Accelerating the Circular Economy in Latin America: World Economic Forum members bridging the Circular Economy EU-LATAM dialogue

I gathered in Montevideo and London to discuss innovation and coordinate alliances with two wonderful communities of the World Economic Forum (the Forum).

In the 40th floor of Piso 40, an executive members club in Montevideo, Petar Ostojic and I spoke of the opportunity Latin America and other Southern Hemisphere regions have in bringing a different approach to the innovation process behind circular economy. Petar is one of the Forum’s awardees for “The Circulars Award”, given to the best performing circular businesses in the world. Based in Chile, he is a great personality for the region as his family business, Neptuno Pumps is a very unique case study due to its location and industry: mining.

We are gathered in Uruguay because Petar is one of the invited speakers for the First Circular Economy Forum in Latin America, FEC Uruguay, that brought together professionals from Finland, Switzerland, Wales, England, Colombia, Chile, Brazil, South Africa, Italy and Mexico to share insights on the topic. The “energy” of the two-day event is hard to translate into words; it has created a positive spark of optimism about the immensity of the potential the circular economy is promising for disruptive innovation in business.

The Forum Global Shapers from the Montevideo Hub join us for a drink enthusiastic with what they have heard during the conference, a first peek at the new paradigm circular economy proposes. Co-Founder of the Hub Giselle Della Mea and Shaper Macarena Mo, colleagues at Innodriven and organizers of FEC huddle in to discuss. Macarena, participant at the World Economic Forum on Latin American 2016 in Buenos Aires participated alongside Petar who was part of the circular economy agenda.

A week later I meet Irene Hofmeijer, another Forum Global Shaper but this time from the Lima Hub, founder of Life Out Of Plastic. We meet in London where she is exhibiting Trashpresso at London Design Week. Designed by her Taiwanese employer, Miniwiz, Trashpresso is the world’s first mobile and energy independent recycling plant. We meet to share the wave of appreciation and excitement FEC Uruguay has left participants and speakers with, including the european guests impressed to see such a big interest and well presented outputs from a region relatively new to the global conversation.

Aware the time has come for circular economy dialogue, connectivity and prototyping in the Southern Hemisphere after much EU-US centric conferences and action plans, we pencil in next dates and conversations which can allow us to synchronize efforts and initiatives as a regional group or alliance to contribute perhaps a different outlook, unique value and a bold voice at the global stage.

Next on the agenda, CEFA 2017 which will continue the dialogue from Colombia this time and with US partners, building on a Western Hemisphere dialogue!

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