Linear to Circular Economy- event summary and video

15 March 2020

In November 2019, the United Nations Association of New Zealand, Wellington Branch, in collaboration with the School of Government at Victoria University of Wellington, organised a discussion forum entitled “Linear to Circular” - New Zealand’s opportunities and challenges in the 21st century. This discussion was organised to help develop a conversation about the enablers and barriers within this topic. Further, to assist in understanding the opportunities and challenges that exist for our generation. It is hoped that this will add momentum towards a successful transformation.


Two eminent experts in their fields led the discussion forum. Professor in Public Policy and Economics, Prof. Girol Karacaoglu, Head of the School of Government, Victoria University and Dr. Florain Graichen, Science Leader Biopolymers and Chemicals, SCION, Rotorua.


The speakers encouraged the audience to think and speak out about their views on several topics. Including, transitioning to a sustainable economy; how do we change short-term thinking; tackling resource scarcity; ecological limits and climate change; dismantling the culture of consumerism; resolving social inequalities; incentives for greater efficiency in the use of resources and natural assets; technological innovations and the generation of decent work. 


They advanced the discussion by talking about the attributes of a sustainable economy; low carbon, resource-efficient and clean in production techniques providing opportunities to advance into sustainability and social equality, eradicating poverty while safeguarding ecological thresholds which underpin intergenerational welfare.


Participants from various organisations including government institutes, universities and businesses exchanged their views and ideas on the present situation. How can this transformation be achieved? How do we dismantle old institutions and start processes afresh with new policy interventions? How should technological innovations participate in decoupling economic activity from its negative impacts? Awareness was also raised as to how the 2030 agenda could support and stimulate this transformation.


It was a really interactive session which was well received by the participants. UNA NZ- Wellington branch is planning to continue this discussion bringing many more discussion topics in this particular area in the near future.  We would like to extend our sincere thanks to all the participants who attended the forum and encouraged us. 


You can click here to see a full video of the discussion forum. 

quote mark