by Davar Ardalan
Dynamic conversations that explore game-changing systems shifts towards a circular economy
On March 2-3, the LAUNCH Circular Innovation Summit brought together leading entrepreneurs, investors, researchers and business executives to the Nike’s world headquarters in Portland, Oregon, for collaboration and action to accelerate a circular economy. We teamed up LAUNCH Innovators and industry leaders from Nike, IKEA, eBay and Novozymes for a series of conversations about innovation and the future of circular economy conducted by former NASA astronaut Cady Coleman.
#LAUNCHCircular Alex Castro Perez from LAUNCH on Vimeo.
The pervading optimism in the conversations reflected the promise of what is possible with unlikely partnerships and collaborations across small and large industries. Jeff Betts of Ecovative described his company’s biomaterials products with Håkan Nordqvist, Director of Sustainability at IKEA. Ecovative uses fungal mycelium to grow biodegradable replacements for polystyrene, architectural and packing materials, and insulation. Siddharth Hande of Kabadiwalla Connect and Amy Millington of eBay talked about the importance of inclusivity and making sure people and not just technology drive innovation – especially in the developing world. Kabadiwalla Connect is a new business model for handling urban waste. The idea is to help people connect to and work with India’s existing system of kabadiwallas — small scrap-dealers who buy trash from consumers — to enable reuse of all recyclable waste that would otherwise end up in landfills.
Photo credit: Ben Mund