What is it?
CircularFutures is a Leadership Development Program created by Ashoka in co-creation with eBay and our co-creation partners. We are convening 30 changemakers in the field of circular economy from a diverse range of disciplines to take part in an interactive, practical learning experience that champions collaboration, inspires innovation, and builds momentum for change.
Our focus is on exploring new approaches to leadership within the circular economy – we need a new generation of leaders who understand how to weave individuals and networks into a coherent and powerful movement for real systemic change.
We will explore the growth and business opportunities in the circular economy - ultimately creating a network of organisations leading and collaborating on the shift towards a circular economy.
The new leaders of the circular economy will be weavers of ecosystemic change – we define weaving as a nuanced form of leadership that involves aligning diverse stakeholders around a shared vision and a common set of goals. Effective weavers are able to foster real and meaningful collaborations; and can deepen people’s capacity for being systemically impactful.
Circular Futures will find, develop and empower tomorrow’s circular economy leaders, created real ecosystemic change and generate impact at a societal level.
CircularFutures is looking for leaders from across the public, private and third sectors with the imagination, creativity and desire to:
If you believe in the power of the circular economy and want to lead the change, we’d like to hear from you. Join CircularFutures to become part of a network of co-learners and collaborators that will help you design better projects, scale your work and create more impact. This interactive, practical learning experience champions collaboration, inspires innovation and builds momentum for change. CircularFutures will supercharge you as a circular economy changemaker.
CircularFutures is supported by a network of organisations committed to building a circular economy: Ashoka, eBay Foundation, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, C-creators, Circle Economy, Waste2Wear, De Hoge Dennen and Philips.
Who it’s for?
CircularFutures brings together thirty changemakers in the circular economy from a diverse range of disciplines to take part in an interactive, practical learning experience that champions collaboration, inspires innovation and builds momentum for change.
CircularFutures is for people who understand the power of the circular economy and want to make it happen. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, work for a corporation or are part of the public sector, CircularFutures is looking for changemakers who want to lead the change.
Our participants will have a track record of at least 5 years in circular innovation and change within (or strongly related with) any of the following three sectors: packaging, electronics or fashion. They are decision-makers in a social enterprise, corporate or public sector institution and possess the entrepreneurial spirit, drive and passion to develop, launch and implement system changing initiatives within these sectors.
Why you care?
Through CircularFutures, you will belong to a powerful network of co-learners and collaborators that will help you design better projects, scale your work, create more impact and lead the change.
If you’re a social entrepreneur or innovator…
… CircularFutures will connect you to a powerful network of innovators and changemakers that will help you design better projects, scale your work, create more impact and lead the change. You will experience new approaches to leadership and work with collaborators who will take you to the next level. CircularFutures will connect you to social impact investors and support you to become investment-ready. Join us to lead the change.
If you’re a public sector leader…
… CircularFutures will connect you to a powerful network of circular economy changemakers and innovators who will share and explore what facilitates and supports their innovations. If you want to lead the transformation of public policy and redefine public/private partnerships in line with circular economy thinking - join us.
If you’re a corporate leader…
… CircularFutures will give you the chance to amplify your role and impact as a changemaker in the field of circular economy. You will experience new approaches to leadership and explore the growth and business opportunities that the circular economy is creating. You will collaborate around the design of innovative business models that will lead the transition to a circular economy. And you will explore the impact this will have on your organisation. You will become part of a network of companies leading the shift towards a circular economy whilst strengthening your own business’s brand credibility. If you think we need to transform how we do business and if you see the compelling commercial argument for a circular economy - join us.
If you’re an investor…
… CircularFutures will connect you to a powerful network of circular economy changemakers who are working to design better products or services, scale their ideas work, create more impact and lead the change. If you think we need to transform how we do business, if you see the compelling commercial argument for a circular economy and you believe in building and investing in economic, natural and social capital - we invite you to join CircularFutures and to support tomorrow’s circular economy changemakers.
How it works
Opportunity to pitch your collaborative innovations to a panel of investors.
To be a part of CircularFutures, please apply by clicking the ‘Join us!’ button and fill out the application before:
Focus on apparel, electronics and packaging
To ensure that we are able to offer access to a wide range of individuals, CircularFutures has adopted a shared pricing model. Participants from organizations and businesses who are able will be required to pay a fee of €10,000 for the 6-month program. This will contribute to our delivery costs and will enable individuals (typically early-stage entrepreneurs or start-up businesses) to join the program via a scholarship. If you'd like to apply for a scholarship or want to talk to us about pricing - please get in touch.
