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Programme 15–16 April – Main event 15–16 April – Workshops 17 April – Belgian Accelerator Day 17–18 April – Accelerator sessions Side events Studios About the programme Speakers Expo Latest About WCEF – the story so far Partners Practical information Media

Side events

Can’t get enough of WCEF? Check the list of side events from 8 to 28 April 2024 and beyond!

WCEF Side Events present circular economy solutions from around the globe and attract an international audience. They address specific topics related to the circular economy and the role circularity plays in the economies of the future, as well as in the fight against climate change and the biodiversity crisis.

Side events are part of the World Circular Economy Forum concept. Organisers are responsible for all practicalities, expenses and inquiries related to organising and participating in the events. Side events may be organised throughout the year either virtually or locally.

All WCEF Side Events organised between 8 and 28 April 2024 will be listed on this page. Please note that side events cannot overlap with the main programme on the forum days. See the full list of all WCEF Side Events organised in 2024 and instructions for applying on Sitra’s website.

Monday 8 April

How the new EU institutions can kickstart the circular economy

This debate is before the Materials and Products Taskforce report launch later in the year, which will set the policy agenda for the EU’s transition to a circular economy. It will take stock of the previous 5 years’ progress and offer policy recommendations for the next 5 years.

Organiser: University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership
Time: 10:00-11:30 CEST (UTC+2)

Monday 8 to Sunday 14 April

Online matchmaking for the circular economy

Unlock the doors to global circularity and join the online matchmaking from 8 April to 14 April 2024, the week before WCEF. Connect with dedicated professionals in your sector or beyond. Your golden ticket to exciting partnerships, new ideas and top-notch innovation. Register now!

Organisers: Enterprise Europe Network, EEN Flanders, EEN Brussels, and EEN Wallonia
Time: see separate programme on event website

Tuesday 9 April

Implementing reuse models and take-back initiatives for food packaging

Join this workshop to develop joint projects and actions to implement reuse models and take back systems for take-away and retail food packaging. In this workshop you can establish partnerships with innovative SMEs, knowledge institutions and public stakeholders across EU regions.

Organisers: Clean, Flux50, and Smart Waste Portugal
Time: 10:00–12:30 CEST (UTC+2)

Tuesday 9 to Saturday 13 April

Time out! Rethinking construction – exhibition

Aalto University’s exhibition is a critical comment on the overuse of resources for construction. The exhibition presents practical examples of the unsustainable level of raw material extraction and suggests alternative approaches for containing construction within our planetary boundaries.

Organiser: Aalto University
Time: 9:30–18:00 CEST (UTC+2)

Wednesday 10 April

Promoting collaboration for a sustainable and circular bioeconomy

This conference brings together experts with different professional backgrounds and academic disciplines from across the Baltic-Nordic region to share knowledge on a sustainable and circular bioeconomy and discuss ways of promoting it.

Organisers: CIRCLE project and Baltic Studies Centre
Time: 8:30-15:45 CEST (UTC+2)

Design for the circular economy

The event will bring together companies in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation Network to discuss circular design innovation, showcase best practice in circular design and discuss what policies can foster circular design.

Organisers: DS Smith, Philips and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Time: 9:00-11:00 CEST (UTC+2)

Develop projects to increase the use of biobased material in packaging

Join this workshop to develop projects for increasing the use of biobased plastic in packaging. Explore topics like decision support tools, R&D for material improvement, business model enhancements and recycling innovations. Participate to plan joint actions and form partnerships.

Organisers: Clean, Flux50, and Smart Waste Portugal
Time: 10:00–12:00 CEST (UTC+2)

Online Climate Fresk workshop

Climate Fresk is a scientific, cooperative and engaging way to raise awareness about climate change. The workshop is based on the IPCC reports breaking down the most important information about climate change. In just three hours, the workshop will help you understand the fundamental science behind it and empower you to take action.

Organiser: Climate Fresk
Time: 14:00-17:00 CEST (UTC+2)

Thursday 11 April

Fostering circular plastic packaging design through projects and collaboration

Join this workshop to develop initiatives for circular design of plastic packaging through a focus on capacity building and informed decision-making for producers. Participants will discuss collaborations for data sharing, impact analysis and test of design principles across value chains.

