Tünde Fritzson-Bajdor holds an MSc in Sustainable development from Uppsala University. She is an eco-entrepreneur with a goal to raise awareness about the negative environmental and social impacts of the fashion industry. She started her business in 2014 with the idea to collect good quality preowned clothes from households and build up a network of conscious consumers. Her secondhand shop named Swappis, is based on a swap concept that keeps garments in use for a longer period of time and provides a local solution with tangible and measurable results that contribute to a circular economy. By encouraging people to buy second hand instead of new, our mindset shifts to a reuse culture and clothing does not end up in landfills. In practice those who hand in clothes to the shop receive points, become members of a community, and get discounts toward future purchases. In a short amount of time, they have built a community of over 3000 members in Budapest, Hungary and over 12,000 followers on social media portals. Tunde is planning to expand the business through a franchise system and create a webshop to build a much larger community.
Norbert Kurilla is responsible for environmental policies including international and EU affairs. In this capacity he has driven forward the Slovak government’s initiatives to promote a circular economy, including for the automobile sector, sustainable cities and the forest sector. Dr. Kurilla has a PhD in international economic relations and serves as the Vice-Chair of the OECD Green Action Task Force.
Harald Friedl is a serial social entrepreneur. Since 2017, he is CEO of Circle Economy, an impact organisation of 50 people based out of Amsterdam with a global reach which is accelerating the shift from a linear to a circular economy.
Harald has extensive international experience running both for-profit and non-profit businesses with a focus on scaling impact. Prior to joining Circle Economy in 2017, Harald spent 5 years in South East Asia (Myanmar) where he co-founded Impact Hub Yangon and was Managing Director o a renewable energy company. Before that, he spent time working with the United Nations in New York and worked as spokesperson for the Austrian Government and advisor to the Austrian Deputy Prime daily show for economic news in Austria. Harald enjoys connecting with people, spending time in nature and nurturing ecosystems and people that are dedicated to making the world a better place for future generations.
He analyses the current metabolism of cities and regions (the energy, water, and material flows within urban areas as well as the drivers behind these patterns and their impacts), and develops planning and development tools to transition them to a fundamentally sustainable state. He has worked in dozens of cities and regions across the Netherlands and Europe. Gerard is involved in academic research together with the AMS Institute, and organises an international Summer School: “The Circular City: Towards a Sustainable Urban Ecosystem”.
Gerard grew up in the north of the Netherlands, on one of the Frisian islands. Growing up close to nature, he developed an early interest in sustainable development and the interrelationships between natural systems and human society. He pursued these interests during this studies and received a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and Spatial Planning at the University of Groningen, and a Master’s degree in Environmental Sciences and Sustainable Development from the University of Utrecht.
Justus was born and raised in Germany. He lived, worked and studied in the United States, the UK and France. He obtained his Master’s degree in International Management at ESCP Europe, and is now working on systemic change towards sustainability at WWF Germany. His interests are planetary boundaries, circular economy, vegan food, sourdough bread, books, and music.