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What Does It Take to Design a Circular Economy?

By Serena Bonomi

Session type

Breakout Session


Thu, 19 Oct 2023


Breakout Room #9

About this session

Climate change impacts dominate headlines, often with a narrative based on fear, scarcity, and urgency. Companies face mounting pressure from reporting and regulations, triggering green-hushing and turning sustainability into a compliance-based burden. Moreover, the ever-evolving and ambiguous sustainability landscape demands ongoing learning, adaptation and innovation, constantly challenging the status quo of what's considered more sustainable. So, as designers, what can we do?

In our breakout session, I will share my 6+ years experience with circular economy innovation, we will explore the role of design in bridging customer needs with sustainability initiatives, and through an open exchange, we will discuss how design can be an enabler for opportunities and abundance within more circular futures.

You don’t need to be a sustainability expert... this workshop is designed for anyone who is open and curious about opportunities within this space, or the role they can play to unlock impact-driven initiatives.

Key take-aways

  • Introduction to the circular economy
  • Reflection on design’s role in a circular economy
  • Design frameworks for sustainability
  • Resources and tips for impact ambassadorship

About Serena

Serena Bonomi

Serena Bonomi

Circular Business, Systemic Design and Innovation Consultant at

Serena is a circular business and systemic design consultant with profound expertise in innovating for the Circular Economy.

Over the last 11+ years, she has built a strong track record in developing strategies and innovation roadmaps, as well as designing and delivering circular product and business model pilots, aligning brands, customers, and sustainability by employing an approach based on systemic innovation, lifecycle, and design thinking. Serena has worked for some of the world’s largest organizations such as 3M, BMW Group, VF Corp, and Zalando, and consulted for different industries including fashion, homeware, electronics, and e-commerce.

Today, Serena partners with ambitious organizations and individuals all over the world to develop bar-raising but achievable strategies and roadmaps, advance circular economy education, and to innovate products and services for the circular economy that are desirable for customers and viable for businesses.