Cities and regions are key players in the transition towards circular economy. The City Loops project will provide sector-specific Circular Innovation Workshops to support cities close the loop.

Climate change and aggravated resource scarcity call for a new way of defining the economy. Governments and intergovernmental bodies alike are reacting to this imperative, a prime example being the EU Green Deal, which is estimated to affect about two thirds of all industry sectors in Europe.

Circular economy approaches are one path towards a zero-carbon society, which we have to realise within this decade in order to bring climate change and its overwhelming effect on the eco-system to a halt. However, the transition to a circular economy needs a systems approach. This is what the innovation programme City Loops will help put into practice by developing and strengthening circular economy opportunities at a city level.

City Loops provides sector-specific Circular Innovation Workshops to develop tangible and impactful circular business solutions. The programme creates city-specific learnings and action networks to strengthen sector-specific business collaborations in each participating city.

The City Loops project is set up to develop a replicable circular innovation process that results in economically viable circular solutions. The circular innovation process is based on the findings of a previous Climate KIC study of circular economy education needs, followed by a successful pilot project implementation in three countries1. It will be facilitated by experienced trainers who use innovative and hands-on circular solution development methods and tools. The participants of this innovation process – businesses, municipalities and service providers – will jointly develop circular solutions that close material flows, intensify value creation, develop viable business models and effective innovation for ‘circular solutions’, create partnerships and collaborations, and identify and create business opportunities for cities and regions.

There will be three series of online workshops, each consisting of two parts and access to an online self-study course. Each series consists of the following four modules:

Module 1: Circular Economy and Value Chains – Closing Material Cycles and Intensifying Value Creation
Module 2: Identify Structural Waste
Module 3 – Designing Innovative Business Models for Circular Solutions
Module 4 – Developing High Output Innovation Partnerships

The two-session workshop is available on three different dates:

30.09. & 02.10.2020 (9:30 -14:00 CET) – Register HERE now!
14.10. & 16.10.2020 (9:30 -14:00 CET) – Register HERE until 02.10.2020
28.10. & 30.11.2020 (9:30 -14:00 CET) – Register HERE until 16.10.2020

The workshops will be held in German and are free of charge.

In order to ensure long-term sustainability, the project will support the development of a self-sustaining network of circular professionals that will make use of the circular solution innovation process for the project’s duration and beyond.

City Loops is a project of the EIT Climate-KIC, Wuppertal Institute and the CSCP.

For further questions, please contact Raymond Slaughter.

1 EIT Climate-KIC Circular Cities Project

The mini-festival “Place of the Good Life”, held in August 2020 at the Platz der Republik in Wuppertal, brought together citizens and civil society actors in a creative and participatory format. The event marked the launch of a co-creation process towards the Day of the Good Life in Wuppertal, planned for 16 May 2021.

The ongoing pandemic has reminded us about the importance of our close communities and the value of well-connected neighbourhoods. After all, they provide the setting where much of our daily interaction takes place: meetings, discussions and the addressing of shared experiences and challenges.

Three hundred participants from around Wuppertal joined the event and participated in one of the thirty available activities. On big visioning walls, the participants could write and paint their ideas of the good life in Wuppertal.

A bee keeper brought some of his bees to show how honey is produced. Langerfeld blüht auf offered Wuppertal citizens an opportunity to produce seed bombs and green their neighbourhoods. Mechanics from Mirker Schrauber helped visitors to repair their bikes, whereas some learned how to drive a wheelchair with the support of a team from the Else-Lasker Schüler-Schule.

Participation in a panel on the topic of sustainable mobility was facilitated by Mobiles Wuppertal. An exhibition by Kitma and Power of Colour sparked reflections on racism in our daily life and nudged participants to think about how best to overcome it. A solar panel on the ground produced electricity during the festival and visitors could learn from the Bergische Bürgerenergiegenossenschaft how to use these small solar panels on their balconies to produce solar energy at home.

A Yoga and Zumba session added some physical activity. The event was concluded with an international public singing session with English, Turkish and German songs.

