The event commenced with the prestigious CIRCULAZE Night Award, a celebration honoring the Top 21 Circular Economy Start-ups of 2023 and the winner of the 8th category “Circular Company”, who were recognized for their groundbreaking contributions in promoting a circular economy. Julia Profeta Johansson skillfully moderated the exclusive CIRCULAZE Night, setting the stage for the main event.

Check out the Top 21 Start-ups and Top Circular Company 2023 here!

The next day at the CIRCULAZE Summit, corporate decision-makers, start-ups, experts, universities, and investors gathered for a full day of exciting impulses and networking. Moderator Hannah Klose took the reins during the Summit, guiding attendees through a dynamic program.

The day began with Prof. Dr. Martin Stuchtey, Founder & Co-CEO of The Landbanking Group, opening the conference by sharing valuable perspectives on the prevailing economic conditions. He emphasized the extraordinary nature of our times, where unprecedented biospheric transformations unfold within a single human lifespan. Advocating for novel design principles, he provocatively pondered the prospect of an economy where the act of selling is forbidden. The keynote was followed by a short “Chat Ride” session with Merlin Ouboter, Co-Founder and CMO of Microlino, the mobility partner of CIRCULAZE. The main stage then hosted the panel discussion on “Unleashing the Power of Sustainable Business Models.” The panel featured David Wortmann, Managing Director of DWR, Dr. Florian Kammerer, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Inga G. Grieger, Business Development Manager BMW i Ventures, Sophia Rödiger, CMO 1KOMMA5°, and Brit Neuburger, Chief Transformation Officer ex-OsramConti.

One of the core elements of the CIRCULAZE Summit was the Marketplace, where attendees engaged in various topic rooms, including:

  • “Better Than New: Making Circular Manufacturing a Reality” hosted by Lars Friedrich & Dr. Maria Fay, SAP
  • “Leadership & Mindset: Best Cases of Circular Reality” hosted by Dorothea Palenberg, blue!
  • “Forget Greenwashing: Sustainability as Image and Growth Driver” hosted by Stefanie Kuhnhen, Serviceplan
  • “Effective Collaboration and Open Innovation with Start-ups” hosted by Sonia Amend, EWOR
  • “Overview of Metal Recycling in Germany: Challenges and Opportunities” hosted by Dr. Michael Liesegang, Deutsche Rohstoffagentur (DERA)
  • “EU Regulation and Circular Transformation: Navigating the Dynamic Policy Landscape” hosted by Nikolas Bradford & Patrick Peter, phiyond by adelphi

These sessions provided a condensed yet impactful exploration of key industry challenges and opportunities. The afternoon continued with test rides offered by our mobility partner Microlino and an exciting start-up pitch competition, judged and presented by Jörg Binnenbrücker, Founding Partner at Capnamic alongside his jury members Claudia Stark from TechBoost and Martin Möllmann from HTGF. The Campus exchange with students from partner universities Hochschule der Medien Stuttgart, Uni Sankt Gallen, Fachhochschule für Wirtschaft Berlin (HWR), Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin (HTW), TU München, and Universtät Bayreuth added an educational dimension to the event.

The Summit’s emotional crescendo came with the keynote address by Dr. Auma Obama. With a compelling speech, Dr. Obama delved into the interconnected dimensions of environmental, economic, and social sustainability. Her thought-provoking insights challenged conventional notions, emphasizing the need for a holistic approach to sustainability. The audience was captivated by her vision and left with a profound sense of purpose.

The day continued with a Fireside Chat featuring Dr. Benedikt Franke, exploring sustainability as a security strategy. The CEO of the Munich Security Conference (MSC) impressively promoted the circular economy as a strategy for de-risking our dependencies in Europe from global supply. Ultimately, and in a global perspective, the circular economy could guarantee planetary peace. What a positive outlook!

The ensuing panel discussion, “Revolutionizing Industries: Inspiring Blueprints and Best Cases in the Circular Economy,” moderated by 4P Capital’s Laurent-Frédéric Lohmann showcased industry leaders Martina Williams, Head of Work Dynamics DACH und CEE, JLL, Karel J. Golta, CEO of Indeed, and Mario Osterwalder, Co-Founder discussing innovative approaches to transforming current linear systems.

In summary, the CIRCULAZE Summit emerges as a dynamic platform fostering collaboration and innovation, setting the tone for continued progress in the circular economy space. The enthusiasm, insights, and commitment shared by attendees reinforce the significance of such gatherings in driving meaningful change. The energy generated at CIRCULAZE sets the stage for ongoing advancements in sustainable and circular practices, underlining the urgency and potential for a more conscientious future.

Photos by TheGroupMovement

CIRCULAZE is made possible through the friendly support of our amazing co-host dfv Mediengruppe and partners DB Cargo, ODDO BHF, Otto Krahn New Business, Knauf, Capgemini Invent, 4P Capital, Jokey, SBC Hamburg, Payback, Fressnapf, von Beust & Partner, phiyond by adelphi, and 1. FC Nürnberg.