WCEFonline Summary

The World Circular Economy Forum Online was held on 29-30 September 2020. Over 4 200 people from 123 countries participated in the event. This is a summary of the discussions held during the event.


Tuula Sjöstedt

Specialist, Communications and Public Affairs


The year 2020 marks a year of change and adaptation. The COVID-19 pandemic has washed across the world and damaged our economies. At the same time, a rapid transition to a circular economy is more important than ever. The whole world needs to find ways to get back on its feet, and we have a unique opportunity to support the sustainable recovery of our economy with circular solutions.

While the annual main event was postponed by a year, this unusual situation inspired us to organise the first fully virtual event as part of the World Circular Economy Forum. WCEFonline took a dive into why and how a circular economy can help reboot and build resilience in the economy.

Circular economy change-makers from around the world shared practical examples that help us rebuild our economies stronger, greener and better. The recordings of all sessions were available for two weeks after the event and reached a wider audience than any WCEF before.

The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra organised WCEFonline together with the African Circular Economy Alliance, Circular Economy Leadership Coalition, Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the European Commission, Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy, the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, in collaboration with the Governments of Canada, Finland and the Netherlands, and WCEF2021 partners including the International Chamber of Commerce, Nordic Innovation and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

WCEFonline offered a modern circular economy venue, consisting of 6 sessions over 2 days, with 50 top speakers from around the globe and over 70 side events spread over 4 months, spiced with keynote speeches, panel discussions, videos, networking opportunities and a chance to take part in the discussions from anywhere on Earth.

Over 4 200 participants from 123 countries participated live and over 4 300 views of the session recordings were made after the event. See you soon in the next WCEF events, live or virtually!

  • WCEFonline side events continue until the end of December 2020.
  • WCEF+Climate will take place on 15 April 2021 in the Netherlands.
  • WCEF2021 will be held in Toronto, Canada, on 13-15 September 2021.

Publication details


WCEFonline Summary


WCEFonline in brief


Tuula Sjöstedt, David J. Cord and Topias Dean

Place of publication


Year of publication







the circular economy, sustainability, sustainable recovery, COVID-19, pandemic, nature crisis, climate, biodiversity loss, climate crisis

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