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Upleveling the 'Circular' Conversation - A Fireside Chat with William McDonough

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In 2002, William McDonough and Michael Braungart launched the design framework known as “Cradle to Cradle” in their seminal book of the same name, challenging the notion that human industry must inevitably damage the natural world. Since then, the ideology has taken root around the world (and McDonough and Braungart took it a step further in 2013’s The Upcycle), and expanded to inform the principles of a circular economy – applicable to all industrial products, services and processes in existence.

As the potential implications of a shift to circular models continues to dominate the business conversation, one of the founders of the ideology has decided it’s time to uplevel the conversation on upcycling.

In this first of our 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 these discussions throughout the year, 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 each discussion.

In this webinar, Bill shares his insights, vision and advice on a number of topics related to the shift to a Cradle to Cradle approach to business, including:

  • Circular vs. Spiral – why we need to broaden our thinking on the approach
  • Is economic growth really necessary for a healthy, inclusive economy and if so, is circular or spiral the (only) answer?
  • What business and brand leaders need to embrace a shift to circular models


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

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

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