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The New Language of Carbon — A Fireside Chat with William McDonough

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Carbon has a bad name. Businesses, institutions and policymakers have struggled to respond to the idea that if we reduce our carbon emissions and shrink our carbon footprint, we can defeat the ‘carbon enemy.’ But carbon is not the enemy we perceive it to be. What if the world’s cities revered and cultivated carbon as an asset in soil, plants and durable earthbound forms, and reduced carbon as a liability in the atmosphere?

In this series of Sustainable Brands “fireside chats” with William McDonough, the visionary architect and designer discusses the pivotal role of Cradle to Cradle thinking in the marketplace, along with case studies, applications, misconceptions and new developments in the field.

Bill has invited the Sustainable Brands community to join the discussion, to pool our collective creativity and ingenuity to help move the conversation – and implementation – to the next level, so we invite you to submit questions to help us frame our next discussion with Bill.

What You Will Learn:

  • Share the strategy behind his new language for the element carbon, which recognizes the material and quality of carbon so that we can imagine and implement new ways forward
  • Explore the differences between “linear flow” in conventional urban development and “circular flow” in Cradle to Cradle® Urban Planning
  • lay the land for how this new language fits into carbon-management strategies in a circular economy, Cradle to Cradle design, and beyond


  • William McDonough, Architect, Designer, Thought Leader and Author, Cradle to Cradle and The Upcycle

Attendee Resources:

During the live recording of this webinar, we had a very active audience, from all different backgrounds, eager to share information and resources, asking compelling questions, and a desire to continue the conversation. Below is a list of resources shared during the session. I encourage you to continue the dialogue in the disqus comment box at the bottom of this page.

Continue the conversations, resource sharing, and connecting in the chat feed below:

View Part 1 of our series of 'fireside chats' with Bill McDonough, Upleveling the 'Circular' Conversation, Part 2, Designing a Sustainable World Through Commerce: Achieving the SDGs Through Cradle to Cradle Design, as well as Part 3, The Future of Textiles: Creating Sustainable Fashion Through Cradle to Cradle Design Sign up for our newsletters to be notified of and participate in the next session.
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