A Circular Economy Within Reach

Dr. Cady Coleman

Opening Keynote by Dr. Cady Coleman, Scientist and Retired NASA astronaut

Having flown twice on the Space Shuttle and almost six months on the International Space Station, Dr. Cady Coleman has seen planet Earth from a unique perspective. Inspired by her experience, Cady is now turning her attention to global challenges. Drawing on her work with LAUNCH.ORG and LAUNCH NORDIC, Cady will share her insights and vision for a future where people from all over the world work together to accelerate the transition to a circular economy.

On November 1, 2017 we will welcome the perspectives of innovative thinkers at the edges of possibility, the hard headed realists turning ideas into solutions, and the policy makers who provide the framework for action. Is the circular economy truly within reach? At Metro Vancouver's 2017 Zero Waste Conference you'll find out why the answer is a resounding Yes.

Eliminating waste and creating value are essential pillars in a new way of doing business and developing policy - a new norm of addressing waste in every facet of our lives. And no approach offers greater promise for realizing those goals than the principles of the Circular Economy. Forward-looking businesses, governments, and consumers are changing their behaviours – viewing every decision through the lens of zero waste and circular economy ambitions. Throughout the economy, examples abound – and we are privileged to witness a massive shift in thought and action.

For the past seven years, Metro Vancouver's Zero Waste Conference has been at the forefront of this journey in Canada – pushing boundaries, advancing dialogue and inspiring action.

The 2017 edition will showcase on a global and local scale how we can:

  • reimagine linear systems of production and consumption with waste prevention and the circular economy in mind
  • advance organizational change and collaborate across sectors to develop new solutions and approaches
  • embrace new ways of thinking, innovation, and disruption to address barriers and intractable problems
  • benefit from this emerging opportunity – whether you are a business, government, or community leader



Lightweight and durable, plastics play an important role in our economy but they also pose a significant threat to our environment in the form of microplastics in the ocean. In response, global solutions are emerging that will keep plastics as a valuable material in our economy and out of our oceans.

Food Waste

How do we in Canada rise to the challenge? A transformational shift in everything from technology to governance, using levers in policy and capital investment, is the only way to successfully reduce food waste. What’s the right balance between policy change and investment?


Global and local action to address textile waste is on the rise. From design, through use, to post-use, where are the greatest opportunities for change and what role can collaboration play? What innovations and new solutions are being embraced in the shift towards a circular economy?

Circular Cities

Cities and metropolitan regions are the epicenters of growth and innovation, offering an ideal testing ground for the application of circular economy principles and approaches. How can a circular lens help address urban challenges? Who are the pioneers and what are some early lessons learned?

Business Innovation

According to Accenture, transitioning to a circular economy is the biggest economic opportunity of our time – worth upwards of $4.5 trillion by 2030. How do we accelerate circular business innovation in Canada and what are the potential benefits?