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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:

Preliminary program (subject to change) 


7:30 am PST Breakfast and Networking
8:30 am PST Conference Kickoff Video
8:35 am PST Welcoming Remarks
  • Sav Dhaliwal, Chair, Metro Vancouver Board
  • The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada - video welcome
  • Province of BC representative 
8:45 am PST Introducing your Co-hosts
Opening Keynote
8:50 am PST 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.

Transforming Business Models
9:35 am PST 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 CE innovators, and are stepping up with investment models and new collaborations intended to spur and support the development of market-ready solutions. What does the interplay between innovation and investment look like, and how is it unique in the CE and waste prevention context? What models and investment opportunities exist to support the CE shift, and what are emerging? How are Canadian and global innovators identified, and the right solutions supported?


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

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

Innovation Spotlight
10:35 am PST New Circular Business Models and Ideas

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 

10:55 am PST Break
Redefining Value
11:25 am PST 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. 

11:45 am PST Responding Panel 

Trailblazers across the textiles industry are making progress - combining old world thinking and new technology to transform fashion for the better

12:30 pm PST Lunch and Networking
Afternoon Keynote
1:30 pm PST 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, life-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.

2:15 pm PST 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 
Innovation Spotlight
3:00 pm PST New Circular Business Models and Ideas 

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

Scaling Circular Innovation
3:20 pm PST Living Labs

Demonstrate then replicate.  Bringing the circular economy to life requires experimentation.  This is where living labs and circular pilots come in to play.  This session will unpack the role of living labs and circular pilots in bringing the circular economy to life - building the circular economy from the ground up by scaling innovation through experimentation. What living labs processes are developing the future circular economy solutions we need? What is the potential in Canada 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? 


  • Emmy Scholten, Business Developer, Metabolic
  • Barb Swartzentruber, Executive Director, Smart Cities, Guelph-Wellington
  • Chantal Rossignol, Coordinator, Network of Living Labs on the Circular Economy, Centre d’études et de recherche intersectorielles en économie circulaire (CERIEC)
  • Hortense Montoux, Project Manager, Construction Living Lab, Centre d’études et de recherche intersectorielles en économie circulaire (CERIEC)

4:15 pm PST Spoken Word Performance
4:30 pm PST Networking Reception


8:30 am PST Breakfast and Networking
9:30 am PST Opening Remarks
Opening Keynote
9:35 am PST 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.

10:15 am PST Canadian Leadership in Circularity

Canadian businesses are responding to and providing leadership on environmental and social imperatives. The Canadian economic landscape is dominated by small to medium size enterprises interacting with global brands and branch offices of major corporations. This scenario has resulted in a pastiche of “made in Canada” solutions and adaptations of global initiatives. What is the likely path forward? Hear, from different perspectives, how Canadian leaders are responding.

  • Irene Yang, Investment Principal, BASF Venture Capital
  • Mikhael Metauro, Senior Director, Sustainability and Operational Efficiency, CASCADES RECOVERY+
  • James D. Downham, President and CEO, PAC Global
  • Angela Griffiths, Vice President Food Safety, Quality Assurance and Animal Welfare, A&W Food Services of Canada Inc
Stories of Change
10:45 am PST Feature Presentation - Beautiful Disruption


Jennifer 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. Jennifer is a true trailblazer with the creation of a socially and environmentally responsible brand while finding tremendous success. Jennifer 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.

11:10 am PST Forging New Pathways

How can we stimulate circularity? How do we foster experimentation and innovate in the context of Canada’s unique geography, economy and culture?

11:45 am PST Developing a Culture for Change


The conference has largely focused on how design can help decision-makers, in government and business, move towards a circular transition. Now we turn to how individuals become agents for positive 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. What are the practitioners in this space learning? And how is it being applied? 


  • Sam Hubble, Special Advisor - Behaviour Change, WRAP 
  • Kate White, Professor, Marketing and Behavioural Science Division, Sauder School of Business, UBC
  • Angela Cooper, Senior Strategist and Practice Manager, BEworks 
Moderator: Vanessa Timmer, Executive Director, OneEarth
Closing Keynote
12:30 pm PST Planet Earth Needs Better Stories

The dominant narrative is that “waste” is a natural outcome of production and consumption – however there is nothing natural about waste. Ecosystems have circular systems: Materials are used and recycled in constant loops. We have all read about and are now experiencing how human produced waste and pollutants is altering food chains, ecosystems, landscapes and the climate. This is the time to begin to “think like nature” because it is circular.

Join Katie to hear her stories that begin with 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.

1:15 pm PST Wrapping Things Up
1:30 pm PST Closing Remarks
  • Jack Froese, Chair, National Zero Waste Council and Chair, Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Committee

1:35 pm PST Light Lunch and Networking