The scholarship covers the program costs, it does not cover the potential transport and accommodation costs you need to make to attend the modules.
Expected outcomes of the program. This program will:
Who are we
Ashoka builds and cultivates a community of change leaders who see that the world now requires everyone to be a changemaker. Together, we collaborate to transform institutions and cultures worldwide so they support changemaking for the good of society.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation was launched in 2010 to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. Its Circular Economy 100 programme supports innovation and collaboration across corporates, governments and cities, universities, small and medium sized enterprises and affiliate organisations.
C-creators believe there is no justification for the existing linear system. We believe in the power of cooperation and working together to achieve more. Together with our partners we join forces and work on a daily basis to create iconic projects. One of them being the Building Programme for the metropolitan region of Amsterdam. Together we can make the circular economy the new normal.
Waste2Wear creates innovative circular solutions for the textile industry. Through cross sector collaborations with companies, universities and governments we turn plastic waste into useful and beautiful products. Our aim is to run out of plastic to recycle one day.
At Circle Economy, we believe in a visionary future for our planet — one in which we do not have to compromise in order to achieve economic, social, and environmental prosperity. As an impact organisation, we connect and empower a global community to create the conditions for systemic transformation. With nature as our mentor, we work alongside businesses, cities and governments to identify opportunities to make the transition to the circular economy and provide a powerful combination of practical and scalable solutions to turn these opportunities into reality.
Speakers & Facilitators
As General Manager - EMEA for Patagonia, Ryan Gellert oversees all sales, marketing, sustainability and operational initiatives for the brand. An avid climber and backcountry snowboarder, Ryan has climbed and ridden throughout Asia, Europe, North America, Australia, the Middle East and South Africa. Ryan has extensive experience working with direct action environmental groups, serving on the boards of the Access Fund and Protect Our Winters. Prior to joining Patagonia, Ryan spent 15 years at Black Diamond Equipment, where he held a number of roles including Brand President, VP of Supply Chain Management and Managing Director of Black Diamond Asia.
Bas van Abel (1977) is founder and CEO of Fairphone, a social enterprise which creates a phone to uncover complex production systems and change how products are made. Open design is the driving force behind many of his initiatives, combined with his passion for building new relationships between people and products. Prior to Fairphone, Bas was Head of Waag Society’s Open Design Lab, where he established Amsterdam's FABLab, a community makerspace, and initiated the Instructables Restaurant, the world’s first open source restaurant. Van Abel's Fairphone idea has won numerous awards, including the United Nations Momentum of Change Award, presented at the World Climate Change Conference in Paris, as well as the German Environmental Award.
Noa Lodeizen is a social entrepreneur and her entrepreneurial spirit grows when she encounters injustice, sees opportunities and, in particular if the problems seem to be so complex that we need to solve them outside existing frameworks. She is the founder of the NGO Young in Prison, for which she was selected Ashoka fellow. She is also the co-founder of The good Family. Recently she assumed the director position at Ashoka Netherlands, co-founder of the Changemaker Academy and initiated the leadership program on Circular Economy Circular Futures.
Florian manages Ashoka's community of Fellows in the UK. He focuses his passion and expertise on system change strategies which he shares through retreats, workshops and talks. He also co-leads integration of this work across Ashoka in Europe. He holds degrees in international economics and social entrepreneurship, studying in the Netherlands, US, UK, and Kenya. He has also worked as a social impact consultant on strategy, organisation, and communication.
Michael Wagemans is Managing Partner of i-propeller, one of Europe’s leading sustainability advisory boutiques. With i-propeller, he advises clients on a diverse set of issues pertaining to sustainability, such as shared value, CSR, societal business innovation, impact measurement, corporate philanthropy and stakeholder engagement. He has more than 15 years experience in strategy and organization consulting, working together with corporates and public authorities. Prior to joining i-propeller, Michael held positions of responsibility in management consulting at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Arthur D. Little.
Monique Maissan is a Dutch entrepreneur and textile engineer specialized in Circular Economic solutions for the textile industry. She is the CEO and founder of Vision Textiles; a textile company, which produces fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles and aims to combine this with circular models and social initiatives. Its brands Waste2wear and Waste2weave combine environmental goals with improvement of livelihoods. This unique approach has led to cooperation with several brands and some of the largest multinationals. She is currently involved in another initiative that she co-founded: The Plastic Ocean Project in China. The project aims to find ways of removing plastic from the ocean.
