Circular Valley® Forum I Nov. 16th, 2023
Circular Valley® - Birthplace of the 5th industrial revolution
Organized by the Circular Valley® Foundation
Thursday, November 16th, 2023
10:00 - 17:00 CET Conference

18:00 CET Reception
19:00 CET Festive Dinner
Historical Townhall Wuppertal
Johannisberg 40,
42103 Wuppertal, Germany
Overview of topics
for the Circular Valley Forum on November 16, 2023
Energy - the basis of a Circular Economy
For closing value chains (especially reverse logistics, sorting, disassembly and recycling processes), the availability of renewable energy is an essential prerequisite, as well as for production in basic industries. The panel will address opportunities and risks of the Energy Transition.
Circular economy at the corporate level
Circular Economy starts at the level of individual companies that use more renewable raw materials or recyclates and also address the ultimate fate of their products. The panel will showcase exemplary Circular Valley companies with their pioneering initiatives.
Cooperation along the value chain
The switch to renewable raw materials as an alternative to fossil feedstocks is of great importance. This is especially true for products that are difficult to recycle "post-consumer". The panel will discuss the possibilities of a bioeconomy to cooperate along the value chain and to use renewable raw materials.
Construction - management of large material flows
The construction industry is characterized by the use of numerous large material streams (mineral building materials, glass, metals, polymers,...) that are often difficult to separate and recycle end-of-life. The panel will look at the progress and further development opportunities for the industry, which has to "orchestrate" a multitude of stakeholders in the life cycle of its buildings, and will provide inspiration for other industries.
Financing under fundamentally changing framework conditions
In a circular economy, the economics change - assets that previously had to be completely written off and disposed of at cost retain value as "material banks." In the case of classically long-lived products, today's state of the art technology can be yesterday's technology in just a few years. The panel deals with the possibilities of the financial sector to influence production and recycling processes towards a circular economy and its handling of financing under uncertainty.
Incentives for the Transition to a Circular Economy
Various mechanisms are currently used worldwide to incentivize companies to switch to circular value creation (bans on previous processes, tax breaks for new processes, subsidies,...). The international panel will highlight approaches from the US, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Accelerating the implementation of a Circular Economy
If technologies, willingness to invest and financial resources are available: how can the rapid implementation be achieved while taking into account the legal framework and necessary approval processes, e.g. for the construction of new recycling plants? The panel will discuss challenges and opportunities from the perspectives of different stakeholders.
International cooperation for a Circular Economy
A large part of the global emissions take place in the global South/developing nations. Emission-reduction solutions from the global North often are currently unaffordable in the global South. The panel discusses options of development partnerships to ensure the best suited technologies for a Circular Economy come to bear fruit globally and show best practices.
Demo Day of the 5th cohort of start-ups from the Circular Economy
The start-ups from the 5th cohort of the Circular Economy Accelerator will present their ideas to reduce or completely avoid harmful environmental impacts.
Evening program / festive Dinner
"Getting the message across"
A central challenge of the transition to a Circular Economy is the awareness, especially also in civil society, about the need for fundamental changes. Artists and communication experts will talk about their ways and means to convey "messages".

"Cooperation in the heart of Europe"
The tri-border area NRW/ Flanders/ Netherlands is leading the way in building a Circular Economy. Top politicians shed light on the potential of further intensified cooperation in the industrial heart of Europe.

"Business, science and politics working together for a Circular Economy"
Collaboration between business, science and politics is central to the transition to a Circular Economy. Top representatives from all three sectors will discuss ways to accelerate the transition together.

November 15

Bio Based Industries 2023
  • Special focus Bioeconomy

    Meet the top 30-40 game-changers in Bio-based Industries

    Learn more
* Note: Registration for these additional side events (Excursion) will start November 1 for registered Forum participants.

Speakers and panelists
The Circular Valley® Forum will bring together top-decision makers at board level from a large variety of industries. Besides the interaction in the conference format and over dinner, there will also be opportunities for bilateral talks.
  • Hendrik Wüst
    Prime Minister
    North-Rhine Westphalia
    Photo: Land NRW / Ralph Sondermann
  • Jan Jambon
    Prime Minister
    Photo: Paul Van Welden
  • Gunther Adler
    Chairman of the Board
    Autobahn GmbH des Bundes
    Photo: Landesregierung NRW
  • Henrik Ahlers
    Chairman of the Board
    Ernst & Young Deutschland
  • Gregor Augustin
  • Lars Baumgürtel
  • Dr. Dorothee Becker
    Gebr. Becker GmbH
  • Nanette Braun
    Chief, Communication Campaigns
    United Nations, New York
  • Rolf Buch
    Chairman of the Board
    Photo: Catrin Moritz / Vonovia
  • Sir Tony Cragg

    Photo: Schmidt
  • Carsten Cramer
    Borussia Dortmund GmbH & Co. KGaA
    Photo: Stefan Grey / BVB
  • Marc Ehrhardt
    BASF Corporation, Florham Park, New Jersey
    Photo: BASF SE
  • Dr. Gerhard Erdmann
    Executive Board
    Arbeitgeberverband Stahl
    Photo: Marc-Steffen Unger
  • Dr. Andreas Eurich
    Barmenia Insurance Group
  • Dr. Ralf Düssel
    Plastics Europe Deutschland
  • Prof. Dr. Manfred Fischedick
    Wuppertal Institute
  • Dr. Timo Flessner
    Head of Global API Production
    Photo: Christian Lord Otto / Bayer AG
  • Sigmar Gabriel
    Bundesminister a.D.