The four main topics: mobility, energy and living, nature and food, and togetherness will be the basis of the discussions that will take place in the next events. Following up on the “Place of the Good Life” event, neighbourhood meetings will involve citizens in the Ostersbaum area of Wuppertal in preparing activities for the Day of the Good Life, scheduled for 16 May 2021. In visioning workshops, the project will further collect ideas and actions for the final big event.

The Day of the Good Life is a joint project of the CSCP and its partners, the Nachbarschaftsheim Wuppertal, e.V., Idealwerk and the Forum für Soziale Innovation (FSI) gGmbH.

For further information, please contact Alexandra Kessler.

Neighbourhoods represent important forums for tackling various social and environmental challenges as they are the sites where much of the regular interaction among people takes place. Our project Day of the Good Life is exploring ways to motivate and strengthen citizens to shape their neighbourhoods sustainably together with family, friends and neighbours. Learn more about our creative and participatory approach at our event “Place for the Good Life”, 30 August 2020, Platz der Republik, Wuppertal.

The Day of the Good Life, scheduled for 25 April 2021, is an all-day event in Wuppertal during which citizens reclaim the streets and design public space according to their needs and wishes. The city streets are freed from cars and all forms of traffic on that day. More than a just a day, the project is about a process aimed at supporting and strengthening initiatives that work on promoting a sustainable, climate-friendly and socially-just life in Wuppertal. One of the goals of the project is to make such initiatives more visible and tangible in the city’s urban society.

The event “Place for the Good Life” is a pre-step towards the big event in 2021 and will mobilise the Wuppertal neighbourhoods and citizens to get into the mood for the good life. During the event, the topics of mobility, nature, nutrition, energy, living, and community will be illustrated in playful and artistic ways to motivate visitors to share their vision of the good life. The event will be held according to current COVID-19 safety measures. To ensure everyone’s safety, please bring your mask and always keep 1,5 meters distance to other visitors.

The “Place for the Good Life” will be followed by several neighbourhood meetings to further shape citizens’ ideas for contributions on the major event – the Day of the Good Life in April 2021.

The CSCP is actively engaged to make the good life a reality for every neighbourhood and citizen in Wuppertal with its core expertise in sustainable lifestyles and collaborative engagement processes.

The Day of the Good Life is a joint project of the CSCP and its partners, the Nachbarschaftsheim Wuppertal, e.V., Idealwerk and the Forum für Soziale Innovation (FSI) gGmbH.

For further information, please contact Alexandra Kessler.

Image by Davide Brocchi ©

How can food consumption behaviours and solution-oriented interventions trigger an EU-wide shift towards a more sustainable future? Moreover, how are these behaviour interventions applied in real life contexts? The VALUMICS webinar “Putting Solutions on the Table: Successful Approaches and Interventions to Support more Sustainable Food Consumption Behaviours in the EU”, 16 July 2020, 15:00 CET, will explore these questions with an outstanding line-up of food and behaviour change experts, who will share and discuss pilot interventions and strategies suitable for the food industry and policy makers. Register here to join us!

Food is one of the strongest levers to optimise human health and environmental sustainability. Food consumption accounts for at least 25% of the average material footprint of a European citizen, which is about three times larger than its estimated sustainable level, studies suggest1. From a carbon emission perspective, current European eating patterns are based on carbon intensive behaviours2, such as daily consumption of animal-derived products that can cause as much as 20 times more carbon emissions than the plant-based counterpart per gram of protein3. Therefore, a significant global dietary shift and the reduction of high impact food consumption are necessary in order to be able to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement4.

A shift to a sustainable food system can bring environmental, health, economic and social benefits. Therefore, the most pressing question is: How to halve the consumption of high impact foods in Europe in the next decades and thereby,­ reduce its footprint?

The aim of the VALUMICS webinar ‘Putting Solutions on the Table’ is to share and discuss insights from existing evidence from hands-on, behaviourally-informed pilot interventions and strategies suitable for the food industry and policy makers in order to drive more sustainable food consumption practices.

