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A Future Without Waste: Regenerative and Waste-Free by Design

Vancouver, September 28 & 29, 2022
Presented by Metro Vancouver and the National Zero Waste Council

Conference Co-hosts:

Final Program


7:30 am PDT Breakfast and Networking
8:30 am PDT Conference Kickoff Video
8:35 am PDT Welcoming Remarks
  • Sav Dhaliwal, Chair, Metro Vancouver Board
  • The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada - video welcome
  • Honourable ​Ravi Kahlon,  Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, Province of British Columbia
8:40 am PDT Introducing your Co-hosts
Opening Keynote
8:45 am PDT The Future is What We Design It to Be

A designer, a futurist, and named a Future Innovator by the United Nations, Angela Oguntala’s hallmark is showing businesses how to engage in radical imagination, embrace positive change, and improve long-term impact. Her deep expertise in experimental processes to catalyze innovation has helped business clients ranging from IKEA and Hermes, to Microsoft and Philips. Her efforts to help others envision and transition towards desirable futures is not only timely, it is critical as we strive for circularity in Canada and around the world.

Moderator: Kathryn Gretsinger, Associate Professor, UBC School of Journalism, Writing and Media

Transforming Business Models
9:35 am PDT Innovation and Investment: Resolving the Crux of Circularity and Climate


Significant investment is being made in circular, waste prevention innovations – in Canada, and globally. Investment strategies recognize the unique needs of the circular economy innovators, and are stepping up with investment models and new collaborations intended to spur and support the development of market-ready solutions. What is the interplay between innovation and investment? How is this interplay unique in the circular economy and waste prevention context? What models and investment opportunities exist to support the shift to incorporating circularity and climate action? These are some of the questions our thought leaders will tackle as we look at transforming business models through innovation and investment.


  • Julie Greene, Senior Lead, Capacity and Partnerships, Privy Council Office, Canada
  • Jayson Myers, CEO Next Generation Manufacturing Canada
  • Alexandria Coari, VP of Capital, Innovation and Engagement, ReFED 
  • Benoit Forcier, Senior Partner, Circular Innovation Fund, Cycle Capital

Moderator: Alex Ryan, Senior Vice President, Partner Solutions, MaRS Discovery District

10:30 am PDT Food Resourcefulness: Reducing Food Waste When it Matters Most

How can we be more resourceful with our food – saving money and the planet? In recognition of International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste on September 29th, Richard Swannell and Kristen Denega share new research and insights on how cost-conscious consumers are adjusting household behaviours, and discuss how untapped cost savings lie in food waste.  


Moderator: Sophie Langlois-Blouin, Vice-President of Operations Performance​, RECYC-QUÉBEC

10:50 am PDT Break
11:15 am PDT Innovation Spotlight

Shining a spotlight on Canadian entrepreneurs and change-makers leading the way with new circular business models and ideas. Be inspired by their journeys and learn how we can move forward while leaving waste in the past.

Moderator:  Jessica Regan, CEO and Co-founder, FoodMesh 

11:35 am PDT Living Labs: Scaling Circular Innovation in Cities and Regions

Demonstrate then replicate. Bringing the circular economy to life requires experimentation. This is where living labs and circular pilots come in to play. What is the potential to build the circular economy from the ground up by using living labs as a mechanism to explore, test and refine real-life solutions to complex challenges?  This session will unpack the potential of living labs and circular pilots to bring the circular economy to life in cities and regions - building the circular economy from the ground up by scaling innovation through experimentation. 

Spark Talk:

  • David Messer, Executive Director, City of Guelph Smart Cities Office
  • Chantal Rossignol, Coordinator, Network of Living Labs on the Circular Economy and Hortense Montoux, Project Manager, Construction Living Lab, Centre d’études et de recherche intersectorielles en économie circulaire (CERIEC)
  • Sarah O'Carroll, Cities Lead, Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Moderator: Vanessa Timmer, Executive Director, OneEarth Living

12:30 pm PDT Lunch and Networking
Afternoon Keynote
1:30 pm PDT Using Nature’s Genius in Design

It could be argued that beauty and circularity, and the integration of the built and natural environments, together hold the keys for a waste-free, regenerative future. For designer Michael Pawlyn, innovation in biomimic architecture and regenerative design has allowed him to apply 'nature's genius' to aspects of the built environment that truly transform the places we live in and call home, where circularity can be found in everything from structures to streetscapes.