    Photo: Michael Kappeler / Picture Alliance - dpa
  • Felicitas Gordon-Erfurt
    Managing Partner
    Erfurt & Sohn KG
    Photo: Erfurt Tapeten
  • Prof. Dr. Anton Grabmaier
    Institute Director
    Fraunhofer IMS
    Photo: Andi Werner Photography / Fraunhofer IMS
  • Prof. Jan Grossarth
    Chair of Bioeconomy
    Hochschule Biberach
    Photo: Helmut Fricke
  • Dr. Albrecht Haase
    Société Générale Equipment Finance
  • Marcel Hafke
    Member of the State Parliament
    State Parlament NRW
  • Thomas Hagedorn
    Managing Partner
    Hagedorn Gruppe
  • Dr. Sarah-Louise Halcour
    German boxing champion
  • Dr. Markus Helftewes
    DSD/Der Grüne Punkt
  • Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke
    Institute Director (ret.)
    Wuppertal Institut
    Photo: S. Michaelis
  • Markus Hilkenbach
    Chairman of the Board
    Wuppertaler Stadtwerke
  • Jürgen Hingsen
    Olympic Games Medalist (Decathlon)
  • Christian Keller
    Olympic Champion Swimming
    Photo: Raimond Spekking
  • Dr. Lars Kissau
    President Net Zero Accelerator
    Photo: BASF
  • Lauren Kjeldsen
    Member of the Executive Board
    Photo: Evonik
  • Gerald Knaus
    Migration researcher
  • Oliver Krischer
    Minister of the Environment
    North-Rhine Westphalia

    Photo: Land NRW / Ralph Sondermann
  • Christian Kullmann
    Chairman of the Board
    Photo: Frank Roeth
  • Cornelius Laaser
    Head Circular Economy
    Ministry of the Environment NRW
  • Dr. Marc Lakner
    Spokesman of the Executive Board
    Kearney Deutschland
  • Prof. Dr. Walter Leitner
    Institute Director
    Max Planck Institut CEC
  • Matthias Lesch
    Managing Director
    Pöppelmann GmbH & Co. KG
  • Nathanael Liminski
    Head of the State Chancellery, Minister for Europe
    North-Rhine Westphalia
    Photo: Land NRW / Ralph Sondermann
  • Helge Lindh
    Member of the Bundestag
    Deutscher Bundestag
  • Dr. Frank Meyer
    CSVP Research & Development
    Henkel Consumer Brands
  • Andreas Muth
    Head of Consulting
    EY Germany
  • Mona Neubaur
    Minister of the Economy and Climate
    North-Rhine Westphalia

    Photo: Land NRW / Ralph Sondermann
  • Henner Pasch
    IHK Wuppertal
  • Surendra Patavari
    Gemini Corporation
  • Prof. Dr. Ulrich Pätzel
    Chairman of the Board
    Emscher Genossenschaft
    Photo: Catrin Moritz for Emschergenossenschaft-Lippeverband
  • Markus Plack
    Circular Economy Lead
    NEOM, Saudi Arabia
  • Dr. Günter Poppen
    Vorwerk Elektrowerke
  • Ved Prakash
    Gemini Corporation
  • Ralf Putsch
    Managing Director
    Photo: Malte Reiter
  • Thomas Reiche
    FEhS Institut
  • Prof. Dr. Manfred Renner
    Fraunhofer UMSICHT
  • Dr. Thomas Rodemann
    Managing Partner
  • Michael Römer
    Managing Director
  • Ina Scharrenbach
    Minister of Construction
    State of NRW
    Photo: Land NRW
  • Peter Schmidt
    Lead Member
    European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform
  • Prof. Dr. Uwe Schneidewind
    Lord Mayor
  • Thomas Schürmann
    President of the Government
    District government Düsseldorf
    Photo: BR_D
  • Dr. Martin Sonnenschein
    Chairman of the Supervisory Board
    Heidelberger Druckmaschinen
  • Joachim Stamp
    Special representative for migration agreements
    Federal Government
    Photo: Karsten Mosebach
  • Prof. Dr. Lambert T. Koch
    German University Association
  • Frank Terhorst
    Member of the Executive Board
    Bayer Crop Science
  • Angela Titzrath
    Hamburg port
  • Dr. Jürgen Tzschoppe
    Member of the Board
    Statkraft, Oslo
  • Dirk Voeste
    Head of Sustainability
    Volkswagen AG
  • Dr. Janine Voß
    Head of Sustainability
  • Peter Voss

    Photo: Cintia Barroso-Alexander
  • Patrick Wendeler
    CEO BP Europa
    BP Europa
  • Prof. Dr. Henning Wilts
    Director of Division Circular Economy
    Wuppertal Institut
  • Prof. Dr. Birgitta Wolf
    University of Wuppertal
    Photo: Michael Mutzberg
  • Gunther Wölfges
    Stadtsparkasse Wuppertal

Festive Dinner
If you would like to participate in the Forum but lack the financial means, please write to: