November 29, 2017

The Circular Economy Panel Discussion

Location: Cafe

4:30pm - 6:00pm EDT

The circular economy: a way for businesses to tackle the triple bottom line and realize a more sustainable future.

The circular economy (CE) in business can lead to the integration of social, environmental and financial returns. By moving away from the current linear take-make-dispose model, which assumes that natural resources are unlimited and cheap, the circular economy is more restorative and regenerative by design. It encourages businesses to think differently about their products, resources, and customers.

Our panel speakers are not about business-as-usual, rather they represent companies that are interested or acting on ‘circularity’. We discuss what steps have been taken towards the CE, their takeaways from these actions, what they see as the trajectory of the CE in business and how businesses can take steps to get there.

Inspiring Capital is a multifaceted business that aims to create an engaged and excited impact-orientated community. We facilitate growth and revenue generation for nonprofits and social enterprises, and we train business professionals to create social change.

Consulting: Inspiring Capital helps non-profits (and for-profit social ventures) reach sustainability by applying business strategies to their operations and marketing. We develop revenue streams so these organizations become self-funding as well as customer-centric to optimize their impact.

Training: Inspiring Capital helps people better use their resources (money, time, knowledge, connections) to change the world. We curate events (in-person and online) and materials based on members’​ interests and industry trends.

Ron Gonen, Co-Founder & CEO, Closed Loop Partners:
Ron is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Closed Loop Partners, an investment platform that invests in sustainable consumer goods, recycling, and the development of the circular economy. Prior to Closed Loop Partners, Ron was the Deputy Commissioner of Sanitation, Recycling and Sustainability for NYC under the Bloomberg administration. In 2013, Ron was named Public Official of the Year in NYC by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Earth Day, NY. Ron has been an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School since 2010. From 2004 to 2010, Ron was co-founder of RecycleBank. During his tenure as CEO, RecycleBank grew from an idea into a company that serviced over 50 cities and over 1 million households. Ron is currently on the Board of Directors at Net Impact and serves as an advisor to Sidewalk Labs.

Kate Daly, Sr VP, Center for Urban Innovation, NYC Economic Development Corporation:
Kate Daly is Senior Vice President of the Center for Urban Innovation at the NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). She manages a team working across industry sectors, including cleantech, smart cities, healthcare, fashion, and applied tech, to promote innovation and to catalyze equitable, sustainable economic development in NYC. Prior to NYCEDC, Kate served as the Executive Director of NYC’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. Kate earned a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Eric Hudson, Founder & CEO of Preserve:
Eric started Preserve in 1996 with a mission to help reduce the harm caused by the industrial age by demonstrating that products could be both fabulous to use and lighter on the Earth. The company’s first product was the Preserve toothbrush, a product made from recycled polypropylene and completely recyclable. At that time, making a product from start to finish that was as respectful as possible to our Earth’s natural resources was an effort to turn business on its head. Today, the Preserve line can be found in more than 7,000 retail locations nationwide, including Whole Foods Market, and it’s the best selling in each of its categories in the $100 billion natural retail market.

Kevin Eckerle, Director of Corporate Research and Engagement, NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business:
At Stern, Kevin uses his more than 12 years’ experience working with private and public organizations to develop and implement transformational strategies that leverage sustainability as a driver of value creation. Prior to his consulting career, Kevin served in the U.S. Senate as a Fellow of the American Association. Kevin is the author of 10+ publications on the circular economy, engaging consumers to promote sustainable decision-making and grow business value, the economics of coal-generated electricity, the impacts of climate change on global biodiversity, and the ecology of birds.

Toast Ale:
Toast Ale is on a mission to prove that the alternative to food waste is delicious and pint-sized. Toast Ale is an awesome, award-winning craft beer company brewing with fresh surplus bread that would otherwise be wasted. Did you know 1/3 of bread in the USA is wasted? Their mission is to change that.

KIND believe if you can’t pronounce an ingredient, it shouldn’t go into your body. Actually, it shouldn’t even go into your pantry. KIND® products are made from nutritionally-dense ingredients like whole nuts, fruits and whole grains – no secret ingredients and no artificial flavors, preservatives or sweeteners.

Civic Hall is a collaborative community center that advances the use of technology for the public good. Technology + Empathy = Civic Hall.
Built on the idea that together – technologists, government officials, community organizers, researchers, makers, social entrepreneurs, change-makers, hackers, academics, journalists, artists – we can organize to solve civic problems to scale.

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