Four Days of Exploring the Circular Economy in the Nordic Region

Circular Point takes part at the Nordic Circular Summit 2021

The Nordic Circular Summit is a four-day digital conference, hosted from the city of Copenhagen, exploring the circular economy in the Nordic region through 36 sessions with over 150 speakers. The events offered discussions on topics such as, the circular bioeconomy, circular cities, ocean solutions, fashion and home furnishings, business and finance, food, energy, manufacturing and much more.

The Nordic Circular Summit was co-hosted by Nordic Circular Hotspot and Nordic Innovation, and is an official World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF) Side Event partnering with ReGeneration 2030 and project CATALY(C)ST from DTU Skylab. The Summit had two main conference days on November 25 – 26, and an additional two pre-event days on November 23 – 24.

The event was kick started by the members of the Nordic Circular Hotspot Managing Partners— discussing New Economics Languages – the theme of the summit – that correlated with all of its topics. During the first official day, topics such as the circular bioeconomy -  hosted by Cradlenet and Business Finland, Circular Nordic brands, Food and Gastronomy and new ways of Resource Management.

Among the many interesting discussions, the session on Bio Circular Economy 2.0 (hosted by Nordic Innovation and Cradlenet) focused on the valuation of natural capital and ecosystem services. Here, Deniz Koca form Lund University emphasized the need for a system level redesign of the economic system and the socioecological regime. The panellists also discussed the required new institutional arrangements that could interlink independently addressed policies from a wide range of areas/sectors in the biomass value chain.

The Summit has also put a strong focus on the role of youth as the ‘drivers of change’. During the second day of the event, Ella Turta representative of Regeneration2030, a youth led organization, talked about the importance of involving young people in the civil society and ‘Rethinking the System’. Ella’s inspiring speech is urging us to rethink our social norms, how we value nature and our environment and also how we currently measure our growth. We need to move away from a GDP growth-based system towards an economy that is in balance with the planetary boundaries and our  socioenvironmental needs. To achieve this policy makers, stakeholders and citizens must start engaging in intergenerational dialogue as part of the new economic languages.

Among the new economic languages Doughnut Economics was also discussed both in theory and practice. In the topics of Circular Cities, Ilektra Kouloumpi from Circle Economy and Cathrine Barth from CircularCities lead great sessions on how a city can organize itself in a more regenerative way as well as showing how to put the doughnut model into practice. Ilektra Kouloumpi presented the methodology used in the city of Amsterdam to pilot the transformative process of combining the Doughnut Economic model with circular thinking. This holistic approach is used to be able to simultaneously address the complex social and environmental challenges of the city.

 At Circular Point, we are grateful to have the chance to participate in such a great and inspiring event hosted by Nordic Circular Hotspot and Nordic Innovation, providing space for exchange of innovative ideas, partnerships and dialogue on how to rethink our current systems are start talking on the ’New Economic Languages’.