Some thoughts to summarise my experience at Circularity 2022 on November 24th + 25th:
As a solo freelancer spending lots of time in my home office, it was great to get out of the box and meet with people face-to-face. As practitioners, we need to recharge ourselves from the energy of others. I left the conference energised with a feeling that I was part of a growing community of committed CE practitioners and innovators – this was the most important outcome for me!
I had many fantastic, motivating conversations – with people that I have met online and in person over in the last couple of years; a few I have known for a long time but haven’t seen in years; people that I have orbited around but not actually met; and many new people doing interesting and inspiring things! Too many to tag!
I also enjoyed the presentations I was able to attend and gained a big charge from Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek for her plans for CE facilitation by the Albo Government. As she was leaving, she passed by where I was sitting. I gave her two thumbs up, and she returned the smile and offered a handshake while gliding by – made my day!
I also very much appreciate the feedback I received for my presentation in the session on behaviour change The response gave me confidence that now is the right time to release more on my practice approach to sustainable and circular practice through a complex systems lens. More to come on this, so stay tuned.
I had a great time at the ACE Hub Awards Gala Dinner, and having been one of the judges, I was thrilled to see the happy reactions of the winners and finalists. Brilliant work! And of course, the celebration of 30 years of Planet Ark was special. Congratulations Paul Klymenko and Rebecca Gilling for your leadership and persistence.
It’s good to be challenged at a Conference, and the session which challenged me most was the one on financing the circular economy. What stood out was the framing of the financing of CE – in the terms set by financiers. Same thinking I have been encountering for over 40 years – I understand the “common sense” of it, but such framing has tended to be an excuse against taking action. I think we should urgently re-frame the financing conversation to place it firmly within an understanding of ecological limits and at the service of ecosystems as the main priority. I’m inspired to write a longer piece about this issue, soonish, so stay tuned for that too.
Finally, thanks to all at Planet Ark Environmental Foundation , particularly Nicole Garofano and Maddie Ross, and the Diversified Communications people for putting on a great event. I hope to see you in Melbourne next year for Circularity 2023!