Transitioning to a circular economy creates opportunities to make our societies more inclusive, accessible, and sustainable by bringing together the principles of social engagement and economic opportunity. From rethinking our relationship to resources to developing new methods of collaboration and community-building, circular economy has the potential to serve as a catalyst for regenerative social, economic, and environmental progress.
The POCACITO project, Washington University Office of Sustainability and the Student Environment Council at the Washington University St. Louis and many more developed innovative approaches to understanding and creating a circular economy capable of addressing the environmental and social issues faced by St. Louis, featuring European speakers from Ljubljana (Slovenia), Warsaw (Poland), and Berlin (Germany); local perspectives from the WUSTL community; and board games.
Niko Korpar is a Project Manager at Circular Change from Ljubljana, Slovenia. Niko previously worked at the Ecological Engineering Institute and the Dutch circular economy consultancy Metabolic and has a Masters Degree from the University of Vienna in Socio/Ecological Economics and Policy (SEEP). https://www.linkedin.com/in/niko-korpar-7b41a352/
Nina Sankovic, Head of PR, Voka Snaga, delved into Slovenia’s leading position in the development and deployment of circular economy system solutions. This was best exemplified the Ljubljana Regional Waste Management Centre (RCERO Ljubljana) – the biggest environmental project in Slovenia and the most modern facility for waste treatment in Europe. https://www.linkedin.com/in/nina-sankovi%C4%8D-464686105/
Justyna Król, Urban Workshop
Justyna is an expert in social innovation and urban development. She is the CEO of Urban Workshop (Pracownia Miejska) – an urban foresight lab specialising in participatory future studies for municipalities, urban innovation models and sustainable development. Their flagship project is Miasta2050 [Cities 2050]. In 2018 Justyna received the Joseph Jaworski Next Generation Foresight Practitioners Award. Together with her team they have worked with multiple cities, corporations and governmental bodies in Poland, Moldova and Georgia.
Prior to founding Urban Workshop in 2014, she had spent 3 years working for the United Nations Development Programme (Country Office in Poland and Bratislava Regional Centre for Europe and Central Asia) as Social Innovation and Communication specialist. She has created one of the first Polish crowdfunding platforms and has run several crowdsourcing projects in the region. She is a coach and a speaker. A smart city expert for the National Chamber of Commerce in Poland.
Grzegorz Gądek is the founder of skwer. He has 20+ years’ experience in digital products, since 2010 working on sustainable urban development through climate-positive spaces allowing multiple forms of physical activity. US Department of State & German Marshall Fund Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative 2018 Fellow. https://www.linkedin.com/in/ggadek/