Another year has passed, and Circular Berlin now celebrates 3 years of active involvement in circular economy development in Berlin.
It was an exciting and productive year for us and our community. Let us look together at what the main highlights and learnings of 2021 were for Circular Berlin.
Building a stronger community
Collaboration is key for circular economy implementation. Within our community we actively foster synergies, matching members for specific co-operations, as well as on the level of knowledge transfer. A big highlight for us in 2021, was greeting our first organisational members. We are very excited to welcome our friends, partners and supporters: Labels, Commown, Eolos, NochMall, Korg Berlin, Freiraum in der Box, and New Standard Studio who have jointly decided to make a step towards circularity in Berlin.
All together our community grew to 70 members – circular advocates for Berlin, who are committed to bringing further change. You can see who the faces of our community are, by looking at our Members’ gallery. We always want to hear stories from our community and understand what their needs are better for ongoing progression. We want to learn how our community profits from Circular Berlin; which job opportunities we helped facilitate; or what learnings, insights and exchanges evolved through the Internal Learning Sessions and Meet the Leads format that we run. We are always happy to receive your feedback.
Our Berlin ecosystem of Circular Economy businesses, organisations, and projects, keeps on growing; we now have around 220 projects listed. On top of this, we added a fresh new look to it that shows the diversity of circular areas and their multiple intersections in the Berlin circular ecosystem. We are so excited to see how many inspiring projects there are around Berlin that we can learn from.
But, it is only the beginning. Right now we are in preparation for the Circular City Challenge; a format which builds bridges between circular innovations and local municipalities. This type of community exchange is essential in Berlin, and we are very excited to co-create it with very diverse partners in Berlin, and beyond. The project will be in full motion soon, so make sure not to miss it in 2022.
More circularity in Berlin through active engagement
2021 saw the launch of the A-Gain Guide project with the support of the Berlin Senat UVK and Berlin Senat WEB. Have you checked it out already? The A-Gain Guide is a unique platform including a set of digital tools to enable every Berliner to access relevant information about what to do with their clothes. Our Textile Lead – Arianna Nicoletti – also facilitated a very fruitful exchange between Berlin and Tel Aviv business partners, in the project German-Israeli Circular Textiles City Leaders exchange 2021. Through the project, in collaboration with Re-Fresh Global last November, we hosted a group of Israeli entrepreneurs and companies in Berlin and showed them the unique diversity of Circular Economy projects in our city.
In the construction sector, we actively worked on the Circular Materials System – a platform that shares with construction practitioners deep insights on the cases, material specifics and relevant practices, to realise circularity in buildings. The project is still in an early stage, but you can learn about how it started here. We’ve also been working with Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft (HTW) on another project, which has focused on the construction of the new space our of reclaimed materials. It’s still in the early stages of implementation, but stay tuned as more details on the project are coming in 2022.
In the food sector, we finally launched the project Circularity through Zero Waste Approaches in Hotel Gastronomy. The core of the project is about Hotel kitchens and how the circular economy can lead to new values of resources. Lastly, and with much joy, we will continue cooperation with the Berlin District Friedrichshain – Kreuzberg in 2021. Together, alongside our project partner ‘New Standard Studio’, we will push multiple use topics within the gastronomy sector.
And last but not least, together with Sebastian Daus, our new Lead in the electronic sector, we made the first steps towards understanding the challenges and potentials of this sector in Berlin. It is only the very beginning of the process, but we truly believe electronics are an essential area that we should also be actively involved in.
Another year working for Haus der Materialisierung is over. In 2021 we supported Material Mafia with two Workshops focusing on two very specific materials that must return into the circular chain of the industry.
Together with the Institut für Zukunftsstudien und Technologiebewertung (IZT), as part of the CIBER project, we pushed the topic of the Circular City in Berlin, by working jointly with them on the creation of the circular city roadmap for the textile industry.
Circular knowledge to bring society forward
We believe that circular economy principles are not only about the economy, but that system change, in which education plays a key role, is what is truly needed. Our education team also had a lot of work to do this year. Through fruitful collaboration with Impact Hub Berlin, we supported 10 startups on their journey to circularity through Master Classes around circular economy vision, business models, and impact. All in all, we trained more than 100 students this year with our Circular Economy principles! We hope to reach even more practitioners next year on a similar journey.
Finally, a very special THANKS goes to our whole community of active volunteers, those have been around with us this year:
Sarah Böhm, Leon Bucher, Maria Chizhova, Sebastian Daus, Benjamin Duwald, Cherelle Escaffre, Laura Grotenrath, Jessamy Hardie, Georg Hubmann, Tobias Jänecke, Meg Koch, Eike Lucas, Arin Moyer, Arianna Nicoletti, Dina Padalkina, Sofia Elisabeth Ratzinger, Yanet Rempening, Julius Schaeufele, Ronja Scholz, Josefine Shone, Martin Stavenhagen, and Patrick Teuffel.
If you want to give us a little Christmas present, then we will be very thankful for your response to our survey and your support of our voluntary work.
Circular Berlin wishes you a safe and happy Christmas time and a positive circular start to 2022.