Moderator: Kathryn Gretsinger, Associate Professor, UBC School of Journalism, Writing and Media

2:15 pm PDT ReSOLVE-ing Design and the Built Environment

Imagining and building our urban environment is an immense project of design, engineering and construction. Advancing the circular economy in this context demands creativity, risk-taking, and determination to shift our cities and towns to becoming waste free and regenerative. For many, the application of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s ReSOLVE framework unlocks the doors to a circular future.

What promises does regenerative design hold for a circular economy? What materials, processes, buildings and communities can we re-design using a regenerative approach? What do these look like? What are the challenges in scaling uptake of these solutions, locally and globally? While they offer solutions for circularity, do they also offer solutions for climate change?


  • Oliver Lang, CEO and Co-founder, Intelligent City
  • Enlai Hooi, Head of Innovation, Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects 
  • Kuo Ying-Chao, Founder and Partner, Bio-architecture Formosana 
Moderator: George BensonManager, Economic Transformation, Vancouver Economic Commission

3:00 pm PDT Innovation Spotlight

Shining a spotlight on Canadian entrepreneurs and change-makers leading the way with new circular business models and ideas.

Moderator: Jessica Regan, CEO and Co-founder, FoodMesh

3:20 pm PDT Feature Presentation - The Future of Fashion? 


What does it take to advance circularity on a large scale? How can companies with complex global supply chains create meaningful change? Eric Liedtke spent years leading these efforts as an executive at one of the biggest apparel companies in the world. At Adidas, Eric pioneered bold changes to advance circular products and materials within the apparel and footwear industries. Eric will share his insight on the leadership required to advance circularity and how deep shifts can be mobilized. He’ll share some of the realities of the apparel industry and give us a picture of what the future of sustainable fashion looks like.

Moderator: Chúk Odenigbo, Founding Director, Future Ancestors Services Inc.

3:50 pm PDT Forging New Pathways


Canadian trailblazers share their journeys on the paths less travelled.  Hear first-hand what motivates and drives them and what pivotal moments and risk-taking shaped their success.  And from their perspective, what does the horizon look like for building towards a circular, regenerative future in Canada?


Moderator: Christina Seidel, Founder, sonnevera international corporation & Executive Director, Recycling Council of Alberta

4:40 pm PDT Performance

Prolific and poignant spoken word artist Shane Koyczan closes the first day of the conference with an iconic performance that will capture the conference themes. It is a performance that will spark new trajectories at the networking reception and into our second day together.

4:55 pm PDT Networking Reception


8:30 am PDT Breakfast and Networking
9:15 am PDT Opening Remarks
Opening Keynote
9:20 am PDT The World Calls for Regenerative Leadership

In an ever-changing world, how can leaders build stronger, more resilient and thriving organizations that are truly equipped to innovate and respond to the global challenges we face? These challenges range from supply chain disruptions, climate change, biodiversity loss, systemic racism, and disparities in wealth and resilience. Regeneration means restoration, renewal and replenishing in addition to conservation. This implies changes internal to how an organization functions as well as expansion of the business model to include the regeneration of nature and communities alongside of economic metrics.

An international thought leader and expert on sustainability leadership, Laura will share how regenerative leadership can transform organizations, contribute to building impact- and purpose-driven organizations and global action on important issues such as climate change.

