The panel on Saturday discussed how Circular Economy and digital technologies can be synergistic to maximize human wellbeing. But what is Circular Economy in detail? The talkmaster Tilmann Vahle from SystemiQ helped out on this question. Circular Economy is the set of new principles for a different kind of economy, which is making maximum use of resources. Tilmann Vahle even described it as a new business paradigm, that is able to foster the challenges of today‘s world. Tilmann Vahle was joined by Christoph Teusch from AfB, a non profit from Berlin that creates added value through the remarketing und refurbishing of IT goods, Alyssa Jade McDonald-Bärtl from Unternehmensgrün, Fabio Hüther from Umuntu, and last but not least Talke Schaffrannek, Director for applied Sustainability at BASF.
In the beginning Christoph Teusch made very clear, when society talks about maximum use of resources, it should not be just about things but also people. For him at AfB a big problem in today‘s world is not alone the concept of linear production but also the missing inclusion in society. Integrating people with disabilities is a main goal for Teusch. Following the question whether digitalization is sustainable, Fabio Hüther pointed out the overall lack of awareness for sustainability. Especially in areas of the world, where day to day surviving is the main priority, people often times can not imagine their future and therefore are not able to act responsible for their environment. Hüther stressed out, that it is not just about digitalisation but for sure about a change of culture and mindset.
By having Talke Schaffrannek as one of the speakers, the audience was able to follow to a highly valuable corporate perspective. Schaffrannek shared an interesting take on how to tackle linear production. For the goal of cost efficiency BASF is thinking more and more about how to step away from linear production in order to „close the loops“, like Schaffrannek explained it. Therefore BASF recently started a project in Nigeria, where they are able to recycle collected plastic waste into oil for farmers.