It’s Circular Forum: circular economy in Developing Countries

We were pleased to participate in the event “It’s Circular: re-design the future” organized by the 5 VIE Association and dedicated to the research of circular economy models that are not limited to the reduction or zeroing of waste, but that include, in a unitary vision, the profit and non-profit matrix by defining value business models.

The day of Thursday 1 October was divided into three discussion panels, in which about 20 representatives of the business, academic and cultural world took part in order to discuss and propose innovative ideas to face the challenges of the near future and imagine new business models.

De-LAB opened the second table, entitled “Circular economy: the digital and reputational factor as a driver in consumer choices,” illustrating how we can (and should) talk about innovation with social impact and circular economy also in developing countries. The contribution focused on the African continent, underlining how – despite the absence (apart from a few virtuous countries) of a public and individual sensitivity to the end of life of products, – it is necessary to turn to this part of the world to share innovative and sustainable business models that go beyond business internationalization to design responsible profit and inclusive business initiatives, of which the circular economy is a tool. In support of this thesis, KOKONO™, the cradle designed by De-LAB with the involvement of local communities in Uganda to meet their specific needs, was presented. The intervention concluded with an invitation to today’s entrepreneurs and consumers to act rationally to minimize the environmental and social impact of their production and consumption choices, so as to rethink their “Purpose”, their “place in the world”, which in a historical moment like the present one is really the only choice to make.

After De-LAB, a number of entrepreneurs have spoken at the second discussion table: Mirta Barbeschi, Founder of BBS Biblioteca Bilancio Sociale, who focused on concepts such as “reputation economics” and sustainability reporting and the differences between philanthropy and corporate sustainability; Giulia Detomati, CEO of InVento Innovation Lab, who focused her speech on the theme of benefit companies and B-Corporations, clarifying the differences and explaining the new business paradigms provided for by Italian law, which is at the forefront in this area; Imen Boulahrajane, founder of WILL, who spoke about how companies use social media to communicate sustainable change to their consumers; Giorgio Mottironi, Co-founder of Ener2crowd, who explained how the transition to a sustainable production and consumption system for our lives and for the planet can only be achieved with the participation of each of us; Giovanni Porro, founder of I’m not a robot, who introduced the concept of brand activism, understood as the will of a brand to take an interest in what is happening in the world and, if necessary, to take sides openly, because today a brand is only relevant if it is able to have a tangible impact on both personal and collective wellbeing, if it is able to trigger a virtuous circle that goes beyond the product and to have a relevant role in society; Finally, Nicola Zanardi, Founder of HubLab and creator of Milano Digital Week, spoke, saying that sustainability is a passage of knowledge to future generations, because we must give all possible tools to those who will come after us to move in an environmental and social complexity that is constantly increasing.

It was undoubtedly an intense day full of new ideas from which to start again!

 

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