On Monday September the 9th, we welcomed three pioneers of the Climate KIC’s programme “Pioneers Into Practice” – from India, Italy, Croatia and Latvia.
What is Pioneers Into Practice?
The programme involves professionals and hosting organisations with the aim to collaborate for creating innovation and promoting new projects to fight climate change. Every year a group of selected experts participate in the programme where a mix of theory and practice are the learning basis. After a training on system thinking and innovation business models, the experts have the occasion to do their 4-6 weeks of placement abroad.
The goal is to exchange ideas and knowledge for building more sustainable societies and making the green transition happen. Circular Berlin is involved with the Climate KIC in hosting pioneers from all over the world who are deeply interested in learning more about the circular economy and our work here.
Welcome to Berlin!
The day started with the morning greetings morning’s meeting, we had a fruitful exchange on the circular economy and we got to know each other better. One of the main questions we discussed what brings these group of talented people to Berlin to support Circular Berlin on its mission to make this happen?
We asked Annalisa – from Italy – and here’s what she replied: “When you look at the macro level you feel small. Climate change and related issues seems so huge that you can not do anything about them!. You can just look at them and let them happen. Nonetheless, at a second glance, the macro level is just made by small levels – small pieces that work for it or against it. Here it’s where our efforts should be. As citizens, people, workers, we can do something about it! Berlin is one piece of the big picture and supporting Circular Berlin is supporting a new vision. It doesn’t matter where you start to act for the transition to happen, what it is very important is that you act! To be here means to understand what we can do and how, and possibly to scale it up in other cities and countries. My personal involvement with Circular Berlin is to deeply understand how to connect organisations and actors around the same goal and Circular Berlin can be a good starting point for doing so”.
After Annalisa, we met Anđela, civil engineer from Croatia. As a Pioneer, she is part of the project Circular Construction. Anđela believes this is an exciting time to be working in Circular Berlin, because the economy is transitioning to a circular model that extends resources, reduces waste and requires a great deal of creative thinking. In our modern world, engineers are tasked with finding and designing solutions to the key challenges that population growth poses. Building vital infrastructure, which does not harm the planet, for a growing global population is one of the most important challenges today. A circular economy approach for a city is interesting at the city-level for a number of reasons. For instance, technical and biological nutrients become aggregated within city boundaries and can be found in quantities worth harnessing through urban mining. Also, stakeholders are geographically close and this in itself can aid collaboration to close resource loops.
At the same time, Vidhi – from India – said that a classic movement from linear to circular economy has grasped a lot of upcoming small start-ups throughout the globe. The budding efforts for achieving cradle-to-cradle sustainable use of a product is not only well accepted in scientific but also in a very fashionable way.
To her, one of these efforts rethought on a city scale is Circular Berlin. “When I first went through the website, I was stuck with such a beautiful idea of accepting a circular economy concept on such a large scale. I believe joining Circular Berlin as a stepping stone in my journey for achieving a sustainable lifestyle. It has just been a couple of days as a Pioneer here, and I already know few organisations in Berlin working hard towards re-suing a t-shirt, remanufacturing with an old wood log, and also living healthy on ancient fermenting food packed in Stainless tiffin boxes which is not only healthy but saves us from a lot of plastic coming on this planet. If this is not the best I am doing from my side then what it can be?”
At Circular Berlin, we believe that collaboration is a key point for improving and learning, and we welcome people to act with us in this direction. We are sure that all together we will go further!
Text is prepared by Annalisa Moro.