Ross is founder of the Global Change Leaders – and is directing Ashoka’s education strategy – both aiming to create learning ecosystems in which every young person is empowered as a changemaker. Before Ashoka, Ross designed the Better World Programme that equips young people to be well and do well. The first implementation of the programme is with 500,000 children across Zimbabwe and Tanzania. This built on the work of the Effective Education for Employment project, conceived with Pearson. The project evaluated the effectiveness of education systems and institutions internationally. Before joining Pearson, Ross spent 15 years designing and launching 20 businesses across 5 continents.
Maggie De Pree is a co-founder and Director of The League of Intrapreneurs, a global learning community for social ‘intrapreneurs’ – people working for a better world from inside our incumbent institutions - influential corporates, governments and NGOs. She has spent over a decade harnessing the innovation potential of business to address issues ranging from climate change to healthcare and has worked with companies such as GSK, BMW, Nike, Barclays, Shell, BP and SC Johnson. She is a passionate advocate for girls’ sport and after launching her village’s first U8 football team for girls has now found herself coaching the local cricket.
Harald is senior director sustainability and leader of the Circular Economy Program at Philips - a global leader in Health Technology, aiming to make the world healthier and more sustainable through innovation. Prior to Philips, Harald worked as department head at the Dutch Forensic Institute and from 2007 till 2013, Harald worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company. There, he specialized in large-scale transformations, such as Lean transformations, culture transformations, and leadership development. Harald is also co-founder of the Nationale DenkTank. Since 2006, this foundation annually selects a group of ca. 20 top-talented students to co-create innovative solutions for societal problems.
Melinda believes in the power of communities and is passionate about helping to empower communities to grow and contribute towards a sustainable society. Having worked in different sectors – from education to trade development – she has found that sustainability is the closest topic to her heart. She co-founded Impact Hub Budapest, a global-community-based coworking office. She enjoys engaging people in meaningful conversations about their environment and enabling them to recognize the power they have to make steps towards a more sustainable world. In the last 7 years she has facilitated and designed participatory methods processes of dialogue including the Art of Hosting and Theory U.
Mischa Altmann started his career in electronic and electrical engineering at engineering consultancy Arup in London designing mission critical infrastructure for datacenters and hospitals. He was lead engineer at a zero-carbon buildings startup in Oxford before he turned to Sweden for a second masters in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability. Together with Melinda Varfi, he has been building up Resonanz to support leading organisations in realising their potential with a whole systems approach. He regularly conducts Sustainability@BoardLevel workshops in Sweden, is developing a space for disruptive collaboration for interdisciplinary working and has a keen interest in intercultural work connected to sustainability.
Guido Braam is known as a speaker who can convey his personal enthusiasm and conviction with humor and very practical examples to the public. He likes to improvise and can appeal to his broad experience in the circular economy and his years of experience as an entrepreneur. His story is about the big trends that have to do with the circular economy as well as the daily opportunities and obstacles when you as an entrepreneur want to work with the circular economy.
As Director Strategic Alliances, Marc de Wit is responsible for mobilizing and engaging stakeholders in sustained collaborative relationships to maximize Circle Economy’s impact and to accomplish shared goals. He is a recognized thought-leader on implementation of the circular economy, with more than 12 years of strategy and implementation experience in advising companies and governments in developing circular strategies and implementing circular solutions. Marc brings a conceptual and pragmatic focused approach to projects, having obtained a PhD in sustainable resource use from Utrecht University and industry experience with a variety of players ranging from front-running corporate to start-ups from the operational to C-level.
Alexandru Laibar (Workshops Without Borders)
Alexandru Laibăr is interested in sustainable economy, renewable energy, and ecology. Experienced in waste management and NGOs, he is a Certified Sustainability Manager and uses his expertise in various areas (sales, CRM, PR & PA) to support Workshops Without Borders’ efforts to achieve their goals in professional, social, and civic integration of very disadvantaged people, solidarity and waste reduction, all together impacting both the environment and society. He believes change happens from a bottom-up approach and believes strongly in the saying "practice what you preach."
