Mr. Giulio Bonazzi


Mr. Bonazzi is the President of Aquafil, and has been Chairman of the group since 2008. Born in Verona in 1963, he graduated in Business Economics from the University of Venice, and started his career by working in the family business. After a year working in the commercial and technical divisions of Aquafil, he attended a six-month training course at Horizon Carpet in the United States. In 1989 he became assistant production manager at the Arco plant, and a year later took over management of the division. He was also involved in the move to Slovenia, assisting with the acquisition of the Kranj factory. In 1994 he returned to Aquafil, working on the acquisition of Julon d.d., an enterprise which was to become a fundamental asset for the Group. Between 1995 and 1998 he held the office of General Manager at Julon, relocating with his family to Slovenia, and then in 1999 he returned to Italy as Vice Chairman of Aquafil. He has been President of CIRFS (European man-made Fibers Association) from 2011 to 2014, and recently he became President of Confindustria Trento, the Employers’ Association of the Province of Trento.

Mr. Willem De Vos

Society of Plastics Engineers

“Plastics: Innovations in the Age of Interaction”

Mr. De Vos became CEO of the Society of Plastics Engineers in January 2012. SPE is a Knowledge and Networking organisation active in the plastics industry world wide, SPE is active in 30 countries, 30 divisions and 70 regional sections with members in 84 countries around the world.

He began his career in 1991 at Eurocompound, a leading European supplier of rubber emulsion compounds and coatings to the textile, automotive, and paper industries. He is a Master in Chemical & Polymer Engineering from the University of Gent, Belgium. He also holds an Executive MBA from the Vlerick Management School in Belgium and is a certified London Business School Senior Executive Program holder.

Chris Grantham

Circular Economy Portfolio Director

“Learning from the C School”

Mr. Grantham is Circular Economy Portfolio Director at IDEO, where he works with organisations on system change and breakthrough innovation, and is also closely involved in a number of design led initiatives with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. This includes the development of a circular economy design toolkit which aims to develop a generation of creatively confident circular designers and more resilient organisations capable of thriving in the circular economy.

Chris will share early thinking from their joint initiative with The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, The C School. He will cover some of their work to develop learning for Circular Economy design (as opposed to purely ‘about’ Circular Economy design), in the form of an emerging design thinking toolkit. The ambition is to build up the capabilities of designers and educators in business and postgraduate education who are mobilizing towards the circular economy.

John Ortiz

Director, Product Stewardship

Mr. Ortiz leads the product stewardship organization for HP Inc., a $50B annual business. Ortiz’s organization drives environmental design of computer and printer hardware products, ink and toner supplies, and paper products to minimize the impact of HP products throughout the product lifecycle. Ortiz is currently championing circular economy thinking in the Print and PC business. Recently his team has completed two closed-loop recycled polypropylene projects in over 40% of HP’s inkjet cartridges, equal to approximately 5,000 tons of recycled resin annually. With the completion of this latest project, HP now uses recycled plastic in more than 75% of its ink cartridge products. Several other active projects are underway to incorporate recycled plastic into hardware printer products. Ortiz’s team also focuses on product energy reduction and recently marked a milestone of driving an 88% energy reduction across HP’s consumer printer products over the past 5 years.

Marilu Valente

Merged Vertices

“Designing the Shampoo Bottle of the Future”

Ms. Valente completed her studies in architecture in London during which she developed a strong focus on sustainable design. She worked for several international design firms such as Atelier Jean Nouvel and Heatherwick studios before shifting her career from architect to entrepreneur in sustainable product design. She learnt a great deal on innovation and technology for sustainability while working at Siemens at the Crystal. She freelanced as a designer before co-founding Binee, a startup which offers an electronic waste collection service through intelligent recycling bins. Her design portfolio explores industrial products with a lower environmental impact and takes inspiration from cradle to cradle and bio-mimetic principles. Her award-winning designs include an office desk made from bio-plastic and Nepenthes, a more sustainable personal care packaging system.

Her portfolio of projects can be seen here: http://www.merged-vertices.com/portfolio/.

Quentin Drewell

Head of Circular Economy, UK

Mr. Drewell leads Accenture’s Circular Economy offering in the UK, working with clients to design new businesses model to help them realise competiveness and growth from going circular: ‘circular advantage’.

He is project advisor to the World Economic Forum on the circular economy, having set up The Circulars in 2015, the annual Circular Economy Awards programme hosted in Davos and is now project lead on the ‘Accelerating the Circular Economy’ project, creating regional platforms for action to stimulate transformation towards a regenerative economic and ecological system. Mr. Drewell has recently released a paper on Circular Economy in the Automotive Sector, and writes extensively on the circular economy. He lives in Rochester, Kent with his wife and sons.

Richard McCombs

MBA Polymers

Mr. McCombs rejoined MBA Polymers, Inc. as CEO in 2015. He had retired in 2011. In addition, Richard is advising and assisting the financing western companies expanding into Chinese markets (www.Asiawestfunds.com). MBA Polymers is the global leader in recycling durable plastics from electronics, appliances and automobiles. Under his leadership at MBA, he negotiated, financed, and then built three commercial scale facilities (China, Austria and UK) utilizing MBA’s revolutionary plastics recycling technology. He started a JV processing and exporting rice as the first American Company to operate in Vietnam after the embargo was lifted. Mr. McCombs has an MBA from Stanford University and a B.A. from Amherst College.

Diana Auria

Founder/Managing & Creative Director

“Swimwear from the Sea, for the Sea – Making Products Appeal”

Ms. Auria studied ‘Fashion Contour’, a degree specialising in lingerie and swim design at the London College of Fashion. Whilst at university she won design competitions with Ellesse and Speedo and went on to win the ‘Fashion Innovation’ award for her graduate collection. She has previously had a wealth of experience within the industry with multiple internships at fashion brands in London and in New York. Diana’s vision led to the official launch of the brand directly after she graduated from university. They use some of Aquafil’s materials and recycled fishing nets for their swimwear.

Pankaj Pancholi

Founder and Managing Director
Just Egg

Mr. Pancholi is the founder and managing director of Just Egg, a premier manufacturer of Hard Boiled Eggs and Egg mayonnaise based in Leicester, Britain. The firm itself produces up to 1.5million eggs a week for sales to supermarkets for foodstuffs, creating some £45,000 of eggshells to be buried in landfills. Teaming up with Dr Abbot of the University of Leicester, they were able to extract the calcium carbonate from waste egg shells so it could be used as a filler for plastics. With an egg shell recycling plant unveiled in 2015, Mr. Pancholi moves towards turning flakes of egg membrane into useful products.

Simon Widmer

Project Manager - Circular Design
Ellen MacArthur Foundation

“C School: Addressing Design Challenges Towards the New Plastics Economy”

Mr. Widmer is a project manager at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, where he currently works on circular design. The work is inspired by the New Plastics Economy report launched at the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2016 in collaboration with McKinsey & Company and over 40 organisations from the plastics value chain.

Jeff Pitt

Protective Packaging Systems

Mr. Pitt and his partner Chris Wiggins formed Protective Packaging Systems (PPS) in 2003 with more than a decade in the packaging industry. PPS was the solution Pitt and Wiggins created for the “dirty” materials and little consideration for the environmental outcomes organisations use. Using the principle of ‘Lo-g Intelligent Packaging’, PPS packaging reduces pack size, eliminates foam, card and other ‘dirty’ materials.
PPS received a Gold Award in the Institute of packaging’s 2005 Starpack Awards for their Cell-pax system. The prestigious award was presented for a pack aimed for pharmaceutical use, designed to protect from moisture or corrosion.

David Wilson

Managing Director - UK
Vanden Recycling

Mr. Wilson’s career in recycling started 18 years ago when he established plastic bottle collection systems in Ireland which led to the Island’s first automatic bottle sort plant. After a three year position with a US based paper recycling company, he joined the Vanden Group in 2011. With David as the sole first employee in the UK, he helped found Vanden Recycling which has grown from a zero base to a company that now handles in excess of 40,000 tonnes a year of plastic scrap ranging from post-consumer through commercial to post-industrial plastic materials.

Miriam Turner

Asst. VP, Open Innovation & Product Sustainability
Interface Inc.

Ms. Turner is responsible for brokering relationships with external organisations and networks to develop and successfully commercialise innovative, sustainable products and services for Interface, a global leader in the manufacture of environmentally responsible modular floor carpets.

Prior to this role, she was Innovations Director at EMEIA, of InterfaceFLOR, responsible for innovation strategy and implementation across the EMEAI business unit, championing the introduction of a more collaborative approach to innovation.

Anne Aittomaki

Head of International Programs
Plastic Change

“Scouting Global Markets for Innovations That Can Inspire, Solve and Scale”

Ms. Aittomaki is the Head of International Programs at Plastic Change, an international organization based in Denmark that works to raise awareness of the consequences of the rapidly increasing quantities of plastic in the ocean and natural environment. In that capacity, Anne is the focal point for identifying new measures and activities for Plastic Change’s international portfolio and strategically develops on these. With a strong background in social anthropology and change consultancy, Anne is widely experienced in working with the social and human aspects in regards to implementation of new processes, systems and reframing problems in new ways for change.