Organisers: Clean, Flux50, and Smart Waste Portugal
Time: 10:00–12:00 CEST (UTC+2)

Empowering entrepreneurs for investment success

This webinar focuses on empowering entrepreneurs and innovators with actionable insights and strategies. It addresses the complexities of securing finance for investment projects and navigating the landscape of the circular economy.

Organiser: InvestCEC
Time: 14:00-15:30 CEST (UTC+2)

Circular Economy Collage workshop

New to the circular economy or curious to know more? The Circular Economy Collage is a collaborative 3-hour workshop that looks at our existing linear economic model and invites you to explore a different, circular model, that uses fewer resources, designs out waste and respects the limits of our planet.

Organiser: Circular Economy Collage
Time: 14:00-17:00 CEST (UTC+2)

Friday 12 April

How sustainable is your circular business model? Find out with LCA!

Environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a methodology to assess environmental impacts of the whole lifecycle of a system. Our expert speakers will talk about different circular businesses and what should be considered when doing an LCA of a circular solution.

Organiser: Environmental Impacts Academy
Time: 13:00-15:00 CEST (UTC+2)

Monday 15 April

Circular economy business run

We are delighted to invite you to join the upcoming circular jog across the beautiful Parc de Bruxelles on the opening day of the WCEF2024. Connect with like-minded professionals and circularity enthusiasts and enjoy a laid-back opportunity to network and exercise.

Organiser: Retrieve
Time: 7:45-9:00 CEST (UTC+2)

Tuesday 16 April

AI Action Lab for circularity

This session explores the potential of artificial intelligence for accelerating the transition to a circular economy. You will gain inspiration about the topic and practical advice on how to empower AI in your circular economy work.

Organisers: AI for Good, Circular Leadership and Limelights
Time: 17:30-18:30 CEST (UTC+2)

Ending plastic pollution: funding the fight, reaching treaty goals

As the world gears up for the fourth round of negotiations on the landmark global plastic treaty, Minderoo Foundation is thrilled to host an exclusive WCEF side event in the heart of Brussels to delve into the financial instruments and measures crucial to realising an ambitious plastics treaty.

Organiser: Minderoo Foundation
Time: 17:30-20:30 CEST (UTC+2)

Food security: The importance of food system transformation

This session will look at how farmers and growers, processors, packagers, distributors, policy makers, and consumers must work together to transform the way food is grown, produced, processed, packaged, distributed and consumed.

Organiser: European Food Forum
Time: 17:30-20:00 CEST (UTC+2)

Networking for changemakers

GreenMix is made for sustainability professionals to connect and accelerate their personal network. Join the special edition “Circularity in Brussels” event. Make new contacts during the networking game, immerse in original music beats and meet like-minded professionals.

Organiser: GreenMix Brussels
Time: 17:30-22:00 CEST (UTC+2)

Friday 19 April

Innovation Forum 4 Plastics

The event showcases the innovative solutions of EU-funded projects to boost plastic recycling and circularity, reduce plastic pollution and thus, contribute to the EU Plastics Strategy, the EU Circular Economy Action Plan and related regulatory frameworks.

Organiser: EuRIC (European Recycling Industries’ Confederation) on behalf of the CIMPA project, European Research Executive Agency (REA) of the European Commission, Circular Plastics Cluster
Time: 9:00-13:00 CEST (UTC+2)

AdoptIDee Final Event

The AdoptIdee project, funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ program, lands in Abruzzo to transfer to Italy the format of school-business collaboration. Four companies have proposed their challenges on optimising internal business processes centred on circular economy issues. Now, 120 students will pitch their solutions to the proposed challenges to companies and the public.

Organiser: Innovalley Open Innovation Hub – AdoptIDee Foundation
Time: 14:00-18:00 CEST (UTC+2)

Circular Friday: top picks from WCEF2024

Cradlenet attended the World Circular Economy Forum 2024 in Brussels. During this members’ meeting, we report our insights from the event. Which were the highlights and what circularity issues were people talking about?