Ashima Sukhdev (Ellen MacArthur Foundation)
Ashima leads the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Government & Cities Programme, engaging national, regional, and local governments in the transition towards a circular economy. Ashima’s previous work at the Foundation has spanned across the Business and Insights & Analysis teams, including a secondment to the World Economic Forum to support the development of their circular economy initiative. Prior to joining the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Ashima worked with the Strategy & Operations group of Deloitte Consulting. Ashima graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Economics, minoring in Sustainability & Environmental Management. Ashima has lived and worked across islands big and small – Mumbai, Singapore, the UK, Manhattan – and can now be found on the Isle of Wight.
Ayumi Matsuzaka (Dycle)
Ayumi Matsuzaka, born in Japan, is the founder of DYCLE - Diaper Cycle, and currently lives in Berlin. Originally, as a conceptual artist, she explored the role of humans in energy and material cycles, through participatory art interventions. The past 10 years, after carrying out soil projects in Europe and Asia, she mastered the production of Terra Preta soil substrate, whilst understanding that parents are highly interested in reducing the huge amounts of diaper waste. Diaper Cycle is a system for these parents, that offers 100% compostable diapers, which after use, are transformed into healthy soil, ready to plant fruit trees. She is a certified “Blue Economy Expert”, an environmental business certificate awarded by ZERI (Zero Emissions Research and Initiative): DYCLE is also a case study of ZERI.
Cedric Solms (Re-apaga)
Cedric is the CEO and founder of Re-apaga charity foundation, Impulse Recycling LLC and Apaga, all located in Armenia: all of them in the environmental protection and recycling field. With the recycling project in one major state of Armenia, he implemented a system that separates and recycles the waste of over 30.000 people. In the newest project “Apaga” he is building a Green Lifestyle Community Platform in Armenia, with the aim to expand worldwide. Apaga brings together and rewards environmentally aware people from all around the world in one green community, while boosting recycling, as well as creating thousands of jobs.
Christian Hudson (G7+G20 Diplomacy for CE - Giz)
Christian currently works on international discussions on building a global circular economy, helping the European Commission with Europe’s G7 and G20 diplomacy. His interest in Circular Economy issues came from shaping policy frameworks to support a sustainable economy, working within the EU, national governments, think tanks, the private sector and with the UN International Resource Panel. His struggles there led him to look at how change really happens, at individual to institutional levels, how we learn, and how we choose to collaborate. He was once a corporate lawyer and an economist, before systems thinking approaches shook up his world view.
Claire Bates (Encycled)
Claire graduated magna cum laude from the University of Arizona with a degree in Retailing and Consumer Sciences. While there, she built and managed an on-campus student enterprise, The Student Exchange, a buy, sell, trade store for dorm and home goods. Her sustainability journey was redirected after graduation while she worked as a buyer for both department stores and fast fashion retailers. It was during this time that the environmental and social impacts of the fashion industry began to tug at her soul. Through the help of incredible mentors, serendipitous encounters, autodidacticism and hard work, she’s found herself in London building and leading the circular fashion programme at e-commerce powerhouse ASOS.com. Aside from her work at ASOS, Claire is the co-founder of Encycled, a revolutionary circular business concept with the power to change the promotional materials industry as we know it!
Damaris Koeber (Fillosofy)
Damaris is a Quantum physicist by training, with experience in theoretical immunology and an educational policy expert, and changemaker impacting thousands of students at the University of Leipzig, Germany. Post academia experiences range from developing a new type of infrared technology, business analysis (credit cards), design thinking coach, managing an agile pod of developers, and finally, digital innovation and entrepreneurship. Damaris has a deep interest in disrupting the way we do business as usual. She values innovation as a way to move forward and entrepreneurship as a way to turn things into reality. Her experience in design thinking makes her a great addition to creating more circular products and services.
Daniel Newton (Accenture)
Daniel is a Sustainability Strategy Consultant at Accenture, specialising in the circular economy and in the fashion industry. He is a creative and entrepreneurial thinker, driven by his questions and innovative ideas, and by a passion for nature and the environment. Daniel has had unique circular economy experience having been involved in The Circulars, the world's leading circular economy award program, over the past couple of years. This experience has exposed him to 1000's of examples of circular innovations and given him the opportunity to see how circular solutions are being delivered by multinationals, governments and start-ups on a global scale and across multiple industries. During the Ashoka Circular Futures Program, Daniel is looking to collaborate and explore the viability of new circular business models in fashion, with a focus on renting and return models in sportswear and footwear, with an ambition to develop ideas and solutions that will provide a blueprint for future innovation.
