Programme of Events

Please note: this programme is still being finalised so some details/timings may change slightly.

 Woven through the Hotspot will be four key themes:

Innovate. Demonstrating innovation and design in the circular economy.
Make. Showcasing Scotland's finest circular economy businesses.
Connect. Embracing connectivity and collaboration.
Landscape. Reflecting Scotland’s natural capital, as well as exploring the supportive political and business circular economy landscapes.

morning - afternoon

DAY 1: Tues, 30 October

Delegate arrivals.

Travel to Glasgow and get settled into the beautiful city where #PeopleMakeGlasgow.

14.00 - 17.00

Informal Networking (Venue: Corinthian Club)

The first opportunity to meet up with other delegates, arrange meetings, and relax in the beautiful setting of the Corinthian Club. Registration desk will be available. Tea, coffee and light snacks provided.

18.30 - 20.00

Civic Reception (Venue: Glasgow City Chambers)

Opening the Hotspot in grand style, delegates will receive a warm welcome from the City of Glasgow's Lord Provost in the stunning setting of the Glasgow City Chambers Banqueting Hall. Drinks and canapés provided.

DAY 2: Weds, 31 October

From 08.30

Arrival at main conference venue: Scottish Event Campus (SEC)
Registration & networking tea, coffee, and pastries.

09.00 - 12.30

Welcome address

  • Vic Emery, Chair of the Board, Zero Waste Scotland

Keynote addresses

  • Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland
  • Dr Leyla Acaroglu, Founder, Disrupt Design & UnSchool
  • Dr Janez Potočnik, Co-Chair of UN International Resource Panel and Former European Commissioner for Environment

The Economics of a Circular World: short talks + conversation

  • Gary Gillespie, Chief Economics Advisor, Scottish Government
  • Dr Katherine Trebeck, Research Director, the Wellbeing Alliance
  • Dr Janez Potočnik, Co-Chair of UN International Resource Panel and Former European Commissioner for Environment

Circular Economy in Practice in Scotland – Iain Gulland, CEO, Zero Waste Scotland

Circular Economy Cities: Systems & Interactions – Miranda Schnitger, Ellen MacArthur Foundation 

12.30 - 13.30


13.30 - 17.00

Focus on Cities & Regions

Glasgow Showcase

Circular Glasgow is an initiative of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce funded by Zero Waste Scotland. Its vision is to create a sustainable economy and position Glasgow as a leading circular city. Its aim is to create a movement to inspire organisations of all sizes to innovate and adopt circular strategies designed to address the ‘circularity gap.’ Pioneering a suite of tools and networking events, Circular Glasgow works to connect companies across the city, helping them to open up new revenue streams, increase competitive advantage and realise financial savings using a range of practical initiatives. This session will provide an overview of the processes, partnerships, successful outcomes and next steps for Circular Glasgow.

The importance of acting locally to close the circularity gap - Harald Friedl, Chief Executive, Circle Economy

Inspiring organisations to innovate and adopt circular strategies - Alison McRae, Senior Director, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce 

Creating impactful collaborations and the lessons learnt - Rebecca Ricketts, Senior Project Manager, Circular Glasgow 

Exploring the strategic role of design in achieving Glasgow’s circular ambitions - Janice Kirkpatrick OBE, Creative Director, Graven

Breakout Sessions: Solving circular challenges—in cities, regions, and on a global scale
An opportunity to join interactive discussions with a number of circular cities and regions in Scotland, and circular experts.  Learn more about the lessons they’ve learned, what makes each area unique, and workshop solutions to circular challenges which could hold transferrable potential.

17.00 - 19.00

Break and relax before dinner.

19.00 - late

Gala Dinner (venue: Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum)

An evening to remember! Enjoy the best of Scottish hospitality with fantastic food, drink, entertainment and a few surprises along the way. Dinner Speaker: Walter Stahel
Dress code: business attire (kilts optional but encouraged!)

DAY 3: Thurs, 1 November

08.30 - 16.00

Discovery Tours: visits to circular economy businesses with talks from additional circular businesses.  (full descriptions here)

A full programme of site visits and talks from Scotland's circular economy businesses.  You will have the choice to go on one of the following visits:


sector partner: Industrial Biotechology Innovation Centre (IBioIC)


sector partner: Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS, Scottish Enterprise). Now fully booked. 

Circular Economy in the Community

sector partner: Revolve, Scotland’s national quality standard for re-use organisations (delivered by Zero Waste Scotland). Now fully booked. 


sector partner: Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC)

Plastic Solutions

sector partner: Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). Now fully booked. 

Food & Drink

sector partner: Scotland Food and Drink

16.00 - 17.00

Panel session: What’s Next for Circular Economy? (Venue: SEC)

The final session of the conference will reflect on what’s next for the circular economy. Speakers include:

  • Terry A'Hearn, CEO, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)
  • Julia Vol,Government and Cities Network Manager, Ellen MacArthur Foundation 
  • Louise McGregor, Head of Circular Economy, Zero Waste Scotland

17.00 - 19.00

Taste Festival (Venue: SEC)

Networking with a twist: an opportunity to sample the best of Scotland's circular economy food and drink products, including beers, whisky, vodka and biscuits. Taste and discuss your favourites!

Zero Waste Scotland
Circular Glasgow