Innovation Project

Circle17 Impacthon – Hackathon for circularity

Circle17 Impacthon – Hackathon for circularity 2709 1280 Circonnact

The Circle17 Impacthon is a 3-day Hackathon organized by AustrianStartups and respACT. Purpose is to bring together Innovators and Startups with established corporates and organizations. They strive to solve pressing challenges in the area of circular economy to achieve the SDG. This year Circonnact accompanied the Hackathon with tools and personal engagement. 8 Challenges had been defined, and the teams were formed on Friday to think about different solutions.

To identify solutions for new business models which are based on systemic thinking and circularity, the teams used the Value Chain Canvas and Circular Canvas tools from Circulab. We provided the setup on the online collaboration platform for all teams to capture their ideas. In a workshop on Saturday morning we opened the room for innovation by explaining the various opportunites. It was important for us to explain the mindset for regenerative and circular solutions.

In the mentoring sessions we discussed the ideas with the teams, provided the perspective of circularity. The purpose is to open the space and giving ideas rather than telling the teams what to do – and this works very well. Openness, a critical perspective if the models are truly circular and reflection on how to apply it to a defined ecosystem are key success factors to come up with good solutions.

On Sunday, as a member of the Jury, Andreas was impressed how far the ideas had been thought through. The open atmosphere helped to bring up some questions on how to go the next steps to implementation. Apart from choosing the 4 most promising and circular ideas we look forward to further support implementation with the partners.

Circular City Challenge

Circular City Challenge 1080 810 Circonnact

The Circular City Challenge is a project to connects existing innovative circular solutions with city representatives for the transition of a linear to a circular economy. The goal is to support their implementation locally and to increase the quality of life with conscious and careful use of resources. In 2022 this project has been started by Circonnact as local coordinators for Vienna with the organizers of Circular Berlin, Circular Munich and Materialkreislauf in the cities of Berlin, Vienna, Munich and Stuttgart.

We identified local challenges together with local partners like the DoTank Circular City and WieNeu+ for city development, representatives from the 8th district (Bezirksvorstehung Josefstadt & Agenda Josefstadt), and project developers such as Zukunftshof and dieHauswirtschaft. Local promotion partners like Impact Hub, Vienna Business Agency, The Mall, What about the Future, Circular Economy Forum Austria and Thinkubator helped to spread the word and activate their network to distribute the idea.

During inspiring webinars supported by Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Circle Economy and the Circular Economy Chairman for Prague we gathered momentum and motivated more than 100 applications of solutions at least in the status of implementation concept. The local partner chose their most appealing ideas and at the end of April which will be pitched. One important factor is that we are not looking for “the best solution” because we think every applicant already is a winner.

We support to implement the solutions by providing visibility of the solutions and engaging stakeholders such as city representatives, companies and citizens. In Vienna, we organize the final event “Circular City Challenge – Wie sieht deine Stadt von morgen aus?” on 9 & 10 June 2022 in the center of Vienna at The Mall to showcase the variety of circular solutions, activate their uptake, educate and connect companies, citizens and city stakeholders.

If you want to support us in further developing the project, please contact Andreas or Vanessa.

Training Business Centers to consult on Circular Economy

Training Business Centers to consult on Circular Economy 1920 986 Circonnact

Micro and small companies represent the majority of businesses in most of the countries, and drivers of innovation and development of the economy. So it is important for them to understand and integrate circular economy solutions into their business. But how to address this in the best way, given that they often lack time to look in depth into the opportunities? If employees in the Business Centers and Agencies supporting these small companies understand what Circular Economy means, that would ensure that they integrate this thinking into their approach when consulting the small enterprises.

This is a project which Onda Circular, a Latin American organization, was leading with Sercotec in Chile from April to August 2021. They offer a platform for capacity building of the employees of >60 business centers nationwide and facilitated workshops to understand circular behavior with more than 400 employees attending. Andreas Ellenberger was supporting this project, facilitating workshops where the Business Centers were developing an initial life cycle analysis and circular business model canvas for one of their local companies to understand the opportunities if they apply circular solutions.

Equipped with that knowledge they worked with the entrepreneurs, how integrating the circular economy approaches, communicating their solution and finding additional partners for collaboration can contribute to the development of the small companies. In videos they presented the cases and have their own guideline to train, consult and inspire further entrepreneurs in their community. And as Chile has developed a national Circular Economy roadmap, they can contribute to a broader implementation.

Do you want to have impact in companies in your region? Contact Andreas! We develop programs locally to support the change to a circular society. Do you need an inspirational workshop, want to develop a program on capacity building or develop local circular solutions? Our services include different ways forward.

Future-proof business strategies through circular economy

Future-proof business strategies through circular economy 1920 1280 Circonnact

Interested in innovative business ideas and thriving collaborations? And at the same time to cut costs, reduce CO2 emissions and respond to future regulatory requirements? Circonnact provides an online workshop series with the sustainability pioneer Gugler to open up a new way of looking at business and creating new circular, sustainable business concepts. Learn how your business or community can thrive in a future-oriented way through the circular economy approach.

The new future paradigm of our economy is: circular economy & bioeconomy. Here, the familiar principle of linear ownership is replaced by intelligent use cycles. This is an enormous challenge for our entrenched thinking. Because circularity requires letting go of the familiar and the previously proven. It leads to a completely different way of doing business and creating opportunities – with better use of resources, more intensive customer loyalty and new services and offerings. Circular Economy is both an opportunity and an innovation method that can be relevant for every manufacturing company, every service provider, every municipality.

