Youth Voices on Circular Economy

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Young people have an important role to play in the transition to a circular economy, both acting as a representative of consumers with different and higher expectations than the generations before them regarding sustainability, and as the face of innovative entrepreneurs aware of the limit of the current economic model and ready to rethink production and consumption habits as they enter the professional world.

On 03 June 2021, The Generation Climate Europe (GCE) and the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ECESP) organised a #EUCircularTalks with a twofold objective. First, to highlight young people involvement and call for action in the area of circular economy through projects and initiatives they have developed. Second, to identify key areas in which the Youth may play an active role in the transition to a circular economy within Europe.

This event was the occasion to showcase on the one hand existing projects led by young people keen to take action, and on the other, gathered input from the youth and other stakeholders to build a more structured position paper effectively supporting advocacy work.

Draft programme

13:00 - 13:05 Welcome by Moderator

  • Eugenia Bueno Martinez, GCE

13:05 - 13.10 Opening remarks

  • Delara Burkhardt, MEP (video)
  • Cillian Lohan, Vice-President European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)

13.10 - 13:35 Introduction and panel discussion

  • William Neale, Adviser on Circular Economy DG ENV (European Commission)
  • Robina Von Stein, Founder RE-NT
  • Mridul Pareek, Scholar Ghent University

13:35 - 14:15 Parallel workshops

In each breakout session, one expert and one young European engaged in the circular economy will take part in a discussion on one of the four priority sectors we identified.

  • Textiles: The textile workshop will focus on circular economy with regards to fashion
    • Valeria Botta, Program Manager at Ecos
    • Caroline Baeten, Founder at Dressr
  • Digitalisation: The workshop on digitalisation will engage discussion on ways for the youth to promote change within digital devices production and consumption
    • Jean-Pierre Schweitzer, Policy officer at European Environmental Bureau
    • Markus Droemann, Senior Public Affairs Officer at Nesta
  • Food: The workshop on Food will address food waste and food security
    • Jamie Crummie, Co-founder and Directror at Too Good To Go
    • Carolina Millstone, Executive Director at Feedback Global
  • Energy: The workshop on energy will concentrate on sustainable use and production of energy and how the Youth can engage to encourage the end of the predominance of fossil energy
    • Pieterjan Verhaegen, Co-Founder & CEO at Bolt Energie
    • Pia Eberhardt, Researcher and campaigner at Corporate Europe Observatory

14:15 - 14:25 Wrapping up of the discussion and final remarks

  • Eugenia Bueno Martinez, GCE

14:25 - 14:30 Closing remarks

  • Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commission (video)