Etelä-Esplanadi 8, Helsinki
Organiser: Kasvu Open

Boost growth in product manufacturing: why you should sell outcomes instead of products (productasa-service model) 

The event is addressed to CEOs and industrial leaders who are driving growth strategies in product manufacturing. Through inspiring case examples and small group discussions we will share experiences about the productasaservice business model as a driver for growth. You are warmly welcome to join the event to learn from others and share your own experiences about this transformation that is already disrupting today’s industrial markets. Part of “Circular Forerunners”– a group of WCEF2019 side events focusing on business and financing. Please note: This event is held in Finnish.

Time: 14.00-16.00 
Location: Klaus K Hotel, Rake-sali, address: Bulevardi 2-4, Helsinki 
Organiser: Kasvuryhmä (Growth Collective Finland)

Circular Economy Development in Eco Industrial Parks 

The main objective of the event is to provide a forum in which to discuss and exchange experiences about developing the Eco Industrial Parks. The event will begin with a brief introductory segment and a presentation on the new Eco Industrial Park development concept launched in Finland. The main focus of the event will be the Eco Industrial Parks international panel, featuring speakers with broad experience of Eco Industrial Parks and representatives from the Finnish Eco Industrial Park Group. Part of “Circular Forerunners”– a group of WCEF2019 side events focusing on business and financing.

Time: 14.00-15.30
Location: Oodi Helsinki Central Library, Töölönlahdenkatu 4, 00100 Helsinki
Organiser: Digipolis Oy

How to respond to changing consumer needs and move towards circular economy business models

Consumers are requesting companies to be sustainable and move towards circular economy. This puts pressure on corporations but also opens up possibilities to engage consumers in building new business models. How have for example MUD Jeans and Fjong built their business around consumers’ willingness to participate in circular economy business models? How have Hesburger and Touchpoint collaborated to find new life for old staff uniforms? Come and hear real-life stories from those who have already started and spar with our venturing experts on how to get started yourself. Part of “Circular Forerunners”– a group of WCEF2019 side events focusing on business and financing.

Time: 14.00-16.00
Location: Avanto Ventures, Mechelininkatu 3d, 00100 Helsinki
Organiser: Avanto Ventures

Sustainable Materials Changing The World

Sustainable materials offer huge business potential for solving global challenges. The networking afternoon showcases Finland’s most promising sustainable materials including innovative bio-based materials that can replace plastics and new solutions for textiles and packaging. You will be able to meet the key people behind these innovations in prearranged one-to-one meetings. This in an exclusive invitation-only networking reception. Please sign up now, as space is limited. Part of “Circular Forerunners”– a group of WCEF2019 side events focusing on business and financing.

Time: 14.00-16.00
Location: Etelä Esplanadi 8, Amanda 
Organiser: Business Finland

Circular Economy in Middle East and North Africa

Water scarcity, low oil prices, environmental challenges… The Middle East & North Africa (MENA) is facing various challenges today and is shifting towards a circular economy. It’s time to act! The circular economy is not only a key solution to these challenges, it is also an economic driver that generates jobs for the young population. During this event, opportunities and challenges of the circular economy in MENA will be discussed and how the relationship between Finland and MENA can be harnessed. 

Time: 14.00-17.00 
Location: Scandic Seurahuone, Kaivokatu 12, Helsinki
Organiser: Arabian Finnish Business Forum-AFBF ry

Circular Forerunners Networking

Meet the most interesting Finnish and international companies, investors and other stakeholders working in the circular economy and bioeconomy fields. There is also an opportunity to book meetings via the app in advance and take part in some interesting discussions around the theme tables.  The event is targeted at attendees of all five WCEF2019 side events under the title “Circular Forerunners” – a group of WCEF2019 side events focusing on business and financing.

Time: 16.00-18.30
Location: Amanda, Etelä-Esplanadi 8, Helsinki
Organiser: Business Finland

Digitally Circular Networking Event 

Digitally Circular brings together digital experts, business leaders and circular economy professionals and startups to discuss the future of circular economy. The objective of the meetup is to accelerate circular economy development by connecting people with different backgrounds to communicate and share ideas.

Time: 16.30-19.00
Location: NewCo Helsinki, Ensi Linja 1, Helsinki
Organisers: Taival Advisory Oy, EIT Digital, EIT Raw Materials, EIT Climate-KIC and Aalto University

Thursday 6 June

Improving resource efficiency through industrial symbiosis – Opportunities for SMEs

This event, co-organised by the European Resource Efficiency Knowledge Centre – EREK, seeks to answer questions such as: What are the key drivers for success in industrial symbiosis and how to resolve possible barriers? What can we learn from each other to succeed even better? What’s in it for businesses and especially SMEs?

Time: 8.45-17.00
Location: Metropol Hietaniemi, Hietaniemenkatu 14, Helsinki, Finland
Organisers: Motiva Oy and European Resource Efficiency Knowledge Centre – EREK

Are you interested in arranging a side event during the WCEF2019? Please contact Ms Kirsi Pönnikirsi.ponni(at)

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Specialist, Global collaboration, Sustainability solutions , Sitra

+358 (294) 618 242


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