Young change-makers will power circular economy innovation in hubs around world

  • Innovation is critical to triggering a much-needed shift in how products are made and consumed.
  • Hub-led approaches – powered by technologists, political leaders, researchers and more – can help jumpstart circular innovation.
  • This pilot program is co-launched by Scale360° and the Global Shapers Community, two initiatives hosted by the World Economic Forum.
  • Leveraging young change-makers from the Global Shapers Community ensures a grass-roots approach to triggering local solutions to circular change.

Geneva, Switzerland, 8 February 2021 – To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, a new circular approach is needed to transform the goods and services we have and the pipeline of innovations still to come.

To support this effort, circular economy initiative Scale360° will launch a youth-led, grassroots pilot program with the Global Shapers, a network of change-makers in cities around the world.

Innovators in four Global Shaper hubs (in Mexico City, Brussels, Turin and Bangkok) will design, organize, and deliver interventions that support circular economy solutions tailored to local needs.

World Economic Forum initiative Scale360° leverages innovation ‘hubs’ to bring together leaders in science, policy and business to trigger circular change. Leaders and collaborators in Global Shaper hub cities will utilize Scale360°’s unique, tested methodology – the Scale360° Circular Innovation Playbook – to fast-track Fourth Industrial Revolution impact.

Hub cities were selected from a competitive pool of 40+ applications and the pilot initiative will facilitate connections from across its networks of experts and leaders in civil society, government and industry – including the Platform for Accelerating Circular Economy (PACE), the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and others.

Such efforts are key to triggering systems change. As new research from the World Economic Forum and ScaleUpNation has explained, finding ‘trailblazing’ companies looking for scalable circular solutions can have a cascading effect throughout their industries – one not possible through traditional commercial solutions.

Said Scale360° global lead Helen Burdett: “Each of the selected Global Shaper pilot leaders brings a different perspective and recognizes circular innovation as not only an environmental imperative, but also as a business opportunity. We are eager to see how each city delivers its Scale360° programme during this sprint.”

The pilot launch also marks a potential turning point for circular change. “We’re at an inflection point in today’s very linear ‘take-make-dispose’ economy,” said Jamie Butterworth, Circularity Capital Partner and Scale360° board member. “The Forum’s Scale360° hubs will play an important role in further fostering collaborative innovation and accelerating the transition towards a more restorative, circular economy.”

Added Sara Lee, Mexico City Hub Scale360° Project Co-lead: “This initiative allows each of us to have local impact while imagining the global possibilities of our actions. Considering the local and the global will help us make progress for a circular future.”

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