Moderator: Mike Wilson, Executive Director, Smart Prosperity Institute

10:00 am PDT Developing a Culture for Change


Our everyday life is full of stimulants, decision points and loads of information - a complex environment for making the choices consistent with our values. Governments and non-profits have been active in developing campaigns that support behavior change and more recently some corporations have become more active in empowering consumers, residents and employees to become more active in shaping their communities and workplaces to facilitate change. How do we as individuals become agents for positive change? What are the practitioners in this space learning? And how is it being applied?


  • Angela Cooper, Senior Strategist and Practice Manager, BEworks
  • Sam Hubble, Special Advisor - Behaviour Change, WRAP 
  • Kate White, Professor, Marketing and Behavioural Science Division, Sauder School of Business, UBC

Moderator: Vanessa Timmer, Executive Director, OneEarth Living

Stories of Change
10:45 am PDT Feature Presentation - Beautiful Disruption


Jenn Harper has never followed the status quo. With only a dream for inspiration and no previous industry experience, she founded Cheekbone Beauty in 2016. Only a few years later her products are carried by the world’s largest cosmetics retailer, Sephora. Jenn is a true trailblazer with the creation of a socially and environmentally responsible brand while finding tremendous success. Jenn will share her journey while pulling out the key perspective shifts that made her brand what it is today. She is leading a new business model that is based on giving back, minimizing waste, and thriving in today's economy.

Moderator: Chúk Odenigbo, Founding Director, Future Ancestors Services Inc.

11:15 am PDTCommissioner and CAO of Metro Vancouver

The Zero Waste Conference and the National Zero Waste Council were the brainchildren of Metro Vancouver as it began its aspirational journey to zero waste. The starting point was a recognition that success was only achievable by engaging beyond their immediate borders and communities and bringing in other sectors. Over time the journey has become more encompassing recognizing the value of transitioning to a low carbon, circular economy and the power of regeneration. Jerry will share the power and inspiration of this incredible journey.

Jerry Dobrovolny in conversation with Kathryn Gretsinger and Chúk Odenigbo

11:30 am PDT Conversations in Circularity

For the past twelve years, the National Zero Waste Council, in collaboration with many others, has been leading Canada's transition to a circular economy by bringing together governments, businesses and NGOs to advance a waste prevention agenda. An agenda that maximizes economic and environmental opportunities and builds resilience for the benefit of all Canadians. Momentum is building, but are we moving far enough, fast enough? This interactive session will bring together a diverse range of perspectives, and engage conference participants, to explore Canada’s unique opportunity and pathway to circularity. Where have we made inroads? What inherent context and challenges need to be recognized? And what unique strengths and innovations can help define and shape Canada’s circular economy journey?


  • Irene Yang, Investment Principal, BASF Venture Capital
  • Mikhael Metauro, Senior Director, Sustainability and Operational Efficiency, CASCADES RECOVERY+
  • Leah Canning, Director, Circular Economy, Strategic Policy Branch, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Government of Canada
  • Mike Wilson, Executive Director, Smart Prosperity Institute

Moderator: Alex Ryan, Senior Vice President, Partner Solutions, MaRS Discovery District

Closing Keynote
12:15 pm PDT Waste: A Category not a Fact

We tend to think of "waste" as an inevitable byproduct of production and consumption. We even assume that it is dirty, unhygienic, and even pathogenic. But what if there was no such thing as waste? To close this year's Zero Waste Conference, Katie Treggiden will challenge the very concept of waste, arguing that it is nothing more than a construct – a category. She will propose that if we can re-classify once valuable materials as waste, we can also reclassify waste as a valuable new raw material. Join Katie to hear her stories that begin at the intersection of craft, design and sustainability and involve the thinkers, makers and doers who are bringing us into a regenerative and waste-free future. And find out how you can play your part too.

Moderator: Christina Seidel, Founder, sonnevera international corporation & Executive Director, Recycling Council of Alberta

1:00 pm PDT Wrapping Things Up
1:10 pm PDT Closing Remarks
  • Jack Froese, Chair, National Zero Waste Council and Chair, Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Committee

1:15 pm PDT Light Lunch and Networking


The Zero Waste Conference is proud to welcome as a sponsor