The Circular Economy Imperative

Video 1: The Circular Economy

Estimates suggest that the global population will reach close to 9 billion by 2030 – including 3 billion new middle-class consumers. This places unprecedented pressure on natural resources to meet future consumer demand. The circular economy is a redesign of this future, where industrial systems are restorative and regenerative by intention. Nothing that is made in a circular economy becomes waste, moving away from our current linear ‘take-make-dispose’ economy. The circular economy’s potential for innovation, job creation and economic development is huge: estimates indicate a trillion-dollar opportunity.

This video series presents the perspectives of leaders across business, academia, policy and civil society as they explain the concept of the circular economy.

Video 2: The Circular Economy Imperative

Ellen MacArthur, Founder, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, United Kingdom

Dame Ellen MacArthur’s experiences as a solo off-shore sailor made her acutely aware of the finite nature of the resources our current, linear economy relies on. In this video, she explains what the circular economy is, the benefits of such an economy, and why it’s imperative we begin our transition towards it.

Video 3: Business Model Innovation

Frans van Houten, President and Chief Executive Officer, Royal Philips, Netherlands

As CEO of Royal Philips, Frans van Houten sees a significant opportunity for business model innovation in the circular economy. In this video, he explains what circular economy business models look like, and the economic potential behind them.

Video 4: Design Innovation

William McDonough, Consulting Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, USA

William McDonough is an architect, designer and thought leader, and co-creator of the Cradle to Cradle framework, where products and processes move towards the goal of being not just “less bad” but also “more good” for people and the planet. In this video, he discusses design innovation, a core aspect of the principles of a circular economy.

Video 5: Systems and Network Innovation

Patrick Wiedemann, Chief Executive Officer, Reverse Logistics Group, Germany

As CEO of the Reverse Logistics Group facilitates, Patrick Wiedemann looks closely at how our economy can close material loops through the ‘reverse cycle’ – a fundamental requirement of the circular economy. In this video, he shares his perspective on reverse logistics, and the need for supply chain innovation.

Video 6: Upcycling

Arthur Huang, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Miniwiz, Chinese Taipei

Arthur Huang is an entrepreneur and founder of Miniwiz, a closed-loop material innovation company. In this video, he explains the concepts of ‘upcycling’ – where products or materials are reused in a way to create a product of higher quality or value than the original – and how his business is thriving on it.

Video 7: Circular Economy and Policy

Janez Potocnik, Co-chair, UNEP International Resource Panel, France

Janez Potocnik, formerly the Commissioner for Environment for the European Commission, and now co-chair of the UNEP International Resource Panel, has played a strong role in policymaking on natural resources. In this video, he explores the role of policy for a circular economy, and the importance of address current ‘lock-ins’ that are preventing the transition.

Video 8: The Power of Consumers

Mike Barry, Director, Sustainable Business, Marks & Spencer, United Kingdom

In Mike Barry’s role as Director of Sustainable Business for Marks & Spencer, he is always listening to his customers. In this video, he discusses the vital role of the consumer in the transition to the circular economy – and how consumers will actually benefit from it.

About Us



Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum