World Resources Forum 2019 Approaches

Antwerp Ready for Comprehensive Circular Economy Conference

Taking place in Antwerp, Belgium from 24 - 27 February, this year’s 2019 World Resources Forum will focus on closing resource loops and achieving the circular economy.


Taking place in Antwerp, Belgium from 24 - 27 February, this year’s 2019 World Resources Forum will focus on closing resource loops and achieving the circular economy.

Organised by the Public Waste Agency of Flanders (OVAM) and the World Resources Forum (WRF) the international conference will encourage a circular economy approach helps to achieve the global Sustainable Development Goals and Climate Change.

The organisers explained that it delivers jobs and environmental wins. Antwerp, as Europe's second largest port, has proven itself to be fertile ground for the development of a circular economy.

OVAM added that it has significant expertise in materials management, and Flanders can be seen as a global trailblazer. Therefor, expect a rich international programme around best practices, ideas and practical solutions.

With just over a month to go, we bring you the latest programme update with new speakers, new sessions and some very special events indeed:

Students design out e-waste in E-Loop Challenge
The electronic waste mountains around the world are growing due to our ever increasing appetite for electronics and digital devices and our common failure to deal with our waste in decent ways.

The Recupel E-Loop Challenge has called on students from around the globe to face this challenge head on and design out e-waste. Fifteen students have been selected from over 1700 applicants.

They will come to Antwerp from countries as diverse as Germany, Greece, Algeria, Ghana, Egypt, Lebanon, Pakistan and Mexico and together hold a four day boot camp. The students will brainstorm about possible solutions to prevent, eradicate and recycle e-waste. Their solutions will be presented to the conference.

Circular Fashion Show; Circular is beautiful
Circular Fashion Show will demonstrate that fashion and circularity can go hand in hand, showcasing creations by ecological brands such as La Fille d'O, Ilke Cop and Tropas. No better place for this of course than … the fashion capital of Belgium.

Politicians and Scientists transmit Sense of Urgency
High level political dialogue is as always integral part of the World Resources Forum. Government, business and scientific leaders from all over the world will present the most pressing messages and transmit the sense of urgency.

Highlights include Janez Potocnik, former EU Commissioner for the Environment and Co-Chair of the UN International Resource Panel, and Sandrine Dixson-Declève, new and first female Co-President of the Club of Rome. The conference will get a very special welcome by a surprise speaker who will be announced shortly.

Cities and Ports take Action together
Thought leaders and stakeholders will share and discuss their visions on specific topics in global sessions, such as Cities and regions as laboratories for circular changeSoil and land as a valuable resource and Circular bioeconomy - circular by nature

Leading global ports Antwerp and Rotterdam will together discuss how ports can contribute to a circular economy together with the industry.

Plastics and Textile
More and more countries are closing their borders for low-quality waste streams. A special sessionhosted by OVAM discusses with experts the global challenges of plastics and textile recycling. Speakers include Cordie Aziz and members of the OECD and ISWA. 

Special Session on Achieving Circular Economy by Mayors
In Mayors and Municipalities for Circular Economy a panel discussion between the Mayors from Bergen, Rotterdam, Porto, Bilbao, Sao Paulo and Beirut will be held. What steps have they taken to achieve a circular economy? How have they designed and implemented better waste and resource management?

What opportunities and challenges did they encounter? How can they do more? Expect inspiring views from a multitude of angles; a Mayor of Sao Paolo for example started his career as a waste picker on one of the city's garbage dumps.

Deep dives and live experiences
Over 40 deep dive workshops, organized by partner organisations, will allow very intense small group interaction. Visit for the workshop programme.

Site visits
The last day of the congress is dedicated to site visits of Belgian companies or organisations that are true pioneers in terms of sustainability and circular economy.

Planned visits include Blue Gate Antwerp (the first circular, eco-effective, water-bound business park in Belgium) and Circular South, a European multi-million project that aims to put a circular economy into practice at neighbourhood level.

Celebrate Circular Antwerp
At the end of each conference day various social events will take place, allowing to network with peers from all over the world. Expect activities ranging from a guided tour of Antwerp and a concert by the famous Belgian pianist Jef Neve to a gala dinner at Grand Café Horta and an afterparty at De Koninck Brewery.