The webinar will look into food consumption behaviour patterns in the EU, decision-making drivers and solution-oriented interventions tested in real-life contexts, particularly in food retail stores, to pilot actions and learn what can support the shift towards more sustainable food consumption, e.g. by supporting the increase of plant-based products in people’s diets.

Date: 16 July 2020
Time: 15:00-16:30 CET
Language: English
Cost: Free

Join the webinar and become part of the discussion – register here!

For further information, please contact Mariana Nicolau.



1 Leppänen et al., 2011
2 Akenji et al., 2019
3 Leahy, 2019
4 Willett, W. et al., 2019

Do you know a teenager or a young adult who is curious about their future career and what it could look like? How will work and life look like in 2030, what are the future jobs and what knowledge and skill sets will be needed? Moreover, how can we shape future careers to be sustainable and therefore meaningful for individuals, society and the environment alike? The CSCP invites teenagers and young adults to join our BOOM holiday camps and explore these questions and more together – registration is open!

The first BOOM holiday camp, which focuses on the subject of building and housing, will take place at the lake Edersee in Germany from 2 to 7 August 2020. During the camp, participants in the age group 14 – 17 years will have the opportunity to design their own open-air community room with upcycled furniture, renovate tree houses or learn to build a raised bed for delicious wild herbs that can be used in the kitchen of the youth hostel. The holiday camp will take place in an adapted format and with appropriate hygiene and safety measures, reflecting the latest Covid-19 developments.

Two further camps will take place in 2020. The second BOOM camp is planned for 20-25 September on the topic of daily consumption and is designed for the age group 18-25 years. The third camp is scheduled for 11-16 October for teenagers between 14-17 years old and it evolves around the topic of nutrition. Both camps will take place in Walberberg, Cologne/Bonn. Registration for both BOOM camps is open – let teenagers and young adults know!

BOOM – Career Orientation and Sustainability with a New Perspective (Berufsorientierung und Nachhaltigkeit Mal Anders) are holiday camps aiming to give teenagers and young adults the possibility to explore handicraft professions in creative ways, while at the same time offering them the space to experience their strengths, needs and wishes. The participants will also have the chance to learn about sustainable living and how career decisions can have an impact on that.

BOOM participants explore future jobs in the fields of ‘daily consumption and product design’, ‘energy and mobility’, ‘building and housing’ and ’food and agriculture’. Beyond that, they also have the chance to get insights into societal trends and challenges, such as digitalisation, changing consumption trends or the ‘New Work’ concept and reflect on how these trends affect their own lifestyles and future careers.

Along the guiding principle “every job is green”, the participants of the BOOM holiday camps are invited to take sustainability as a key aspect in their career plans and as an opportunity to shape their professional and personal future. To find out more about the camps and how to register, please check the BOOM website.

BOOM is a joint project of the CSCP and its partners Provadis GmbH and Sportjugend Hessen e.V and it is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. The project runs until 2022.

For further information, please contact Carina Diedrich.

The kick-off event took place online with an exciting agenda including speakers from NRW-based Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs), the NRW Minister for Economy and Digitalisation NRW, Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart as well as digitalisation and sustainability experts., the first ever Centre for Digital Responsibility in North-Rhein Westphalia (NRW), aims to serve as a hub for addressing important digitalisation aspects within the SME sector in the state. In particular, the project will focus in supporting SMEs to successfully adapt sustainability as part of their digital responsibility strategy and leverage digitalisation to strengthen their resilience. The centre will do so in close collaboration with economic, social and civic actors in NRW.

During the kick-off event, a detailed description of the aims and scope of the project was presented and planned activities were shared and discussed with SME representatives as well as other relevant organisations.

An interview with the NRW Minister of Economic Affairs Prof.Dr. Pinkwart concerning the role of sustainability and digitalisation and how it impacts SMEs, particularly in crises times, was also part of the agenda.

Moreover, the project team hosted a diverse and interesting panel of speakers and topics:

The panel also responded to questions from the audience and the discussion feedback will be channelled in the project’s upcoming work.

