2nd Annual Closed Loop Forum

Plant Chicago’s Closed Loop Forum

The second annual Closed Loop Forum, hosted by Plant Chicago, brings together people from all backgrounds and perspectives for discussion around the circular economy – what it is and different ways communities and businesses are implementing and benefiting from it. Two panels about 1) current status and trends of the larger reuse economy, and 2) large and small businesses putting circularity into practice, will be followed by break out sessions to workshop and implement ideas. The event will conclude with a poster and networking session in the Whiner Beer taproom.

Plant Chicago is developing a Small Business Circular Economy Toolkit with guides and best practices to put local circular economy principles into action. These principles are: Renewable Energy, Resource Sharing, Recapturing materials, Community Benefits, Locally sourced materials, Shared business success, Local waste recovery and Equitable benefits for all. Read more about the eight local circular economy principles here. Attendees of the Closed Loop Forum will explore how these principles are or are not being implemented at the local and global scale, and how we can each take action to cultivate local circular economies.

Keynote speaker: Garry Cooper, CEO of Rheaply


Doing Business in the Circular Economy:

Moderated by Weslynne Ashton – Associate Professor of Environmental Management and Sustainability at IIT

A far reaching and often abstract conceptualization of the circular economy has taken hold in many instances across the globe. Circular practices have entered into government initiatives and individual/corporate action but full scale implementation remains to be seen. This panel seeks to discus what these practices and policies mean for small and large businesses and offers guidance on how to participate in our next economic revolution.

Speakers: Eric Schneider, Owner (Huron Paper Stock); Alex Poltorak, (Urban Canopy); Van Vincent, President (VLV Development )

State of Materials Reuse and Recycling:

Moderated by Ning Ai – Associate Professor at University of Illinois Chicago

Utilizing our world’s resources sustainably is the paramount issue for our generation. Recently the state of the recycling industry and the reuse of materials has experienced drastic upheavals and changes. The panel will discuss the current state of affairs as well as the obstacles and opportunities we have to improve and thrive in this changing environment.

Speakers: Alyson Wright, Sustainable Business Fellow (City of Evanston); Shantanu Pai, Sustainability Researcher (Illinois Sustainable Technology Center); Olga Bautista, Board Member (South East Side Environmental Task Force)


Event Sponsor: West Monroe Partners

Event space donated by Bubbly Dynamics.


9:30AM – Registration and Breakfast

10:00AM – Welcome

10:30AM – Panel: Doing Business in the Circular Economy

11:15AM – Breakout Sessions

11:45AM – Lunch

12:30PM – Panel: The State of Reuse

1:15PM – Breakout Sessions

1:45PM – Closing Remarks

2PM – Poster Session Happy Hour

Bubbly Dynamics, owner and operator of The Plant, will lead a special tour of the building for forum attendees at 3:30pm. Tickets for this tour can be purchased here.

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