Organiser: Cradlenet
Time: 11:00-12:00 CEST (UTC+2)

Monday 22 April

Regulatory sandboxes as enablers for cleantech and circular innovation

EU energy independence and decarbonisation targets require innovative solutions. Regulatory sandboxes enable experimentation for scale-up and acceleration of cleantech solutions while ensuring safety, reliability and consumer protection. Join the debate!

Organisers: University of Vaasa and RMIT University
Time: 11:00-17:00 CEST (UTC+2)

Circular economy and sustainability workshop

Gain new knowledge from professionals about the circular economy and its importance in our lives. In the workshop, put plants in second-hand pots and learn how to make a hanging plant holder with a knotting technique. The event language is Latvian.

Organisers: DARE and Valmiera Development Agency
Time: 13:00-16:00 CEST (UTC+2)

Valvan opens its doors to visitors

We are thrilled to announce that our System Circularity & Innovative Recycling of Textiles (SCIRT) sorting and dismantling partner, Valvan, is opening its doors! Come to Menen, Belgium, to see the Fibersort textile sorting machine and Trimcleam machine, which removes items like buttons and zippers from clothes. You will be taken through their facilities and gain an understanding of how their machines function and ask questions.

Organiser: SCIRT and Valvan
Time: 14:00-16:00 CEST (UTC+2)

International projects and partnerships for textile sorting and recycling

Join this workshop to co-develop innovative projects focused on textile sorting and recycling, alongside experts from various regions within the EU. This event provides the opportunity to collaborate on joint projects and build partnerships to drive circular economy initiatives in the textile industry.

Organisers: Smart Waste Portugal, Clean and Flux 50
Time: 15:00-16:30 CEST (UTC+2)

Tuesday 23 April

Promoting the circular economy in Latin America: companies and civil society united for sustainability

Explore examples of collaboration mechanisms that promote the green transition, especially in Latin America. The event will illustrate the AL-INVEST Verde partnership model and present other successful collaboration models in the field of circular economy, showing how businesses and civil society can cooperate to promote sustainability. The event language is Spanish.

Organisers: Eurochambres, Sequa, and AL-INVEST Verde programme
Time: 15:30-17:00 CEST (UTC+2)

Closing the loop: Innovating for a circular tomorrow

Discover innovative solutions for a circular economy, from waste management to sustainable packaging. Join entrepreneurs, investors and climatetech enthusiasts at our event and meet climatetech pioneers sharing insights on shaping a circular future. Get inspired and equipped to make impactful changes.

Organiser: ClimateHack Zurich chapter
Time: 18:30-21:00 CEST (UTC+2)

Wednesday 24 April

Accelerating sustainable solutions

This panel will showcase real-world examples of successful circular economy practices from startups and corporations, and inspire business leaders to integrate circular principles into their organisations, fostering innovation and sustainability.

Organiser: Forest Valley Institute
Time: 15:00-16:00 CEST (UTC+2)

Reenvisioning the future of education in construction

A necessary debate on the opportunities and challenges of integrating green and digital skills into construction education. A rethink from the BuildSkills Academy project, which aims to equip the workforce for the EU’s transition to a circular and sustainable future.

Organiser: Circular Berlin
Time: 15:00-16:15 CEST (UTC+2)

Wednesday 24 to Thursday 25 April

FRUSH goes to ecosystems

FRUSH is an event focusing on the ESG requirements of the circular economy, dealing with the practical requirements of supply chains and legislation. The event offers information about the needs of the business world and the opportunity to create contacts. Culminating in a startup competition, the programme includes expert speeches and panel discussions as well as a possibility for companies and communities to present their activities and services. The event language is Finnish.

Organiser: Forssan Yrityskehitys Oy
Time: 9:00-16:00 CEST (UTC+2)

Friday 26 April

Circular fashion: sustainable consumption and production across textiles, leather, and cosmetics

This webinar highlights how sustainable consumption and production strategies throughout the fashion industry can reduce resource consumption, waste generation and pollution emissions.

Organisers: ASEAN Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform and SWITCH-Asia
Time: 10:00-14:30 CEST (UTC+2)