David Ryan (Toast Ale)
David is Head of Sales at Toast Ale and manages the relationships with a fast-growing list of stockists around the UK. David has a background in retail, joining Waitrose as a graduate and progressing to store manager, before holding senior management positions focused on business change projects. When not Toasting, he loves a good adventure and has enjoyed a cheeky beer everywhere from Tokyo to Timbuktu.
Hanne Melin (eBay)
Hanne Melin is the Director of Global Public Policy and leads for the EMEA region eBay’s Public Policy Lab. The Lab explores issues that sit at the nexus of technology and commerce through research and policy formation. Hanne is a board member of Business For eTrade Development, a new non-profit dedicated to bringing the global private sector's views to ecommerce development debates and creating public-private partnerships for ecommerce development. Before joining eBay, Hanne was an associate at the law firm Sidley Austin LLP based in Brussels, practising competition law. Hanne holds a Master’s Degree in International Business Law from King’s College London, she is a guest lecturer at the law faculty of Lund University (Sweden), and a frequent speaker and writer on the topic of how the internet and technology transform the economy and our society.
Hugh McCann (Ellen MacArthur Foundation)
Hugh is the Global Partners Lead for Europe, acting as a change agent for these industry-leading pioneers for the development and implementation of their circular business models. The Global Partner programme works on a strategic level with a number of influential businesses across key sectors of the economy, to demonstrate circular innovation at scale. Hugh supports these pioneering organisations to develop circular economy strategies, build organisational capacity, collaborate with supply chain partners and pilot commercial offerings. Previously, Hugh worked in London and New York with the research and consulting firm, Verdantix. He enlisted leading blue chip firms and fast growing innovators to ensure they were continually positioned for success in the energy, EH&S, and sustainability markets. Prior to joining Verdantix, Hugh worked in the UK and Spain with Accenture Consulting.
Jasper Klewer (Philips)
Jasper Klewer is the Director of Sustainability at Philips, where he is responsible for embedding circular and sustainable activities and requirements in the standard way of working at Philips worldwide. This includes both regulatory requirements as well as the circular and sustainable business objectives to which Philips has committed. He has a background in biomedical & electrical engineering (MSc), clinical research, new business development, corporate governance and enterprise risk management. His personal interests include sustainable architecture and travel to places with exotic food and nature. He lives in Utrecht, Netherlands with his spouse and two cats.
Jesus Aisa (Unilever)
Jesus Aisa is the Unilever R&D Sustainability Manager for the Refreshment (Tea & Ice Cream) category where he calculates the current and future impacts of the category portfolio, steers and helps the regional teams to include a more sustainable and circular approach to innovations. During the last year he’s implemented a circularity index tool in the category and helped to create the climate change strategy and the Foods and Refreshment internal packaging mandates endorsed by the Division President. Before joining Unilever in May 2016, he worked as a sustainability project manager for several multinationals and non-profit organizations such as Telefonica and Spanish WBCSD. When Jesus is not working, he enjoys spending time with his one year old son, attending art exhibitions, and listening to music.
Joost de Kluijver (Closing the Loop)
As the founder of the social enterprise, Closing the Loop (CTL), Joost de Kluijver has brought 'urban mining' to Asia and Africa. His organization buys broken mobile phones (e-waste) in Africa, enabling their proper recycling. CTL created a business model based on the collection of this African waste. Using the concept of carbon offsetting, CTLs approach allows for the material footprint of a phone to be offset. This circular service offers CTL’s customers a practical and effective first step towards a waste free industry. Joost has also worked for Accenture and the Global Reporting Initiative. He lives in Amsterdam with his two baby boys and the girlfriend he has been engaged to for three years.
Krishna Manda (Lenzing Group)
Krishna currently works as a senior manager of sustainability integration for the Lenzing Group. He is responsible for sustainability strategy, targets and integration of sustainability in the day-to-day decision making across the organization. Circular economy is a key theme that Krishna co-leads with product management colleagues. Krishna actively contributes to multi-stakeholder initiatives such as the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), and Make Fashion Circular of the Ellen MacArthur foundation. Prior to Lenzing, Krishna advised different organizations in the world while working at Utrecht university, Netherlands and in India. Krishna was born and raised in India and has lived and worked in different countries in Europe. Krishna holds a Ph.D. from Utrecht University, Netherlands, and a Master’s Degree from Lund University, Sweden in Sustainability. He currently lives in Austria with his wife and a daughter who are a continuous inspiration. His hobbies are walking in nature and reading books.
