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POCACITO in Baltimore - From circular economy to circular society

A community dialogue on creating a circular economy addressing the social, economic, and environmental issues on the path to zero waste

About this Event

Transitioning to a circular economy with zero waste and local flows creates opportunities to make our societies more inclusive, accessible, and sustainable by bringing together the principles of social engagement and economic opportunity. From rethinking our relationship to resources to developing new methods of collaboration and community-building, circular economy can serve as a catalyst for regenerative social, economic, and environmental change.

But what is circular economy? Will it disrupt the foundations of our economy? Or can it revolutionize the way society works from within?

Join the POCACITO project, Baltimore-Rotterdam Sister City Committee, Netherlands America Chamber of Commerce Washington Metro, the Embassies of Sweden and the Netherlands, NAACP Baltimore, and more, as we share innovative ways to make the circular economy work for everyone.

Guest speakers from Europe and the Baltimore area kick off the community dialogue at 6:30pm. Doors open for food, drink, and casual conversation at 6pm.

The event is part of Ecologic Institute’s POCACITO project.

6:00 Doors open and buffet-style dinner

6:30 Welcome remarks and program begin

6:40 Re|Building Communities: Speakers from the Netherlands and the Baltimore area talk about the roles of community engagement and social entrepreneurship in building circular economy.

Featuring Martine Postma and Daan Weddepohl

7:10 Rounding the Pillars -- From circular economy to circular society: Speakers from Sweden and the Baltimore area discuss how to integrate circular economy principles into our daily lives, from personal behavior to large-scale industrial systems

Featuring Matilda Jarbin and Åsa Stenmarck

7:40 Q&A follow-up to the presentations and discussions

8:00 Making it Real: Open mic community dialogue focused on applying the ideas of circular economy to the realities of Baltimore

9:00 Closing words, next steps, and last call for food, casual conversation

10:00 Doors close -- to be continued

Matilda Jarbin is the sustainability manager at Godsinlösen Nordic AB (GIAB), whose business model is based on circular economy. GIAB is one of Sweden's foremost examples of how the theory of the circular economy can be put into practice. With the knowledge and experience that Matilda has accumulated during the years she has been with and built up the company, she hopes to contribute with expertise to Cradlenet. She will work for the members of Cradlenet to start collaborating more and to make the organization's activities more visible. In 2017, she was named one of Sweden's top 33 sustainability talents.

Swedish Environmental Research Institute IVL waste expert Åsa Stenmarck has been appointed special investigator tasked with reviewing the possibilities of reducing negative environmental effects of plastic in Sweden.

Åsa has worked with waste and resource related projects for 18 years. She has over the years worked broadly with waste management issues, often on a systems level but with particular focus on circular economy and recycling. She has worked with waste flows from WEEE, food, plastics and textiles. 2018 she led the Swedish Governmental investigation on plastics – answering the question on “How to reach sustainable plastic use”. The later years her focus has also shifted from only waste to more resource flows and sustainable consumption.

Daan Weddepohl is a serial entrepreneur. He is the CEO and founder of a website and app called Peerby, which has active members all around the world. Through Peerby, you can borrow, share, and rent out household items in your neighbourhood. Peerby members create social capital, vastly reduce environmental impact, and invest in their local community.

Martine Postma is a Dutch environmentalist and former journalist. She is best known for introducing the concept of the Repair Café.

Martine was born in the Netherlands in 1970. She was a journalist until 2009. She wrote about sustainability and environmental issues, with a special focus on waste reduction and prevention. In 2009, she thought up the concept of Repair Café: free repair meetings where expert volunteers help less handy neighbours to fix beloved broken items. Martine organised the first Repair Café in October 2009. It became a big success. Afterwards, people across the Netherlands wanted to organise similar repair meetings in their community too. Martine then started the Repair Café International Foundation and has been busy spreading the Repair Café concept worldwide since. At this moment there are almost 2,000 local Repair Café groups in 35 countries across the globe. The number of Repair Cafés still grows every day.

Martine is an advocate for more repairable products and better care for products by their owners. She wants to help preserve repair skills in every-day society, for she believes that repairing is not only good for products and for the environment, it is also good for people. “When you succeed in repairing a broken item yourself, you feel strong and proud, and you realize that repairing is a normal thing to do. It is this mindset that we need for a sustainable future.”


POCACITO (Post-Carbon-Cities of Tomorrow) is an initiative of Ecologic Institute, non-profit center for transatlantic sustainability and environmental progress based in Washington, DC, funded in large part by the Delegation of the European Union to the United States’ Getting to Know Europe program that invites innovators and experts from European cities to engage in interactive workshops and discussions with select US cities to promote local action in the areas of urban sustainability and the circular economy, underscoring the potential of transatlantic and international collaboration and highlighting the global impacts of local action.

For more information, contact Brendan O’Donnell at