Simon Hann

Life Cycle Assessment Specialist

“Legislating for the Circular Economy – The Role of Progressive Regulation in Stimulating and Rewarding Sustainable Design”

Mr. Hann specialises in applying Life Cycle Thinking wherever a full understanding of how a product or process affects its environment may be needed. Applications range from a carbon footprint of a local authority recycling system, to a full environmental assessment of a product. This work is critical to how diverse activities can contribute to our evolution into a society that embraces a Circular Economy. Much of Simon’s work is linked to how we can make this transition by keeping materials and resources within our technosphere.

Simon’s varied project experience includes designing and authoring Eunomia’s annual Recycling Carbon Index; assisting the Greater London Authority (GLA) in developing a route map to guide London towards a more circular economy; carbon footprinting for business and local authority waste collections; working for the European Commission on a scoping study looking into the issue of microbeads in cosmetics; and
a project for WRAP modelling a number of potential contractual incentive mechanisms to incentivise food waste collection and treatment.

Joe Iles

Editor in Chief of Circulate
Ellen MacArthur Foundation - Distruptive Innovation Festival

As Editor in Chief of Circulate, Joe’s role is to help deliver leading commentary, news and case studies on the circular economy. Joe also inputs on a range of programmes with an online element, and is closely involved with the Disruptive Innovation Festival, contributing to web strategy, social media, content and facilitation.

Roger Mottram

Head of Communications and Advocacy

Mr. Mottram joined ICI in 1984 after graduating with First Class Honours in Materials Science from Bradford University and has worked in the chemicals and polymers industry ever since. He has held a variety of technical, commercial and communications roles, but has specialised in environmental affairs and advocacy activities for the PVC industry for the past 23 years.

Roger is currently active on many industry committees especially with the British Plastics Federation (as Chairman of the BPF Vinyls Group), the European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers (as Chairman of the ECVM Applications and Communications Committee), VinylPlus and PlasticsEurope. In 2013 Roger was awarded the BPF Gold medal for outstanding service to the plastics industry. In 2016 Roger was voted by readers of the Plastics and Rubber Weekly as one of the 70 most influential individuals in the UK plastics industry. Roger is a Fellow of the Institute of Materials and is registered as a Chartered Environmentalist.

Moderator - Mr. Robert Grace

RC Grace LLC

Mr. Grace has been in business-to-business communications his entire career. He has broad global experience and for nearly 35 years has worked as a journalist, editor-in-chief, publishing executive and key connector of like-minded parties. Today he runs RC Grace LLC (www.rcgrace.com) in Akron, Ohio, assisting companies with marketing and communications (such as PR, editing, content creation, etc.), while also writing for various outlets and organizing events.

While with Crain Communications Inc., he oversaw the successful relaunch of the 100-year-old European Rubber Journal in London and helped to start Urethanes Technology magazine there.

In 1988 Bob returned to Akron, Ohio, to serve as founding editor of Plastics News, an award-winning, weekly business newspaper. In 2005 he oversaw the editorial launch of the bilingual (Chinese and English) PN China e-newsletter and website. While at PN he also held the titles of associate publisher, editorial director, conference director and business development director.

A long-time affiliate member of the Industrial Designers Society of America, Bob has organized numerous design-focused events, and constantly strives to help bridge the gap between the design and manufacturing communities.

Doug Woodring

Founder & Managing Director - Plasticity Forum
Ocean Recovery Alliance

Mr. Woodring is the Co-Founder of Ocean Recovery Alliance, a non-profit organization which is focused on bringing innovative solutions, technology, collaborations and policy together to impact positive improvements for the health of the ocean. Two of its global programs were launched at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2010, the Global Alert platform, and the Plastic Disclosure Project. He is a UNEP Climate Hero for his efforts, and has been on the advisory board of the XPrize, and The Economist’s World Oceans Summit. In 2011, he co-authored the United Nations Environmental Program Yearbook chapter on the danger of plastic in the ocean. The group is the first NGO in the world to be working with both UNEP and the World Bank on plastic pollution and ocean issues. He is on the Advisory Committee of Wharton’s Institute for Global Environmental Leadership, and is the founder of the Plasticity Forum, first launched at the Rio+20 Earth Summit, and since held in Hong Kong, New York, Portugal, and Shanghai.

He works with companies to improve their recycling and waste reduction vis-vis plastic, and helped Watsons Water, once of Asia’s biggest bottled water companies, to move to use 100% recycled PET material for its bottles, saving over 75,000,000 bottles per year from being used with virgin material.

Mr. Woodring has worked in Asia for over 20 years in a number of industries, including finance, the environment and new media platforms. He has a dual master’s degree from The Wharton School (MBA) and Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) where he studied Environmental Economics. He has an undergraduate degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley.