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WCEF – the story so far

The annual World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF) presents the world’s leading circular economy solutions with business leaders, policymakers and experts participating from around the world. Circular economy approaches can help businesses seize new opportunities and gain a competitive advantage, as well as contribute to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

WCEF is a global initiative of Finland and Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund. The forum has been held since 2017, growing bigger and more powerful each year.

The first forum, WCEF2017, identified key elements of a circular economy and showcased solutions and learnings from around the world, bringing together 1,500 people from more than 100 countries. At WCEF2018, more than 1,000 circular economy experts discussed creating a true circular economy by 2050. WCEF2019 emphasised the next era of the circular economy and scaling up the transition, with more than 2,200 participants. In 2020 WCEFonline presented the circular solutions to rebooting the world’s economy and opened its doors to more than 4,200 participants through its new online format. 

In 2021, there were two big events. WCEF+Climate focused on the crucial role of a circular economy in achieving climate neutrality. The main event WCEF2021 in Toronto, Canada focused on seizing circular opportunities. It reached over 4,000 participants from 134 countries plus nearly 27,000 views for the partner-led accelerator sessions. WCEF2022 was held for the first time on the African continent and in the Global South, and highlighted the importance of African inclusion in the circular economy transition. The event had nearly 4,200 participants from 149 countries joining online, in person at the main event in Kigali, Rwanda, and in Studios across Africa and the globe. Thousands more participated in the partner-led accelerator sessions.  

Recap video from WCEF2022 in Kigali, Rwanda
Recap video from WCEF2023 in Helsinki, Finland

In 2023, the forum returned to the Nordics as WCEF2023 was held in Helsinki, Finland, reaching over 2,600 people from 155 countries in person or through Studios and more than 12,600 online views plus more than 5,600 registrants for the partner-led accelerator sessions. And the journey continues!