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Is the bus to circular-town going fast enough - or even in the right direction?

ReGeneration 2030’s key takeaways from the Nordic Circular Summit 2022

The core metaphor from this year’s annual gathering of circular economy leaders in the Nordics was a bus moving steadily towards the destination we all need to arrive in soon - a truly circular economy, “circular town”. But the growing economies of the Nordics (and the Baltics) are currently getting more and more ecologically damaging. Youth from ReGeneration 2030 movement ask - is the bus even going the right way? And how can we turn it around?

The Nordic Circular Summit is the largest event in the Nordic region completely dedicated to progressing the circular economy. This year, the three-day hybrid event gathered thousands of participants, including leading professionals in the field and policy-makers from all around the Nordic countries.

For the second year, the ReGeneration 2030 together with CATALY(C)ST to bring the youth voice to the summit d. ReGeneration 2030’s was represented fiercely by Keira Dignan (Secretary-General), Ugnė Budriūnaitė (Chairperson), Emilia Nygård (Vice-Chairperson), Justina Ramonaitytė (Board member and Communications Coordinator) and Alva Danielsson (Coordination Intern).

During the event, the team was showcasing and presenting the analysisand demands from ourrecently adopted ReGeneration 2030’s Position Paper, which was democratically adopted earlier this year, during the ReGeneration Week 2022.

“Creating new products is not going to be enough in the timeframe we have left. The linear economy is growing at the same pace as the circular one. We will fail unless we can face up to the core of the problem: a growth-based economy that puts profit over people”,- Keira Dignan.

The movement’s values and position were expressed during several sessions of the Summit, including two main sessions (“The New Nordics: Learning from Crisis” and “The State of Transition”) and three side session (“Resilient Local Societies - Sustainable place economy”, “Quest for Clarity - Branding and Communicating Circularity” and “Circular Future of the Nordics”).

“I think it is vital to bring the youth's voice into discussions about our future. It is us and the coming generations that will have to face the consequences of the past and present policies and lifestyle. I was there to remind the urgency, and encourage action that should be raised above words”,- Justina Ramonaitytė.

One of the sessions, “Circular Future of the Nordics”, was organized by the ReGeneration 2030 movement together with our colleagues from the CATALY(C)ST project Zuzana Malinkovičová and Floris van der Marel. During this session, we invited the audience to visualise the circular future we are building - and to work out who is holding us back from reaching it.

“The first thing we need to give up is the belief that change is possible through the current system. We need to rip it up by its roots and create a completely new one, or else we will never reach a future that is actually sustainable for all of us”,- Alva Danielsson.

ReGeneration 2030 together with the CATALY(C)ST team also got to host the Youth Mingle, where the participants of different age groups, sectors and countries got a chance to discuss a needed systematic change in the areas following the UNEP’s “Anatomy of Action” structure. The discussions were facilitated on the topics of food systems (FOOD), consumption and production (STUFF), investments and subsidies (MONEY), leisure and other community activities (FUN) and transportation systems (MOVE).

All sessions were recorded and are available online.

We are a proud partner of the Nordic Circular summit and look forward to further collaboration in the future.

“We, the next generation of decision-makers are ready to step up for the existentially needed change. What’s left to do for those currently in power is either step up together with us or step aside”, - Ugnė Budriūnaitė.

ReGeneration 2030 is a democratic and youth-led movement, mobilising youth from the Nordic and Baltic Sea region. Want to join us? Fill out a volunteer application form here.

Photo credit: Nordic Circular Hotspot


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