Getting (really!!!) serious on circular economy
A network that started with one member (can that be called a “network”?) is now gathering over 2,600 circular economy professionals from over 60 countries spreading knowledge, mentorship, activities and support all over the world. The Circular Economy Club (CEC) is a non-profit international network that was born due to the lack of visibility and connections that often keep circular economy local initiatives from having a higher impact.
Connecting people with the same interests allows individuals to exchange knowledge, create collaborations, and have a stronger impact than they would have separately. CEC is the only organization bringing together all actors in the circular economy space, making them visible and connected, for free.
Within 2 years, CEC has become the fastest-growing international, open, collaborative non-profit network in the circular economy field and has had a tremendous impact in connecting individuals and organizations, including 23 dedicated volunteer team members, 37 CEC Mentors providing free mentorship to start-ups and students to embed sustainability in different sectors, such as fashion, or city development, 45 CEC Organizers from all continents running local workshops and receiving recognition for being the field connector in their regions, 67 CEC Mapping Week Organisers running a workshop to identify circular initiatives in their cities to then upload all the information to a common open-source directory which enables anyone to find those initiatives and contact them, 2,600 CEC Members sharing best practices around sustainability and finding new partners; and 35,000 followers across all channels gaining access to tools on how to implement the circular economy and joining local CEC workshops to connect with other like-minded professionals.
Each of these actions has a vast impact on the individuals taking part. For instance, the Port Harcourt (Nigeria) CEC Organiser said that thanks to CEC, he is now well connected and empowered to bring together the community in Nigeria and help drive his country towards a circular economy.
Decentralizing CEC through the network of volunteer organizers has been key to its worldwide impact. In this light, the key 2018 goals are to get onboard 200 volunteer organizers worldwide who bring together the circular economy community in their cities, and also the launching of the ‘Shaping the Future’ project through which 300 CEC Members transfer their knowledge to 9,000 university students, aiming to nurture sustainability leadership among the younger generations.