Glasgow calls upon the world to help tackle a local challenge with circular economy solutions
Circle Lab, a new crowdsourcing platform that challenges a global audience to create circular solutions will open for entries on Monday (19 March).
Circular Glasgow, an initiative of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, is hosting the first challenge on the platform, aimed at boosting circular business solutions around major events and conferences - placing the city on the map as the first in the world to launch a challenge on Circle Lab.
Partnered by Zero Waste Scotland, Scottish Event Campus and the Glasgow Convention Bureau and Major Events team at Glasgow Life, the challenge will ask citizens and companies from cities across the world how local businesses can improve the economic, environmental and social legacy of major city events and conferences.
Circle Lab, developed by Circle Economy and supported by eBay Foundation, is a digital platform that harnesses the power of the crowd to solve universal challenges with circular solutions.
Using the circular economy as a framework, Circular Glasgow aims to engage local SMEs involved in the production of major city events and conferences, empowering them to improve the legacy these events leave behind.
In Glasgow alone, more than three million attendances were recorded at high-profile events in 2017, from festivals and concerts to football games and conferences.
While these events have an economic and social advantage to local communities, they also increase the level of waste and disrepair within the area. For example, construction and decoration materials, as well as single-use, disposable food containers end up in landfills post events, or worse remain scattered throughout the venue. This presents a significant opportunity for local businesses to rethink their current business models, creating a more positive and sustainable impact.
Circular Glasgow is dedicated to implementing winning solutions locally and translating them to an international context for other cities to replicate and learn from.
To support participants in generating ideas, Circle Lab provides access to an online Knowledge Hub with over 750 case studies, reports and articles on the circular economy.
This digital platform creates a space for a global community of circular economy experts, innovative entrepreneurs, forward-thinking businesses, citizens, cities and governments to ideate, incubate and scale circular solutions collectively.
Councillor David McDonald, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, said “Glasgow is recognised as having the UK’s Best Convention Bureau; is a global top five city for sporting events and, in the SSE Hydro, has the third busiest entertainment arena in the world. As such, the Circle Lab Challenge provides a fantastic opportunity to generate innovative ideas which will help Glasgow achieve its ambitions of becoming one of Europe’s most sustainable cities by 2020. Improving the economic, environmental and social legacy of major city events and conferences is one way in which we can ensure Glasgow maintains and enhances its reputation as a world-class city in which to live, work, study, invest, meet and visit.”
Alison McRae, Senior Director at Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: “There is great potential for the circular economy to create a future-proof and resilient Glasgow through innovative ideas that will provide economic and social benefits to our city.”
“Glasgow regularly hosts major events such as the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Celtic Connections to this year’s European Championships, and has recently achieved a hat-trick of events industry award successes, reinforcing the city's reputation. Whilst these events undoubtedly already benefit the city, there is still a significant financial opportunity for businesses to embrace and to prolong the impact made by these events. We look forward to seeing ideas from across Glasgow and the world coming together on Circle Lab to generate new methods that will change the way we host events and the way we collaborate.”
Harald Friedl, Circle Economy, CEO, said: “Over the last two years while developing Circle Lab, we realised there is a need for a platform that not only captures ideas and encourages collaboration, but also ensures that those ideas are actually implemented. Circle Lab is an ideation platform that leverages and combines the power of crowdsourcing with circular economy expertise, in an open access environment, to create circular solutions. If you are a problem solver, circular enthusiast, policy maker or finance specialist - Circle Lab is the place to make a real impact."
Circular Glasgow complements Zero Waste Scotland’s and the Scottish Government's nationwide support for SMEs to develop circular economy business ideas, including its £18 million Circular Economy Investment Fund and Circular Economy Business Support Service. Both are supported by the European Regional Development Fund through the £73 million Resource Efficiency Circular Economy Accelerator Programme.
Today, Circular Glasgow calls upon the world to engage and participate in creating a visionary future for the city and echoes Circle Lab’s mission to break down information silos and fuel cross-industry collaboration and innovation.
For more information and to participate in the challenge go to http://www.circle-lab.com/
Circle Lab has been made possible in part by a grant from the eBay Foundation Corporate Advised Fund, a corporate advised fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation.