Initiative Romandie

Arbon Initiative

Executive summary

Humanity’s current rate of resource consumption eventually means we will run out. Meanwhile, we produce “waste” unlike any other species on the planet – it is a man-made problem. Future of Waste is an initiative that focuses on creating the right conditions for addressing this challenge and triggering change towards more resilient consumption and production patterns. We are by your side to co-create a stable future for the generation to come.

Our work can be broken down into three steps:

Identify and understand your ecosystem | ensuring all the right people are around the table is key to the success of your transition. We put our skills at your disposal to fully reveal your system’s complexity on a stakeholder map and make sure you are surrounded by the people who can actually make a difference.

Communicate | going on a journey of transitioning to a circular economy is a positive and hopeful message. It must be heard. We offer communication leverages so that you may tell the world what is happening in your ecosystem. This is done through videos, blog articles, events, and more.

Connect | you cannot achieve a circular economy without collaborations. Making sure the ecosystem connects in a meaningful way is at the very heart of our work. We plant seeds of collaboration within your ecosystem through organizing innovative dialogue sessions.

What do you get out of it?

A connected human tissue around you ready to take the dive towards an economy that preserves future generations’ ability to thrive on the planet. A facilitated transition. A tested social innovation process. An opportunity for resilience in business and to be amongst the pioneers of green innovation.

How do we get there?

To safeguard the neutrality of the process, the intention is to finance our work and its initiatives through the contributions of all stakeholders. Co-funding this process is key to its success for no one is more willing to participate and contribute in a meaningful way than people who have a vested interest.

We estimate that this initiative will require XX’XXX CHF to be a success.

Our Story

“Every good project starts with a story. Here is mine.”

When I did my Master’s project on Red Sea corals in Israel, I discovered diving and the magical underwater world, but also the extent of plastic pollution and the direct contribution of humans to it.

While I am grateful for and supportive of the clean up efforts, for me it is like putting a tiny bandage on a massive haemorrhage: it’s time to turn off the plastic tap at the source. It’s time to imagine a world where the circular economy is the norm rather than the exception.

Julia Bodin

Changemaker and catalyst for change - Environmental engineer - Founder of Let’s Talk Waste

Boryana Milova

Changemaker and catalyst for change - Environmental engineer - Founder of Let’s Talk Waste

Why

8
million tonnes

The amount of plastic per year that is leaked in the oceans according to Jambeck et al, 2015, source

8
million tonnes

The amount of plastic per year that is leaked in the oceans according to Jambeck et al, 2015, source

8
million tonnes

The amount of plastic per year that is leaked in the oceans according to Jambeck et al, 2015, source

8
million tonnes

The amount of plastic per year that is leaked in the oceans according to Jambeck et al, 2015, source

Why does it matter?

We leak 8 million tonnes of plastic per year into the oceans. That is one garbage truck per minute. Focusing only on cleaning up is therefore insufficient: we need to be more ambitious to prevent this pollution from reaching the natural environment in the first place.

Why does it matter?

This project aims to rethink our relationship to waste and its creation in order to limit the staggering leakage of plastics and other wastes into the oceans, to empower every stakeholder along the value chain of our products. We want to achieve this by creating connections and holding generative dialogues between stakeholders in the ecosystem.

The waste generation ecosystem does not stop at the collection, sorting and treatment of waste. It begins much earlier when the product is imagined in the mind of the innovator and then produced, marketed, distributed, purchased, consumed and disposed of. In order to solve the problem of waste and close the loops, we need to connect the entire ecosystem so that it understands and helps itself.

Our initiative partners

Initiative aims and deliverables

This project aims to rethink our relationship to waste and its creation to limit the staggering leakage of plastics and other wastes into the ocean at the source and empower every stakeholder along the product’s life cycle to make a difference. We want to achieve this by shifting the mindset from seeing waste to seeing resources and connecting every stakeholder to the root cause of the issue but also to each other in a more meaningful and human way. In doing so, we nurture human connections and explore what circular economy collaborations could look like.

Action

We structure our work in 3 steps:

Understand/Identify
Fully understanding the ecosystem in which you stand is the start of our work and arguably the most important step for success.
This could be businesses, shops, consumer organizations, waste treatment or recycling facilities as well as local politicians and administration employees. We reach out to all the people in your ecosystem and interview them to get a sense of what they are doing and what their obstacles are. Connecting on a human level as much as possible is what we aim for.

Communicate
We communicate about what we have learned to civil society and other stakeholders by means of events, blog posts, podcasts, videos, social media posts. This allows for the whole community and ecosystem to be aware of the challenges that pivoting into a circular economy can bring and therefore prepare the mindsets to have a generative discussion about the future.

Connect
We invite the stakeholders identified at the first step to participate in a series of (ideally) physical dialogue sessions where through mindful facilitation we get to explore together collaboration and solution potentials to shift into a circular economy at the local level. and maybe even looking out to a broader vision.

Output

The work we will be doing will give some clear outputs:

Reports and documents such as a stakeholder map of the local ecosystem, process report, graphic recording of the dialogue sessions, and an insights report.

Multimedia content for our knowledge platform. We will be creating articles, videos, podcasts, and other content that will aim to raise awareness and increase knowledge in the general population about the issue of waste. It should make it easier for individuals to understand the importance of co-creating a generative economy and, therefore, make it easier to understand some implications that may arise from the process.

Physical encounters of important stakeholders along the value chain. Through our research, we will be reaching out to many people working directly or indirectly on the waste issue. Maybe you are one of them. We intend to invite you to meet as some of you may not know each other or might never have met on neutral grounds. The aspect of neutrality is important to us so that a common understanding and vision can emerge going beyond the current status and obstacles.

Events to gather the general public and invite them to the action. We will be hosting with partners a series of different events to give visibility to what is already being done and what is coming. You may be one of these partners and may want to contribute to some of these events. They will give you visibility and show you as part of the stakeholders that are already in action.

Outcome

The project we are working on is expected to have some outcomes in the long run:

  • A deeper understanding of the local ecosystem. We hope that at the end of our cycle, all stakeholders have a better understanding of who is working in the same direction and what needs to happen before a common vision becomes a reality.
  • A common vision of the future of waste. We are rooting for a common vision of what the system wants to see happen in the near future. We hope that by discussing the future of waste, we can explore how to see waste as a resource for business and in so doing eliminate the notion of waste altogether
  • A mindset shift on circular economy. We expect that through our communication, knowledge platform, events, and dialogues, both civil society and stakeholders will have a broader understanding of what circular economy actually is and how far it can reach. Our work is done when the system is moving naturally and on its own to overcome all obstacles and transition into circularity and regeneration.

Impact

Rethinking the way we do business and shifting into a regenerative and circular economy means we, as a society, have a massive impact on many levels:

  • Reduction of resource consumption.
  • Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Water use and pollution reduction as well as energy consumption.
  • Long-term cost lowering.
  • New business opportunities, new customer journeys, and new customer acquisition.
  • Preservation of the natural environment allows for an economy that can continue to thrive while not exhausting our resources.
  • Happier workforce, retrained skills, enhanced talent acquisition in the new generations.

Our team

Barbara Seeger

Partnership and fundraising support
collaboratio helvetica

Boryana Milova

Strategy support
Future of Waste

Daphne Bucher

Digital communication and social networks
collaboratio helvetica

Dominik Veron

Digital communication and social networks
collaboratio helvetica

Erica Mazerolle

Facilitation, strategy and local collaboration
Impact Hub Lausanne

Krista Kaufmann

Facilitation and graphic recording

Nora Wilhelm

Strategy and partnership support
collaboratio helvetica

Romane Charraud

Video shooting and editing

Sylvia Garatti

Partnership and fundraising support
collaboratio helvetica

Budget and funding

People CHF 30’000

We are raising CHF 30’000 for a full-time equivalent at CHF 5’000 per month for 6 months. This budget will be distributed between several people working part-time in different capacity.

Support CHF 10’000

We are raising CHF 10’000 to finance the support we are getting from partners in strategy, fundraising, methodology, public relations and communication in collaboration with collaboratio helvetica. This budget also covers the website creation in collaboration with Matheus Guimarães da Silva.

Logistics CHF 10’000

We are raising CHF 10’000 to finance the logistics and facilitation of the stakeholder dialogues. This includes the rental of a space and a light apéro as well as the facilitators that would be aiding the process.

+ bonus CHF 25’000

As a stretch goal, we are raising CHF 25’000 for the realization of awareness videos and sketches in collaboration with Romane Charraud and Krista Kaufmann about the work happening in the waste generation ecosystem and the work we are doing with Future of Waste. This is a desired budget but not a limiting factor.

From Local to Glocal

From Local to Glocal

The circular economy does not happen in boxes, it is a systemic approach.

While we chose to operate at a local level to make the system identification manageable and allow for connection on a human level to happen, we strongly believe that in line our approach needs to grow into a global movement. This is why Future of Waste St-Gallen is not a one-shot initiative, it is one of many initiatives to come. Currently, we are exploring the possibility to run an initiative in Nyon and Geneva.

We intend to multiply the cycles in many more cities and to eventually build enough knowledge to be able to connect them and grow to the cantonal and then national level. We bet on glocal.

Future of Waste is a collaboration between Boryana Milova and Julia Bodin, acting in German-speaking and French-speaking Switzerland at the same time. We hope to grow in a larger core team that can also explore other regions.

For cities & municipalities

For cities & municipalities

Would you like to explore local synergies, collaborations through an innovative process? Become a co-hosting partner of the local initiative.

Get Involved
For funders

For funders

Do you want to support such work and accelerated the transition towards a circular economy happen?

Get Involved
For Business

For Business

Are you interested in making your company more sustainable and wonder where to start from? You can find our corporate offerings on Let’s Talk Waste.

Get Involved