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26 March 2023

The CE Lab team at the Network Workshop of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in Amsterdam

A moment of reflection and sharing to support businesses and network members in the implementation of the principles of circular economy: this was the goal of the Network Workshop that was held in Amsterdam last 20-20 March, organized by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation with the participation of over 500 representatives of companies, institutions, non-profit organizations and universities, including a delegation of the Circular Economy Lab and Intesa Sanpaolo.

Higlights of the event and the panels attended by CE Lab team

Compared to the previous one, focused on the importance of incorporating circular models in existing businesses, the 2023 edition of the Network Workshop has given large space to the sharing of best practices and implementation studies of circular models and practices in four vertical reference sectors: food&agri, fashion, building and finance.

Plenary sessions, panels and workshops  animated the three days of meetings in the framework of the Amsterdam Conference Centre with several debates focused on the theme of sustainable finance, on the opportunities of the circular economy for the financial sector and on the circular innovation interventions in four vertical areas, realized and told by the partner companies and institutions of the event. Transversal, compared to all the meetings, was the theme "plastics & packaging", with the presence of partners from the Global South to share their innovations.

In this context, the CE Lab team participated, in particular, in the following panels:

  • Managing Circular Supply Chain aimed to deepening the bond and the mutual impact of the circular economy and supply chain, with examples of criticality and solutions under construction
  • The Regenerative Imperative dedicated to the importance of including an intentional "nature-positive" approach in the company strategy, through brainstorming and group work
  • Lessons from Amsterdam, sharing three successful cases in the textile, agritech and building sector, from the city finalist in the prestigious Eartshot Prize in 2022

Only on the last day, finally,  a series of design thinking sessions focused on the major challenges of the circular economy were held: from policy making, to business models, from KPIs and methods of measuring circularity to regenerative development for the fashion and food & agriculture sectors. Numerous moments of pause, networking and exchange of views on the issues faced during the panels were held throughout the event, and greatly appreciated by people present.

World Bank Report about advantages of the circular economy

The Network Workshop was, among other things, also an opportunity to present the report of the World Bank "Squaring the Circle"  which highlighted, once again, the advantages of the circular economy for countries that decide to pursue this model of development: from less dependence on raw materials to less exposure to shocks and shortages to greater geopolitical relevance. Advantages and opportunities, however, reduced by legal and fiscal limitations and obstacles that still favour the linear economy in some aspects, which to be overcam require the full involvement of institutions, finance, businesses and governments.