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Ivey faculty to lead new leadership program on the circular economy

Nov 9, 2022

Circular economy

The circular economy is the future. Around the world, businesses are implementing circular practises in their day-to-day operations, logistics, and strategy. The new Circular Leadership Program, starting in January 2023, will bring together systems thinking and practical business modelling to help businesses of all sectors and sizes within Southern Ontario and Quebec to become more circular.

Led by Ivey faculty, the program is a collaboration between Circular Opportunity Innovation Launchpad (COIL), Ivey’s Centre for Building Sustainable Value (BSV) and Innovation North. It is designed to help organizations explore and develop new circular products, services, and processes.

Bringing circular solution ideas to life

One of the program’s distinctive offerings is the opportunity for participants and their organizations to pitch their circular solution ideas to a panel of impact investors, financial institutions, and industry associations. COIL has allocated budget to support the development of the top four circular solution ideas from the program that can benefit their business’ needs and society’s simultaneously.

Jury Gualandris, Associate Professor and Director of Ivey’s BSV Centre, said the Circular Leadership Program aims to advance business sustainability and drive real change toward a fairer and ecologically sound future.

“The program will not only contribute to knowledge-creation and application around the circular economy, but also elevate individual and organizational development for those participating,” he said. “We want to make this program accessible to all businesses to continue to advance the circular economy in Canada.”

What you will learn

Featuring four hands-on workshops, the program will guide participants through the following:

  • Understanding what systems thinking is and why it is important;
  • Discovering how systems thinking facilitates circular innovation processes;
  • Engaging in diverse learning experiences such as simulations, group discussions, and applied research assignments;
  • Learning from success stories and business case studies;
  • Exploring innovative revenue-generating and cost-saving opportunities for their business;
  • Networking and collaborating with value-aligned individuals and organizations; and,
  • Developing a circular solution tailored to their business’s needs.

Participants will receive an Ivey Circular Leadership Program Certificate upon completion.

Upcycling for the future

The program is an extension of Ivey’s landmark study, Scaling the Climate-Smart Circular Economy, which analyzed the ecological value of upcycling organic materials that would otherwise go wasted in the agri-food sector. Led by Gualandris, the study revealed that upcycling, when done at the right geographical scale and with the right technologies, can save up to 25 per cent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions relative to the substituted virgin, raw materials. Gualandris will guide participants to apply upcycling strategies, in hope of supporting development of local circular economy clusters.

Learn more about the Circular Leadership Program

An information session will be held on November 23 at 12 p.m. (EST) so those interested in the Circular Leadership Program can meet the instructors and learn more about what the program entails. Register to attend.

Applications to the program are due by November 30 at 5 p.m. (EST).

Please note that while businesses of all sizes and sectors are welcome to apply to the program, it is specifically designed to help organizations explore and develop new circular products, services, or processes.