In November 2018, Impact Hub, and WWF jointly pioneered a virtual conference in Central and Eastern Europe. Over 150 people joined and gave great feedback: the 34 speakers were high-class, the variety of sessions was received enthusiastically, and many people even left with the idea of hosting a virtual conference themselves! Building on last year’s success, a new edition of the event will be hosted from 26 through 28 November 2019.

A Circular Economy in Central and Eastern Europe

We’re facing massive environmental challenges around the world. Whereas unsustainable consumption and production create heaps of waste, the idea of a circular economy (CE) tries to break that cycle. CE opportunities around the world are on the rise – but the CEE region seems to be left behind. Collaboration across organisations, sectors and countries is necessary to create a positive narrative for the future. Together, we can reach SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production. Innovators, social entrepreneurs, thinkers, CE practitioners, students – everybody is invited to come and gain inspiration and exchange knowledge.


Tünde Fritzson-Bajdor
Norbert Kurilla
Harald Friedl
Rambo Amadeus
Mirek Lizec
Alex Tokmakchiev
Sergey Petrov
Svilen Piralkov
Ivanka Milenkovic
Eva Karlsson
Gerard Roemers
Justus Kammueller

3 themes

Get familiar with the basics and learn about local realities from experts in the field and region.

  • 15.15 – 16.00 Harvester briefing: those who’ve indicated to want to take part in the enhanced learning experience will receive more information on how to do so and can partake in a short Doodle workshop to be able to capture key insights creatively and visually. Provided by Think Visual – virtual graphic harvesters.
  • 16.00 – 17.30 Kick-off session: introducing and framing – Norbert Kurilla & Harald Friedl discuss opportunities and challenges related to bringing a circular economy to the region, from both a global and a regional perspective.
  • 17.30 – 19.00 World café: exploring 3 case studies from the region in a dynamic and interactive way. Speakers: Tünde Fritzson-Bajdor, Mirek Lizec, Petr Vitek & Martyna Sztaba.
  • 19.00 – 20.00 Online purposeful networking: speak to interesting participants more extensively and connect meaningfully based on who matches the profile of interest you indicated upon registration.
  • 18.00 – tbc Physical event in Zagreb: stakeholder mapping & harvesting around: how can we establish a circular economy in the region?
  • 19.00 – tbc Physical event in Belgrade: Rambo Amadeus gives insights on how he used the concept of CE to build his ‘Solar Retro Sailboat’. Stakeholder mapping & harvesting around: how can we establish a circular economy in the region?

Take the challenge to apply the concept of CE in as many aspects of life together with other entrepreneurial minds.

  • 16.00 – 17.30 Workshop: developing a circular design & business case with Rambo Amadeus and Ivanka Milenkovic from EKOFFUNGI.
  • 17.30 – 19.00 Plenary session: a circular society. Exploring new ways of working, owning and living by looking at examples from Bulgaria. Speakers: Svilen Piralkov, Sergey Petrov & Alex Tokmakchiev.
  • 19.00 – tbc Physical event in Sofia: in-person exchange with the contributors to the plenary session. Stakeholder mapping & harvesting around: how can we establish a circular economy in the region?

Gain an understanding of why a circular economy is not per se sustainable, and learn how we can respect the planet while we establish a CE.

  • 9.00 – 10.00 Plenary session: can a circular economy save our planet? Gerard Roemers & Justus Kammueller discuss how CE can help us fit our civilisation within the planetary boundaries of our mother Earth.
  • 10.00 – 11.00 Case study: how Houdini fits within our planet. CEO Eva Karlsson will explain how this company used the Planetary Boundaries framework to understand the impact of their operations and to prioritise its policies.
  • 11.00 – 11.30 Networking: get to know your fellow participants during a breakout session.
  • 11.30 – 12.00 Final session: where do we go from here? Summary of the conference and jointly looking at the future.

How will it work?

The conference is free, and accessible to anybody with an internet connection, anywhere in the world. Please register so that we can follow up with you.

To join the magic, this is the Zoom link you will need to put into your browser at the beginning of the conference: If you haven’t used Zoom before, please find a quick introduction video here. To download the software, please click this link. You can also join the event from your broswer, without downloading the software! Throughout the conference, use the zoom link to get access (it’s the same link for each day). Accidentally left the room? Refer to the link to come back in!

You can join the entire conference, or opt for one of the sessions. On the day itself, simply log in from your desk to participate.

Physical events

Physical sessions will be held in Belgrade, Zagreb and Sofia. Meet others who are excited to take the challenge, be part of stakeholder mapping efforts and join the conversation on what a circular economy would look like in your local reality.

Next steps

After the conference, you will have access to the following resources to be able to make steps towards establishing a circular economy in your local reality.

  • Recordings of your favourite sessions available for download
  • An e-magazine with next steps you can take to help accelerate the move towards a circular economy in the region
  • A stakeholder map with insights on who’s already active in this field in CEE
  • A video with a recap of the experience of the virtual conference


Official partners

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