The concept of the Circular Economy has been gaining momentum since the late 1970s, with the most renowned definition framed by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation as a systems solution framework that tackles global challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution. It is further elaborated that the concept is based on three principles, driven by design: eliminate waste and pollution, circulate products and materials (at their highest value), and regenerate nature.
The Circular Economy has received increasing attention among the academic circle, the business sector, and policymakers. The thoughts and practices are important for sustainable development across all industries.
In the upcoming Café des Sciences, Swissnex in China will partner with Impact Hub to present a special edition on the Circular Economy and Sustainable Consumption. Representatives from Impact Hub Shanghai, Geneva and Lausanne will share their insights on how the hubs in various locations empower startups in social innovation. Following the introduction of the Impact Hubs, two startups from China and Switzerland will share their own stories and practices towards a more sustainable future.
The event will be held in a hybrid format (on-site + online). If you could not join us on-site, please feel free to sign up for the online broadcasting.
18:30 – 19:00 Registration
19:00 – 19:05 Welcome Remarks
Dr. Philippe Roesle, CEO, Consul, Swissnex in China; Head, Science, Technology, Education Office at Swiss Embassy in Beijing
19:05 – 19:20 Circular Economy and Impact Hub Activities
Carol Chou, Partner, Sustainable Consumption, Impact Hub Shanghai
Jaira Guevara, Programme Lead Circular Economy Incubator, Impact Hub Geneva
Bruno Taleb, Community Catalyst, Impact Hub Lausanne
19:20 – 19:50 Presentations by Startups
Aileen Wei, Founder, Safone and Zero Waste Beauty
Nicolas Weber, Co-Founder & CEO, Voltiris
19:50 – 20:10 Discussion and Q&A
20:10 – 21:00 Networking Reception
Carol ChouPartner, Sustainable Consumption, Impact Hub Shanghai
With over a decade of international cross-industry sales and marketing experiences, Carol is currently in charge of corporate innovation and incubation programs in the sustainable consumption field. Graduated from Marshall School of Business at USC with a master's degree, she is devoted to empowering entrepreneurs in steady growth and industry partner in sustainability innovation, driving sustainable development through the means of business for good.
Jaira GuevaraProgramme Lead Circular Economy Incubator, Impact Hub Geneva
After completing her Master's degree in International Hospitality Management at the Glion Hotel School in Montreux, she worked in various hotels and palaces in Geneva. She gained extensive experience in hotel management in operational strategy and quality management and service innovation ("wow culture"). She then worked in various fields, including customer relations, events, sales and marketing. When she joins Impact Hub in 2021, she can put into practice her passion to support and connect entrepreneurs and stakeholders with social and environmental initiatives to facilitate the transition to the circular economy.
Bruno TalebCommunity Catalyst, Impact Hub Lausanne
With a background in Hospitality Management and a Masters of Science in Business Administration & Entrepreneurship, Bruno comes from a background of entrepreneurs. He has worked for several years in the hospitality industry and the bio-cosmetics industry. He then realized his calling - harnessing the power of for-profits to respond to our most pressing needs. Now, he is in the Innovation and Education sector and has a keen interest in social businesses, and is a passionate advocate of free universal healthcare. Today, he is the founder of Medical Nomad Association to pursue his vision.
Aileen WeiFounder, Safone and Zero Waste Beauty
As an expert in the beauty and cosmetics industry, and social innovator focusing on sustainability and responsible consumption and production (UNSDGs), Aileen founded the company Zero Waste Beauty and the brand SAFONE which is an industry changer to reduce the consumption of water and plastic from both manufacturer and consumer dimension in personal care market sector. Aileen is 2020 Sephora Accelerate Cohort for her business innovation advocating the value of love, sustainability, and social responsibility.
Aileen holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Commerce and completed her MBA at the University of Manchester. She is also a Licensed Psychological Consultant.
Nicolas WeberCo-Founder & CEO, Voltiris
Nicolas is deeply motivated by creating sustainable agriculture, which led him to co-found Voltiris. At Voltiris, they enable the energetic transition of greenhouses with color-optimized solar modules that allow to combine of crop and energy production without compromise. He previously worked in strategy consulting (~6 years at Boston Consulting Group) and in venture building (~1 year with BCG Digital Ventures, supporting endeavor entrepreneurs in Colombia). Prior to that, he completed his bachelor’s degree at HEC Lausanne and in Hong Kong, and his master’s at the London School of Economics. Nicolas has a multi-cultural background, with experience working in many countries (10+ countries, on 4 continents) and is fluent in 4 languages (English, French, Spanish, Portuguese).
The goal of SAFONE is to develop a zero-waste, vegan personal care line suitable for every skin and hair type. At SAFONE, from developing effective and natural formulations to using biodegradable packaging, every product they create is carefully formulated to align with their core value, sustainability. During production, the products are made with their innovative compress molding technology and without a single drop of water. SAFONE believes that sustainability is a new fashion and beauty products should not spoil the earth’s resources. Their promise is that every decision they make will positively impact the environment.
Voltiris is a Lausanne-based startup that enables the energy transition of greenhouses by developing and marketing color-optimized solar modules compatible with agriculture, specifically with glass greenhouses. It allows greenhouse owners to transform their greenhouses into renewable power plants to efficiently control their energy costs and improve the viability and sustainability of their operations.
The innovative Voltiris modules allow a double use of agricultural land by producing electricity without reducing the yield of crops placed underneath. Indeed, Voltiris modules filter the light field to transmit the light waves necessary for crop growth. The rest of light is used to generate electricity. With the renewable energy produced, greenhouse owners require less external gas and electricity. They can also significantly reduce their carbon footprint and operational costs.
Voltiris has been incorporated as a Swiss legal entity in Lausanne (VD), Switzerland, in February 2022.
In collaboration with Impact Hub.
Impact Hub is a catalyst for social innovation. It is a community of creators who aspire to build a better world based on collaboration because the world’s biggest challenges will never be solved by one person or one organization. A global community, consultancy and creative space, Impact Hub works at the intersection of innovation and society to collaboratively create impact with an entrepreneurial spirit.
Café des Sciences event series
is supported by Presence Switzerland.
Café des Sciences
Café des Sciences is an event series at Swissnex in China initiated in 2019, offering a platform for Swiss spotlight scientists, start-ups, artists and designers to present their projects and connect with the local community. The lectures offer a casual setting in which speakers can present their work and engage with the attendees during a Q&A period. Audiences are welcomed to enjoy the networking reception with Swiss flavor after the talk. Starting in 2021, the lectures are scheduled to take place on the third Thursday of every other month at Swissnex in China or our partner spaces.