What can I expect in this workshop series?

In three online modules of 3 hours each, we will embark together on a journey to the circular potential in the business model of your company or in the structure of your community and how this can be activated and implemented step by step. You will exchange ideas with like-minded people and receive direct feedback on your ideas. In each of the modules, we use circular economy tools to ensure that you can take away a benefit for your organization:

Module 1: Circular Economy as an Opportunity

  • Benefits and advantages through circular economy concepts
  • Inspiration on how circular thinking can be implemented in your environment
  • Cross-industry experience and best circular practices
  • Cut costs in your organization by implementing circularity
  • Principles, structures and ways of thinking and working for circular solutions

Module 2: Recognizing your own Circular Economy potential

  • Finding your role in the circular economy based on your own capabilities and resources
  • Mindset of successful circular economy companies
  • Instruments of the Circular Economy for your business development
  • Defining the areas in your environment/company that derive the greatest benefit from circularity

Module 3: Activate your Circular Economy Potential

  • Development of a circular business model
  • Development of first steps as well as a long-term strategy
  • Concrete guidance and step-by-step process model for internal implementation
  • Structures for continuous circular development
  • Active involvement of partners and employees

For whom is this workshop useful?

  • Companies & municipalities that want to be sustainable and resilient
  • Companies & municipalities looking for innovation and business opportunities 
  • Companies & municipalities that want to create and implement sustainable and circular projects

Wandering Gliders – Travel inspired by Nature

Wandering Gliders – Travel inspired by Nature 1920 1280 Circonnact

Circonnact is developing solutions to empower people, companies and destinations in the transition to a more regenerative way of traveling.

How can we travel in a circular and regenerative way that is low-carbon? At the beginning of the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration, Cironnact decided to look into nature to explore this topic further and develop solutions. In the context of the European Biomimicry Design Challenge organized by COBIOM and the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge by the Biomimicry Institute, a team of biomimicry, business, research, communication and graphic design specialists went through a nature-inspired innovation process and developed the concept of a regenerative and nature-inspired travel hub called Wandering Gliders.

Wandering Gliders addresses the problem of excessive traveling that is harming the environment, communities and health of people. It is in our nature to move and travel, but people lack awareness as well as access to appealing and sustainable travel. Travel is amongst the largest industries in the world and can be a key driver to activate people, business and governments to restore the ecosystems if it is done in a regenerative way.

The regenerative and nature-inspired travel project Wandering Gliders aims to empower people and companies on the way to regenerative traveling. Wandering Gliders co-creates exciting and meaningful travel experiences to reconnect with nature, people and oneself and by that contribute positively to a flourishing environment and communities. It raises awareness, provides tools for impactful travel experiences and supports travel business to rebuild in a regenerative way with training, co-creating solutions and consulting. The project is developing two pilots with partners The Lionheart Experience in South Africa and the Green Festival organized by Biomimicry Granada, Esada, Utrecht University and Cobiom. Furthermore, Wandering Gliders is collaborating with KPRN, Sustain & Sustain Safaris in South Africa, Sustainability and Resilience Institute New Zealand and Whale Watch Tenerife.

How to travel regeneratively? Check out the Regenerative Travel Guide by Wandering Gliders.

Join us and be part of the transformation of the travel industry towards regenerative travel!

For more information contact Vanessa Wabitsch via email vanessa (at) circonnact.world .

Waste2Resource Marketplace Cyrkl

Waste2Resource Marketplace Cyrkl 1920 1280 Circonnact

Circonnact supports the market entry in Austria of Cyrkl – Central Europe’s largest Waste2Resource marketplace 

One important element of the circular economy is the change of perspective for waste. Waste is quite often a valuable resource in the wrong place; this is one of the basic assumptions of the Cradle to Cradle concept which guides us when it comes to design of products for a circular economy. However, currently a lot of resources are treated as waste and end up in landfill or incineration, thus destroying their value. To change this we worked with Cyrkl, a Greentech startup operating the largest waste to resource marketplace in Central Europe. They combine expertise in circular waste management with artificial intelligence supported IT infrastructure to match recyclers and secondary material users to companies who have not found solutions for their excess materials yet.

Circonnact supported their market entry in Austria and German speaking region with marketing expertise and insights into the needs of companies in Austria to use the platform. Cyrkl and Circonnact share the mission to connect partners and transform waste to resources. Cyrkl analyses the companies’ current waste management, identifies better solutions to either avoid waste, find partners who upgrade the current waste materials to be reused or just identify internal optimization. It is impressive to see results – their customers achieved savings up to 450.000 Euro per year by re-valuing materials and redesigning flows, and huge amounts of CO2 emissions have been reduced as well by using secondary materials instead of new ones.

It is interesting to see that, while in Austria the recycling and incineration of waste is quite advanced, the usage of secondary material is still not very common. As the regulation with the EU Circular Economy Action Plan will require more and more usage of recycled materials a lot of companies have not thought through where they could replace or at least blend virgin material with recycled material without compromising the quality of their product. Recycling and reuse are just two out of a broad range of the circular strategies that Circonnact is looking into to identify the potential for circularity for companies.

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