London Speakers

The list of some of our Plasticity London speakers is below, with more to come including a keynote from Accenture in relation to the “New Plastic Economy,” the City of London’s Waste & Recycling Board, the British Plastics Federation and a number of amazing entrepreneurs, designers and innovators in this space.

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

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.

Mr. Lawrence Black

Senior Advisor - Consultant
McDonough Innovation

“Packaging Realities and the Circular Economy”

Mr. Black, Senior Advisor to McDonough Innovation, works with governments, urban planners, major corporations and thought-leaders globally to solve waste, recycling, packaging and curricular economy challenges. He is a passionate environmentalist whilst being committed to sound economic decision making. Lawrence is a consultant, entrepreneur and business leader who has worked across a wide range of industries, including retail, environmental, waste and recycling, energy, manufacturing and commercial real estate. He has held senior leadership positions, including Director Global Business Development at Waste Management, VP Retail Services Group at Grubb & Ellis Commercial Real Estate and Chief Merchant at Sport Chalet.

His retail experience includes owning and operating a number of specialty stores and serving as senior merchandising consultant to Nike, Columbia Sportswear, Patagonia, Macys, and Sports Authority among others. As a professional member of the National Speakers Association, Lawrence enjoys delivering presentations, training and executive coaching. Drawing on his strong business development capacity, he has sold over one billion dollars of products and services, primarily in the environmental services sector. In addition to his role at McDonough Innovation, he advises governments and Fortune 1000 companies on how to create effective waste and recycling strategies. He is a graduate of the WP Carey School of Business at Arizona State University and participates in numerous associations.

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.

Panjak 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.

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.

Scott Knowles


Mr. Knowles is part of the tech start-up ObJectForm based in the city of Sheffield, UK, and specialises in 3D printing and distribution. Having in-depth knowledge of 3D printing, Knowles and his two start-up partners provides training, consult, design and print as well as pioneering in developing print methods and materials.

In 2014 the branch Fila-CYCLE was launched by ObjectForm aiming towards developing 3D printing materials. Currently the Fila-Cycle brand features six different lines of 3D printing filament, all of which produced completely from recycled plastics, from industrial automotive plastics to our everyday home and consumer plastics.

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. He currently is organizing a new conference — Design in Plastics 2016 (www.4spe.org/designinplastics) on June 21-22 in Providence, R.I. — for the Society of Plastics Engineers.
RC Grace LLC

Simon Widmer

Project Manager - Circular Design
Ellen MacArthur Foundation

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.