Katie Thomas (Redesigning a region)
Leading the low carbon and circular economy agenda at the York, North Yorkshire & East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership, Katie is working closely with stakeholders to collaboratively identify and realise opportunities to move towards a low carbon, circular future. Katie’s work includes the development of York, North Yorkshire & East Riding’s Local Energy Strategy and kick-starting a circular economy programme of work for the area. Previous experience includes leading the ambitious circular economy programme in Peterborough, which aspires to create the UK’s first circular city. Successes include launching a city-wide sharing economy platform, co-designing high impact demonstration projects and developing a pioneering Circular City Roadmap. With an academic background in sustainability and business, Katie is passionate about driving the sustainability agenda forward and making a real impact.
Laura Coppen (H&M)
Laura has worked at the H&M Group for 5 years, currently located in the Group’s Laboratory focusing on the Future of Production (4thIR), Circular Economy initiatives, and communication. Prior to H&M, Laura lived in Hong Kong and Shanghai where she started several innovation initiatives at the intersection of sustainability and technology. Laura has a background in design, innovation in production, sustainable development, and building innovation teams & new business models. She focuses on activating positive change and working with a wide internal/external network to bring ideas to life through design/system thinking principles. Laura has also worked on several social entrepreneurship projects in Kenya, and has been featured on the BBC with a clothing collection for a 2050 climate changed planet making use of body mapping and sustainable technical materials.
Louisa Ziane (Toast Ale)
Louisa is the Chief Brand Officer at Toast Ale managing all aspects from external branding, marketing and communications through to internal culture. She is a chartered management accountant, holding a Master’s Degree in environmental decision making and has a background in sustainability consulting and digital marketing. In her spare time, she's mum to two small people and a keen gardener - currently raising hops for a local beer project.
Maarten Dansen (PwC)
Maarten is a Program Manager at Circular Economy at PwC Netherlands. He graduated from Delft University of Technology in 2009 with a MSc in Real Estate. Upon graduation, he led the development and further implementation of BREEAM in Netherlands. After his years at Dutch Green Building Council (DGBC), he made the switch to Brink Groep, a Dutch consultancy firm. As senior consultant, he advised local governments and large corporates on their sustainability strategies across. a broad array of fields including: smart mobility, lifecycles, healthy buildings, circular economy, value cases, energy efficiency etc. In early 2018, Maarten joined PwC. Their ambitious objective of “100% circular in 2030” and the strong internal commitment to achieving this goal triggered him. Now it is his job to make the ambition a reality.
Maayke Damen (Excess Materials Exchange)
Maayke dreams of a world where waste does not exist. She has a passion for sustainability and takes her inspiration from nature to reform economic and industrial systems. She developed the idea of the Resource Passport that has now been made into Dutch and European policy. Singularity University taught her that exponential technologies hold the key in our transition towards a sustainable society and can deliver the necessary tools. Through various companies and projects she has been working on creating a Circular Economy for many years. She is CEO and co-founder of the Excess Materials Exchange, a digital marketplace where companies can buy and sell their excess materials. She can now fully focus developing a worldwide inclusive Circular Economy.
Marilu Valente (Fillosofy)
After graduating with a degree in sustainable architecture, Marilu worked for international architecture firms as well as in the field of smart cities for Siemens. The motivation to design more circular products’ lifecycles, minimizing the impact waste streams, led her to co-found Binee, a start-up developing a motivational interface for people to recycle their electronic waste. With Binee, she participated in to 2 accelerator programs, helping to raise funds to install a pilot in Leipzig, Germany. Later, she developed a more efficient plastic bottle design for personal care products which does not require a cap, avoiding the need for separation during the recycling process. This led to a bigger vision of a refillable alternative to disposable plastic packaging for the personal care sector, called Fillosofy. She is also the vice-president of the EIT (European Institute of Technology) Raw Materials Alumni Association, which aims to grow a community focusing on the sustainable supply of raw materials.