The project – Sustainably Competitive is funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs of NRW via the EFRE fund.

For further information, please contact Anna Hilger

How can Small and Medium-Sized enterprises (SMEs) strengthen their resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic and exercise responsible leadership after the crisis? What leverages can digitalisation offer with respect to this? Moreover, how can SMEs successfully adapt sustainability as part of their digital responsibility strategy? The first-ever Centre for Digital Responsibility in North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW), which goes by the name aims to answer these questions collaboratively with economic, social and civic actors in the state. – Sustainably Competitive is a collaboration between the CSCP and its networking partners, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce North Rhine-Westphalia and Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf. The new centre will link partners from sectors such as business, science, start-ups, civil society as well as chambers and associations. It aims to inform businesses and support them to jointly develop solutions for entrepreneurial challenges in the age of digitalisation, sustainability, and lately under changed circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The focus lies on the purpose of digitalisation and includes areas such as corporate culture, circular economy, digital leadership, responsibility in the supply chain as well as aspects of social entrepreneurship. During the course of the project, the CSCP and its partners will peak into the challenges and opportunities of artificial intelligence and ask questions about ethical boundaries of digital optimisation. The project will also look for concrete examples of SMEs in NRW that have already found ways to combine digital advancements with proactive steps towards a more sustainable business, be it with regard to climate neutrality, product innovation or employee engagement.

Economics and Digital Affairs Minister Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart stated, “We are consistently continuing along the path we have embarked on with the topic of responsible corporate management in digital times. Digitalisation must be at the service of the people. I am pleased we are now bundling various aspects of digitalisation in connection with economic responsibility in a state-wide centre, offering companies a contact point in North Rhine-Westphalia and thus assuming a genuine pioneering role.’’

In order to serve its purpose of delivering orientation to SMEs in the complex fields of sustainability and digitalisation, provides vital insights by offering workshops, co-working with interested organisations in NRW as well as a newly developed Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), that will be hosted by the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf. – Sustainably Competitive is funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs of NRW via the EFRE fund.

For further information, please contact Patrick Bottermann

In the light of the latest developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CSCP will host a virtual meeting for the participants of the Dialogue Forum for Reduction of Food Waste in Wholesale and Retail (HandelsforumRVL) on 21 April 2020. The public event, during which the Federal Minister for Agriculture, Julia Klöckner was planned to officially launch the Dialogue Forum in Berlin, is rescheduled for autumn 2020.

A major objective of the original event – the identification of effective reduction measures in the wholesale and retail sectors – will take place virtually. Selected proposals, stemming from an earlier call for ideas, will be presented in the format of video pitches, whereas the discussion regarding their plausibility as demonstration projects will be held online. If you are interested in participating in the discussion, please get in contact with Nora Brüggemann.

As the Dialogue Forum continues its work remotely, the public event rescheduled for autumn 2020 aims to carry forth the original public agenda. This includes presenting the objective of the Dialogue Forum — the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goal SDG 12.3 that aims to halve food waste in the wholesale and retail sectors. The event will also provide a large-scale opportunity for exchange between relevant stakeholders, including wholesalers and retailers as well as representatives of the food supply chain and civil society actors.

The Dialogue Forum is part of a federal agenda whose goal is significant reduction of food waste along the entire food supply chain by 2030. To this end, the strategic role of the wholesale and retail sectors in reducing food waste has been increasingly foregrounded. On one hand, wholesale and retail companies can continue to exploit the existing optimisation potential in their own markets. On the other hand, being a direct ‘bridge to the consumers’ as well as an interface to food production, retail companies in particular can work in both directions towards a more responsible handling of food in society.

The CSCP coordinates and moderates the Dialogue Forum (HandelsforumRVL) in collaboration with the Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut and in line with the National Strategy for Reducing Food Waste. The Dialogue Forum, which started work in autumn 2019, is funded by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) based on a decision of the parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany via the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE) under the Federal Program for Ecological Farming and Other Forms of Sustainable Agriculture.

For more information please contact Nora Brüggemann.

Photo by Lewis Fagg on Unsplash