Circular Designing and Future of Sustainability: Now Is Next
| IOP Desk - 21 Nov 2019

Sweden Alumni Network India Delhi Chapter Presents India High-Level Panel on

Circular Economy: The Future of Business 

By Onkareshwar Pandey


New Delhi, November 21, 2019: Circular Designing and Future of Sustainability! Interesting topic na! This is a new subject being discussed nowadays in the world.

The global population will be estimated to reach close to 9 billion by 2030 – including 3 billion new middle-class consumers. This places unprecedented pressure on natural resources to meet future consumer demand.

Thus, in the face of increasing sharp volatility across the global economy and proliferating signs of resource depletion, the call for a new economic model is getting louder. In the quest for a substantial improvement in resource performance across the economy, businesses have started to explore ways to

reuse products or their components and restore more of their precious material, energy and labour inputs, says the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s report on the Economics of a Circular Economy.

The time is right, many argue, to take this concept of a ‘circular economy’ one step further, to analyse its promise for businesses and economies, and to prepare the ground for its adoption.

Each year, 1.3 billion tons of garbage is produced by 3 billion urban residents.

Each year, 322 million tons of plastic, 240 million tons of paper and 59 million tons of aluminum are produced in the world, much of which goes to export markets and is not recycled.

This is the endpoint of a linear economic flow that starts with manufacturing, which uses 54 percent of the world’s delivered energy, especially in energy-intensive industries such as petrochemicals, cement, metals, and paper.

A circular economy entails markets that give incentives to reusing products, rather than scrapping them and then extracting new resources. In such an economy, all forms of waste, such as clothes, scrap metal, and obsolete electronics, are returned to the economy or used more efficiently.

The circular economy can provide a way to not only protect the environment but use natural resources more wisely, develop new sectors, create jobs and develop new capabilities, according to UNCTAD.

According to the World Bank, “the circular economy is a redesign of this future, where industrial systems are restorative and regenerative by intention. Nothing that is made in a circular economy becomes waste, moving away from our current linear ‘take-make-dispose’ economy. The circular economy’s potential for innovation, job creation, and economic development is huge: estimates indicate a trillion-dollar opportunity.”

“Indeed, the transition towards a circular economy is estimated to represent a $4.5 Trillion global growth opportunity by 2030 while helping to restore some of our natural systems. We have all within our respective institutions made some progress in advancing this transition, yet we remain frustrated and challenged by the slow pace and scale of change to date, World Economic Forum says in a Foreword on Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy.

All such estimates and calculations started only a few years ago when the circular economy was introduced with an aim to promote a wider sustainability strategy.

The circular design is inherited from the term “Circular Economy” giving the fact that design plays an essential role in modern business and economy. The circular economy was first introduced by David Pearce and R. Kerry in their book, Economics of Natural Resources and the Environment, published by John Hopkins University.

The circular design is playing an essential role in this new nonlinear economy through building a design thinking process that intends to build new business models that consider the future of the product waste in multiple dimensions.

They highlighted that the current economy is based on a linear approach that doesn’t consider the sustainable measurements that propose to reduce the waste and natural resources consumption.

According to Nat Hunter in the Great Recovery, the natural resources are consumed very fast which reflects on the prices of raw materials.

For example, copper prices have tripled in the last 3 years. In the UK, 290 million tons of valuable resources are turned into waste every day. Additionally, the UK can actually save GBP 220bn year by simply designing products that aim to eliminate waste.

As the design plays an essential role in the current linear economy, it is expected to play a more potential role in the circular economy. The design for the circular economy is considered a wider approach to the design for sustainability as highlighted by Professor Ruud Balkenende, Delft University of technology. While the design for sustainability starts with thinking in the product and its eco-impact, the design for circular economy starts by focusing on optimizing the economic potentials of the available resources through a new business model that aims to restore natural resources while enhancing the human health.