Mariska Joustra (C-creators)
Mariska is a seasoned marketing & communications specialist and works for C-creators. In 2017 she made the change from corporate to start-up. After over 10 years in a corporate environment as well as the remains of a life-changing event, she wanted to make use of her experience, both personal and professional in an environment that matched her revisited values and expectations of life. With a good heart and a deep mind, it is her mission to inspire people to make more social and green choices, to disrupt existing patterns and thoughts, and to make them aware that all can have a positive impact on the world with choices made. To her, that is circularity – completing the circle. In her spare time, she's mum to three teens and a household yogi.
Markus Bjerre (Danish Business Authority)
Markus Bjerre is Special Advisory for the Danish Business Authority working with policy development and analysis on circular economy and green growth. He is program manager for the thematic session on circular economy on the P4G Summit in Copenhagen 19-20 October 2018, member of the secretariat of the Advisory Board for the Danish Government 2016-2017 and took part of the analytical team behind the “Delivering the Circular Economy – A Toolkit for Policy Makers” (EMF 2015). Prior to his appointment in the DBA, Markus had three years of experience in the Ministry of Business and Growth in 2012-2015. He holds a Master in Mathematics-Economics from Aarhus University, Denmark and a diploma in Journalism from the Danish School of Media and Journalism.
Matteo Vittorio Bertelè (gr3n)
Co-founder and CFO of gr3n, Matteo is responsible for all the administrative and financial activities since establishment: finance, marketing, sales, legal and IP, HR, communication and IT. During his career he has been employed in the Department of Equity Capital Market of primary investment banks, both Italian and Global and has held different positions in major multinational companies in the Departments of Investor Relations, Strategic Planning and Corporate Finance. Matteo received his Master’s Degree in aerospace engineering from “Politecnico di Milano” and MsC in Quantitative Finance and Risk Management from Bocconi University – Milan, Italy. He completed his educational path with a CFA Program in Chartered Financial Analysis and an Executive Education Programme on the Development of Strategies for Value Creation at the London Business School- London, UK.
Maurizio Crippa (gr3n)
Co-founder and CEO of gr3n, PhD in Materials Science, with a thesis on hybrid and Nanocomposite materials, Maurizio is a material scientist and part of the management team, bearing responsibility for team coherence and PR. Throughout his career, he has accumulated a wide-range of academic and research experiences in solid state physics, organic and inorganic chemistry, with special regard to the development of functional and structural materials. He has held different positions in both private and public institutions. Maurizio has solid expertise in materials science nanotech applications and manufacturing issues. He is the inventor and main developer of the process for the chemical recycling of PET, patented by gr3n in 2013. He is also the author and co-author of several publications in chemical specific journals and has attended many international conferences.
Niccy Kol (Waste2Wear)
Niccy has been the inspiring force behind new initiatives and change processes in the fashion world for more than 25 years. As Division Manager of Escada Sport she has built the brand into a strong international market player. For VLISCO she was co-developer of the strategy to establish the name as a luxurious fashion brand for the African consumer. In her different international assignments, she always puts her focus on creativity in line with the DNA of a company, in order to bring sustainable initiatives to market. As Lead Fashion for the Circular Fashion Games, she connects business challenges out of the Textile and Fashion industry to the talent and creativity of the next generation, in order to discover innovative circular solutions. Changing behaviour by showing tangible solutions is her dedicated aim in her current job as Brand Manager for Waste2Wear.
Nicola Loudon Catterson (Patagonia)
Nicola is Scottish born and educated in the city of Glasgow. With a life-long interest in art & design, Nicola chose textiles & the fashion industry as her career path after studying for a design, textile technology & manufacturing degree in the Scottish Borders, historically renowned for their woolen mills and craftsmanship. Since then, she has worked in various aspects of the industry, and been located in Wales, London, Turkey, Scotland, Belgium & now Amsterdam. She is very proud to work for Patagonia, an inspirational company, that stays true to its values. Outside work, she genuinely enjoys travel, the arts, wildlife and nature. She believes an education and exposure to these areas expands the mind and allows one to view the world, its people, and their capabilities in a much broader way.
Olga Kravchenko (IBM)
Olga is a Blockchain Country Lead and spokesperson at IBM Norway. She leads innovation projects with a focus on the adoption of new technologies and business models. Prior to joining IBM, Olga ran her start-up in the jewellery industry, which led to a traineeship position at H&M HQ, with a deep-dive into the business side of retail. Olga holds a MSc in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (scholar) from BI Norwegian Business School, and BSc and MSc in Finance from a well-known Ukrainian university. Olga’s interests include innovation, technological change and development, sustainability, new business models, and among them, circular economy.
