Circular Economy in Asia, Africa and Europe: sharing knowledge that makes value chains circular

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Circular Economy in Asia, Africa and Europe: sharing knowledge that makes value chains circular
Type: Webinar
Location: Online
Organizer: SWITCH-Asia
World Resources Forum 2023

When: 7 September 2023     I     Time:  10:00-11:00 AM (Geneva) / 15:00 - 16:00 (Bangkok)    I   Webinar Recording: https://youtu.be/E-f6h4gFT7o



The World Resources Forum ’23 will take place in a hybrid format in Geneva and online on September 4-6 2023. During the three conference days, stakeholders will dive into some of the key topics around sustainable resource use, across the three conference tracks of sufficiency, value chains and digitalisation. This edition, organised back-to-back with the UNEP Global Intergovernmental Meeting on Minerals and Metals, will welcome international stakeholders from policy, industry, science and civil society.

Since 2007, the European Union funded SWITCH-Asia Programme supports the transition of countries in target regions to a low carbon, resource efficient and circular economy through SCP policies and implementation. The Programme has been cooperating with countries in Asia-Pacific on the development and implementation of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) policies and activities. The programme also recognises the contribution of regional stakeholder platforms and networks that support SCP implementation, involving SMEs andbusiness intermediaries to facilitate adoption of cleaner technologies and more sustainable industrial practices, as well as helping consumers to act more responsibly in their daily choices and lifestyles.

Side Event


The proposed session at the World Resource Forum will leverage expertise and experiences from Circular Economy Stakeholder Platforms existing in ASEAN, Africa and Europe.

In June 2023, the EU and the ASEAN Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue (ACSDSD), launched the ASEAN Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform. SWITCH-Asia and ACSDSD are working together to ensure this Platform promotes knowledge-sharing and dialogue among policymakers, the business community, and civil society in ASEAN on opportunities and obstacles to a shift to more circular practices, including how new or revised government policies could accelerate such transformation.

Moreover, SWITCH-Asia has partnered with the ASEAN CSR Network with a view to seed a voluntary ASEAN Circular Economy Pact (ACEP) with leading businesses operating in one or several ASEAN member states. ACEP signatories would commit to drive circular economy initiatives in their products and services, technologies and business models and supply chains and voluntarily report periodically on progress against a simplified set of headline CE and/or Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) indicators. 

The European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform is the main knowledge hub for circular economy in Europe, gathering a number of networks and groups from all sectors and stakeholders. Its outreach to the business community is growing stronger through partnership with business networks in Europe.

The African Circular Economy Network (ACEN) Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 2021 with the aim of accelerating the just transition to an inclusive, circular, and sustainable economy in Africa by facilitating the development of enabling policy environment and supporting circular economy practitioners within our network on the ground.

Objectives of the event:


  • Discuss the benefits of Circular Economy Knowledge Platforms and Networks and their transformative value in the transition towards a Circular Economy
  • How can knowledge be translated meaningfully into the business world?
  • How can such platforms become a resource for business stakeholders and vice versa, how can business stakeholders strengthen such platforms?
  • How can the ASEAN and the European platforms increase knowledge about circularity along value chains?
  • Discuss how these platforms could effectively support SCP practices and green business cases towards circularity that could feed into policy dialogues with national governments and regional organisations.




Mr Thomas Thomas, Chief Executive Officer, ASEAN CSR Network

Thomas played an integral role in the set-up of ASEAN Corporate Social Responsibility Network (ACN) in 2010 and as CEO, continues to provide oversight and strategic direction for the organisation. ACN was established to promote and enable responsible business conduct in ASEAN Member States. ACN is the responsible and inclusive business champion with the ASEAN Business Advisory Council. They developed a Code for Responsible and Inclusive Business and built up the ASEAN Responsible and Inclusive Business Alliance (ARAIBA) to be the region’s network of businesses supporting responsible business conduct. Thomas is driving this initiative.
He was the founding Executive Director of the Singapore Compact for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), now operating as the Global Compact Network Singapore. He was also involved in developing as an Expert and the Chair’s Advisory Group (CAG) for the ISO26000 international guidance standard on social responsibility. Thomas had been active with trade unions, co-operatives, the consumer movement and social enterprises and also served as a Nominated Member of Parliament in Singapore. He is also a Senior Expert of the EU SWITCH-Asia Programme – Policy Support Component (PSC) for the Technical Advisory Project on ASEAN Circular Economy Pact – Mobilizing Business Action for Circular Economy.


Ms Maria Nikolopoulou, European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ECESP)

Maria Nikolopoulou is an European Economic and Social Committee member representing the Spanish Trade Union Comisiones Obreras since 2017. She is currently the NAT section's Vice President. The section deals with Agriculture, Rural Development and Environmental topics. She is also a Member of the Steering Group of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ECESP).


Ms Oluwasemilore Adeoti, aka ‘Semilore, African Circular Economy Network (ACEN) Foundation

Oluwasemilore is a Nigeria-based circular economy consultant with over four years experience and core competence in research, analytics , project management, communications, and network development. In the last two years, Oluwasemilore has supported the just and inclusive transition to a circular economy in Africa through the building of circular economy activities and network within the region. Her focus has been in eleven Anglophone African countries where she has contributed to the development of circular economy long-term strategic documents including roadmaps and action plans; supported studies which extensively review activities within these countries to produce relevant reports for use by high-level government officials, international agencies amongst others; and facilitated knowledge sharing and capacity development of experts in the region. Her topical expertise is within the circular economy, green economy, climate change, environment, and sustainability topics. Oluwasemilore has a background in Biochemistry and currently works at ACEN Foundation as Regional Coordinator. Additionally, she volunteers with the Nigeria Chapter of the African Circular Economy Network where she supports development of circular projects on the ground.