The role of design is now extending the form and function of the product or service to more contribution to building innovative solutions that emphasize the wise consumption for natural resources. It’s design’s responsibility to build a strategic plan that considers reusing or recycling the materials used in production.

Early this year, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the IDEO published the circular design guide that aims to reduce waste, natural resources consumptions and build new innovative business models that consider alternative futures for the product and its materials instead of turning it into waste.

The circular design shifts the sustainable design principles from focusing on the product to a more holistic approach to focus on the overall business model.

Now the Sweden Alumni Network India – Delhi Chapter is convening the first India high level panel on theme of - Circular Designing And Future Of Sustainability- in order to catalyze adoption of innovations within the innovation ecosystem with larger aim to help foster cross learning and catalyse impact in emerging realms of circular economy and supply chain processes on Friday, November 22, 2019 at India International Centre, Multipurpose Hall, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi.

India high-level panel is being organised under support from the Swedish Institute, Stockholm based public diplomacy entity under the ministry of foreign affairs of the Swedish Government via Sweden Alumni Network India to delve deeper into practical and functional aspects of the circular economy, its designing, application, and potential opportunities. As high-level panel brings senior experts and practising professionals from a range of sectoral fields, the outcome of the high-level panel will be interesting building on ongoing debates and discussions around the theme of the high-level panel.

As the concept of circular design is work in progress across sectors, industries and geographies, it has however visible and wide application and potentially high value outcomes.

Economies that are high on this agenda are not only beneficial on leveraging concrete actions from innovative outcomes but also are being able to save cost and contribute more fully to climate and environment issues in addition to being complaint with international multilateral agreements. Many such economies are also well poised to remain 1.5 degree C compliant by 2030 and work their way towards ‘zero carbon’ pathways by 2050.

With an aim to explore possibility of holding a summit on circular economy and sustainability in 2020, this designated high level panel brings together thought leaders from UN, businesses, media, business chamber, Governments and diplomacy to discuss the current state of value chain issues, processes and innovative solutions for scale and impact drawing on the lessons underpinned by market forces and regulatory tools.

In addition, this convening aims at helping participants build key networks from among the industry, for-profits domain, and practitioners including from but not limited to their experience, expertise and thought leadership from interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches aligning at design thinking approach towards circularity and future of sustainable development.

This panel is curated and directed by Pooran Chandra Pandey, Senior Adviser Delhi Chapter and conceptualized as a multi-stakeholder forum to galvanize innovation across industry sectors and geographies aimed at transformation and social-Economics - environmental changes. It’ll bring together experts Innovators (‘Thinkers’), social and private sector practitioners (‘Doers’), and academia (‘Enablers’) to share emergent thinking, knowledge, and practice, spark innovation, and foster collaborations with specific application focus on innovations to help address India’s ‘net zero’ future pathways by 2050.


The Swedish Institute is a public agency that promotes interest and trust in Sweden around the world. We work in the fields of culture, education, science and business to strengthen international relations and development. They support and collaborate with businesses, universities, cultural institutions and Swedish embassies around the world.

Here is the List of Featured Speakers and Panelists of this India High-Level Panel


Swedish Trade Commissioner to India and Head of Business Sweden

Anders Wickberg is currently working as the Swedish Trade Commissioner to India and Head of Business Sweden. He earlier among senior roles has worked with Accenture besides heading senior leadership roles in Europe and Scandinavia. He has also published many papers in high impact factor containing journals, has attended many conferences and delivered many speeches for the advancement of Environmental Science. His research interest includes Geology, Earth Science, Environmental Science, and Analytical Chemistry.


Shri Khan, born in December 1952 in UP, post-graduated in Physics from Allahabad University in 1973. He taught Physics to graduate students in a Degree College before joining Indian Administrative Service in 1977 and was allotted UP cadre. During Service, he availed of various training/learning opportunities in the country as well as twice at Harvard University and once at Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, California, USA.

