At Australia’s first conference dedicated to the circular economy in 2017, we heard about ground-breaking projects and the latest research.

Read about last year’s bumper conference…

Powering the change was an opportunity to rub shoulders with participants from different backgrounds with a common interest in pursuing or fostering circular economy projects.

Panels included a mix of speakers from business, research and policy.


The conference kicked off on a fresh spring morning at the stunning Tonsley Innovation District.

Following our official opening, we heard from international keynotes including

  • Casper Jorna, Circular Economy 100 Program Lead, Ellen MacArthur Foundation

  • Spyros Kouvelis, Former Vice Minister, Foreign Economic, Cultural and Environmental Affairs (Greece)

  • Stuart Ferguson, Head of Investment, Advance London (United Kingdom)

  • Dr Cecile Wendling, Group Head of Foresight at AXA (France)

  • Jad Oseyran, Lead, Global Centre of Competence for Circular Economy at IBM (Netherlands)

  • Jussi Manninen, Executive Vice President, VTT Technical Research Centre (Finland)

  • Amélie Rouvin, Environment and Circular Economy Manager, Veolia (France)

  • Carol Lemmens, Global Advisory Services Leader, Arup (Netherlands).

After a beautiful lunch the program broke into parallel focus sessions, to deep dive on topics including:

  • showcasing Australian disrupters

  • how business models such as product as a service and sharing economy are key

  • applications in the built environment: new business models, digital strategies, adaptive reuse and systems design

  • designing packaging for a circular economy.

The finished with our first COG Session - a collaborative session, in which conference participants connected on a challenge or project idea, to unpack and potentially tackle solutions together.

In the evening participants had an important choice to make. Go rest up for a jam-packed Thursday, or join us for the unforgettable conference dinner in the heart of Adelaide. The location was top secret, but the event will epitomised collaboration and circularity. We had a ball and walked away from the evening inspired.


Thursday morning started bright and early as University of Technology Sydney hosts a special ‘Wealth from Waste’ breakfast. We’ll heard the outcomes of the three-year research program that focussed on ‘mining’ above ground resources, which are metals contained in collections of discarded manufactured products and consumer goods. We'll also had a second breakfast option - on the bioeconomy.

The second day of the conference continued with parallel focus sessions throughout the day.

Participants chose from topics including:

  • accelerating circular solutions for electronics

  • the intersection between the circular economy and industry 4.0

  • circular water cycles

  • precincts, cities and regions

  • measuring progress: business KPIs, evaluating impact and decision making metrics.

There was a second round of COG sessions - our collaborative sessions in which conference participants connect on a challenge or project idea.

Our closing plenary synthesised the two days of joint learning and action, and challenged all participants to continue the journey together.

FRIDAY 17TH NOVEMBER 2017 - academic symposium and site tours

The conference program extended to Friday 17 November to accommodate our academic symposium, showcasing circular economy research from across Australia and the world.

Industry site visits took participants to see great businesses going circular, along with the opportunity to sample some of South Australia’s unique experiences at the same time.

The conference will drew to a close on the Friday.