Ralf Lesscher (JOOLZ)
For the last 8 years, Ralf Lesscher has been the Operations Director at JOOLZ - the fast growing high-end stroller brand from Amsterdam. He studied Industrial Engineering and Management at the University of Twente. Raif has considered himself a changemaker since his early student days, and as an entrepreneur, with expertise setting up full operations within companies, he wants to make positive impact, within JOOLZ and beyond.
Rob Van Thiel (Nine & Co)
Rob studied management at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. After his studies he has worked in the field of design, buying and planning for fashion retailers and brands. Currently he is working as Director of Design, buying and Sourcing for Nine & Co. Nine & Co is the market leader in maternity wear in the Netherlands.
Over the last 30 years he has seen big changes in the industry in all areas. Rob is passionate about building a sustainable supply chain in the fashion industry. He has a strong believe that we as leaders, working in the industry, have a duty to investigate new ways of working to make a better world.
Sabine Hulsman (The Cookie Company Group)
After having received a degree from The Royal Academy of Art, The Hague in 1996, at the age of 22, Sabine started her own company – The Cookie Company. With a business model built on Fast Fashion and volume, coupled with 2 very concerned teenage daughters at home, Sabine became very much aware that this is not the world she wants to pass on to the next generation. Aware of her foothold within the Fast Fashion Industry, she realized that this is also where she can make the biggest impact. Recently she teamed up with Monique Maissan, founder of Waste2Wear, and initiated the brand Trashcode® with the ambition of making Fast Fashion more sustainable.
Stan Vermeulen (JOOLZ)
Stan Vermeulen is CEO and shareholder of Joolz, a fast growing international pushchair brand from The Netherlands, active in over 30 countries across the globe. In 2009 Stan co-founded Generous Minds, a network organisation of diverse consultants focused on combining social & environmental purposes with doing (good) business. Prior to this Stan worked at Endemol and Agency.com as a consultant and business developer. Stan lives in Amsterdam, together with his wife and daughter and enjoys participating in sports, traveling, wine & dining with friends and family.
Tamar Hoek (Solidaridad)
As Senior Programme Manager of Sustainable Textiles, Tamar is part of the policy Influencing team in Solidaridad’s European office and focuses on the cotton, textiles and leather sectors. She is also responsible for the strategic development and innovation of the broader portfolio, and overarching themes (like circularity, digital solutions, impact investment). The Solidaridad textiles programme designs and implements projects/programmes with brands, retailers and other stakeholders in the supply chain to improve the environmental and social performance of the textiles wet processing and Ready-Made Garments (RMG) sectors. She has a background working for the Dutch government (Centre for the Promotion of Import from Developing Countries) in the field of sustainable economic development in developing countries in the consumer sectors, like apparel, (home) textiles, footwear and jewellery.
Thijs Maartens (Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute)
Before joining the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute in 2015 Thijs was involved in the management of multiple succesfull start-up businesses and has an academic background in sustainability science & policy making. Thijs' work style reflects his belief that collaborative steering, indirectly influences and redirects choices towards positive impact is an effective way to translate a shared vision into a clear set of strategies and operational goals. Thijs firmly believes in the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ design philosophy and is convinced of its bright future. Thijs holds a Master of Science degree in Sustainability Science & Policy from Maastricht University’s International Centre for Integrated Assessment and Sustainable Development and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Maastricht University’s honors program University College Maastricht (UCM).
Thor Tummers (Unilever)
Thor is currently involved in the Transition towards a Circular Economy for Unilever, in particular in external relations with Governmental Institutions, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and knowledge originations, such as Think Tanks and Universities. He represents Unilever in various trade and industry associations, and in this capacity also in Nedvang ‘The Netherlands from Waste to Raw Materials’. Inspired by his experiences at Unilever, Thor is passionate about developing corporate issue management strategies and managing external affairs in an international environment. Prior to Unilever, he worked at Philips, studied in Rotterdam and Shanghai (China).
Wilma Kleefsman (Waste2Wear)
Being an experienced Buying Director with a strong background in sourcing and product development, Wilma likes to combine strategic insight with pragmatic leadership. Both in retail – and the wholesale industry, she is appreciated for her consumer insights, obtaining results, and out-of-the-box thinking. Based on many years of working in the fashion industry, she is convinced that the fashion industry must move towards circularity and wants to use her past experience to accelerate this process and convince others.