He worked as District Magistrate in districts Garhwal and Sitapur and Divisional Commissioner of Bareilly and Kanpur Divisions of UP. His stint in state undertakings, namely, UP Financial Corporation, UP State Road Transport Corporation, UP Small Industries Corporation, New Okhla Industrial Development Authority and UP State Electricity Board provided him deep insights into practical aspects of the political economy. As the Secretary of Finance Govt of UP, he negotiated a first-ever stand-alone program loan to the anysub-national government by the World Bank.

Shri Khan shifted to the Government of India in Jan. 2004 as an Additional financial advisor in the Ministry of Defense and retired in 2012 as Secretary to Govt of India, Ministry of Finance. In the capital market, he is known for bringing in Offer for Sale mechanism for listed companies and Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) as an instrument. Widely traveled nationally and internationally he addressed India Investment Forum, New York twice and delivered thought-leading talks on various forums both academic and business, e.g., CII. He has been published in reputed journals brought out by Indian Institute of Public Administration and Indian Institute of Finance and also a book compiled by Prof. S. N. Singh, Director Institute of Applied Research and Development, Lucknow University in addition to electronic media VCCircle as well as paper media: Financial Express and Mint. He considers ‘Public Finance - Reengineering of Policies, Programs and Organizations’ with special regard to transparency and accountability and issues of cross-cutting nature and varied interest groups as his forte.


Deputy Head DFID, India  

Anna French is the Deputy Head of DFID India and leads its portfolio on Urban, Energy and Green Growth. Before heading to India, Anna was Head of DFID’s Education Policy Team for 4 years.  Anna has been with DFID for over 15 years and has extensive experience in policy development and leading and managing programmes in fragile states including in Somalia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.  During this time she also worked for 2 years as Senior Policy Adviser on Africa in the Cabinet Office, advising the Prime Minister on UK policy to Africa.


Former Indian High Commissioner to Mauritius  

Ambassador Anup K. Mudgal, a member of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) retired in May 2016 as India's High Commissioner to Mauritius. As part of his diplomatic carrier spanning thirty-two years, he served thrice at the Head Quarters of the Ministry of External Affairs handling relations with India's neighborhood; ASEAN region; Russian Federation and some countries of Central and Eastern Europe as well issues relating to Human Resource Development. As part of his eight assignments abroad Amb. Mudgal served in different capacities at the Indian Missions in Mexico (including NAFTA matters), Peru, former Yugoslavia, Belgium (EU matters), Germany, Austria (work relating to IAEA, UNIDO, UNODC, UNOOSA, UNCITRAL), and Mauritius (including IORA).

Amb. Mudgal's domain specialisation includes maritime security/defense, ocean economy, mainly blue economy within the larger sustainability agenda, trade policy and market access, technology transfer /adaptation/application, Human resource management including skill development, development assistance and project implementation, diaspora post-retirement. Amb Mudgal has been engaged in several voluntary assignments, the important ones being: Member, FICCI Task Force on Blue Economy; Member, Steering Committee on Blue Economy under the PMEAC; Guest lectures at various institutions of higher education.


Former Ambassador of India to Kazakhstan, Sweden, and Latvia

Ambassador Ashok Sajjanhar has served in the Indian Diplomatic service for 34 years. He was Ambassador of India to Kazakhstan, Sweden and Latvia and has worked in senior diplomatic positions in Indian Embassies/Missions in Washington DC, Brussels, Moscow, Geneva, Tehran, Dhaka and Bangkok and also at Headquarters in India. He contributed significantly to strengthening political and economic ties and promoting cultural cooperation between India and USA, EU, Russia and other countries. He worked as head of National Foundation for Communal Harmony in India to promote amity and understanding between different religions, faiths and beliefs. He has been decorated by governments of Kazakhstan and Latvia with their National Awards and by Universal Peace Federation with Title of ''Ambassador of Peace.'' Currently he is President of Institute of Global Studies, New Delhi. He writes, travels and speaks extensively on issues relating to international relations, economic issues, history, foreign policy and themes of contemporary relevance and significance. He appears widely and regularly on domestic and international TV channels.


Representative and Country Director,   United Nations World Food Programme Bishow Parajuli, Nepali, took office as United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Representative and Country Director to India in September 2019. Mr. Parajuli brings 35 years of distinguished experiences in development, humanitarian affairs, diplomacy, fund raising, and management in over 10 countries in Asia, Middle East and Africa and WFP headquarters in Rome. Prior to his current assignment, Mr. Parajuli served for the past five years in Zimbabwe as the UN Resident Coordinator and the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Prior to joining the UN in Zimbabwe, Mr. Parajuli served as the UN World Food Programme Representative and Country Director in Yemen and in WFP HQ in Rome, as the Chief of Staff and the Director of the Executive Directors Office, as well as the Director of Government Donor Relations. From 2008 to 2011, Mr. Parajuli worked as UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Myanmar. Bishow has also served in various positions in WFP offices in Indonesia, Bangladesh, Mozambique and Botswana.


Head of the Talent Attraction Unit at the Swedish Institute

Monika Wirkkala is Head of the Talent Attraction Unit at the Swedish Institute (SI), a government agency, working closely with Swedish foreign missions, promoting Sweden abroad. The Talent Attraction Unit works with the promotion of Swedish Higher Education, Sweden and SI Alumni Networks, and support of the teaching of Swedish Language and Culture at more than 225 universities abroad. Prior to her work at the Swedish Institute, she worked as a University Lecturer of Translation at Stockholm University, and as a University Lecturer of Swedish Language and Culture at the University of Tampere, Finland. She is also an Alumni of SUNY Binghamton New York, N.Y.


Alumni Manager, Swedish Institute, Sweden

Niklas Dahlberg is the Alumni Manager at the Swedish Institute since 2013 and has been connected to the Swedish Institute for more than ten years. Niklas has been working with international relations, particularly within education and science, for more than 25 years in Africa, Asia and Latin America.


Deputy Country Representative for UN Women

Nishtha Satyam was appointed as the Deputy Country Representative for UN Women, the entity of the United Nations that is dedicated to working towards Gender Equality and Woman's Empowerment, in India in January 2018. She is the youngest Deputy Country Rep for the Entity of the UN across 193 countries. She formerly managed Strategic Partnerships, Policy Impact and Public Relations for the UN Women Multi Country Office for India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka. Nishtha has also served as the Private Sector Partnerships Specialist with the Office of the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations and UNDP. Prior to her career with the UN, Nishtha worked with leading firms such as KPMG and American Express as an Economist. As a futurist and feminist, she is an advocate of the urgency to mainstream women across the marketplace, workplace and community. Nishtha has authored a number of studies on the business value of inclusion and continues to be excited about using her multi-sectoral experience to inform the interplay of policy, politics and people to foster lasting change for the most marginalized.


Media adviser to former Indian prime minister

Founder and Editor-in-Chief, GoNews

Pankaj Pachauri, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, GoNews, is a print and broadcast journalist with more than three decades of editorial and management experience in print and electronic media across three continents. He has worked in Delhi, London, Boston and Hong Kong with leading news organisations such as NDTV, BBC World Service(UK), Public Radio International (US), India Today magazine, The Sunday Observer and The Patriot newspapers. In March 2017 he launched India’s first app based TV News Channel, GoNews, and turned into a pioneering entrepreneur. The app, GoNews, integrates the latest global internet and broadcast technologies to provide video news on mobile handsets. His company, Cloudburst Mediaworks Pvt Ltd, is also working on innovations in the field of digital broadcasting for Indian market conditions. His espousal of free, secular and progressive journalism as a reporter, TV anchor and editor based in South-East Asia, Europe, the United States and India has won him several national and international journalism awards. For over two years, he worked as the Communications Adviser to the former Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh, assisting his office in managing national and international media. During his tenure with the Prime Minister’s Office, he has designed and executed media strategy across various platforms for international events like the G20 Summits, NAM, ASEAN Summit, BRICS Summits and United Nations General Assembly.


Curator and Director, India High-Level Panel

Founding CEO, Dialogue of Civilisations Research Institute, Germany

Pooran sits on the board of the World Food Program in India. He is the founding Chief Executive Officer of Berlin-based think tank “Dialogue of Civilizations”. He is also a policy advisor to the governments in China, Germany, and Rwanda. Personally trained by Noble Laureate Al Gore, he is a contributor to the Springer Nature’s global encyclopedia on sustainable development goals and supplemental policy advisor to on climate and environmental issues to Climate Scorecard, a US-based think tank. His academic work on Indo-Russia Bilateral Cooperation, civil society aid, US-China Trade and Commerce relations, private sector,  development cooperation and sustainability stand referred to and widely quoted, internationally.  Among his other works, he is widely known for his leadership role in the launch of some of the high profile public campaigns – Teach India, Lead India, and Aman-ki-Asha as a Track II between India and Pakistan in 2010 through collaboration between Jung Group of Pakistan and Times of India. He continues to write, travel and speak at key forums in India and abroad on contemporary public policy issues and new development agenda shaping our local and global societies. He is also editor of the first Niti Aayog endorsed book on the theme of - Leaving no one behind- Sustainable Development Goals and South-South Cooperation (2018).


Head CSR, Sandvik Asia Pvt Ltd

Saharsh David is the Head CSR of Sandvik Asia Private Ltd and a Sustainability expert with an international repute. Sustainability and Gender Equality has always been the key focus area throughout his career and now integrating the sustainable goals in his work and materializing it through various projects has been his contribution.  To take the gender equality agenda ahead in India and drive SDG-5, he has designed a unique award platform Sandvik India Gender Awards with United Nations Global Compact, India, Consulate General of Sweden and Swedish Chambers of Commerce India, as Jury Partners.

In his current position with Sandvik, he has housed the UN-Global Compact- local western region office Sandvik Asia (Pune) since early 2015. He has represented Western Region UNGC in multiple fora. His presentation on “Educational Vulnerability Of Migrant Adolescents’” was very well received at the UN Global Compact Conference 2016 (Bangalore). He is on the Western region CII (Confederation of Indian Industries), Pune CSR Committee and Swedish Chamber of Commerce- CSR Committee. His other laurels include Winner of Economic Times- Rotary CSR Award 2019, CSR Golden Peacock Award 2017 and Overall Winner of Amity CSR-2017. He has been honoured as one of the 50 Most talented CSR Professional in India-2014-World CSR Congress.

Presently he is facilitating various industries led initiative under CSR on skills, forestation, gender and education. With path-breaking work in CSR, he has featured in the list of 100 Most Impactful CSR Leaders Global Listing-2016, 17- CSR Congress, winner of Economic Times Rotary CSR Awards and State Government recognised Sandvik Skills program.


Managing Director and Partner with Accenture Strategy India

Vishvesh is the Managing Director and Partner with Accenture Strategy India. He has a demonstrated history of driving competitive agility agenda of clients focusing on governance, growth, EBITDA enhancement and sustainability and trust related issues across sectors in India and the Middle East.


Master of Ceremony

Utkarsha is currently working as a CSR & Sustainability Professional at PI Industries Ltd. India. She is a doctorate in the field of environmental sustainability with deep expertise in climate change, air pollution, public health, environmental economics, and sustainable agriculture practices. She has published many papers in the journals of international repute and has got acclaim for the outstanding research work during her Ph.D. by the Indian Medical Chest Societ.

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(Onkareshwar Pandey is Founder, Editor in Chief & CEO, Indian Observer Post and former Senior Group Editor- Rashtriya Sahara (Hindi & Urdu) and also former Editor, (News), ANI. Email - SMS- 9910150119)





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