The waste generation ecosystem has become so complex that it is challenging for an individual stakeholder to truly make a difference. There is no simple solution; everything is connected. We imagine a way forward by closing loops and building resilience through human-to-human connections across the corners of the ecosystem: regulation, design, innovation, production, distribution, consumption and waste treatment.
When talking about Circular Economy or even more simply Sustainable Economy, the key terms that come to mind are collaboration, interdependence, complexity, closed loops and regeneration. Circular Economy is about interconnectedness, it cannot be done in silos: we have to connect and move forward together as an ecosystem.
This is why Future of Waste is hosting multi-stakeholder dialogue sessions on a local level to collectively redefine the value of waste, envision a regenerative future of our products and prototype ways to get there. An economy that regenerates the natural environment rather than depletes it, with a regulatory framework that allows for that to happen and with a deeper caring and understanding of the products that are placed on the market.
It was on a warm day of September 2020, in Bern that Boryana and Julia met for the first time at the Day of Collaboration, the first module of the Catalyst Lab by collaboratio helvetica. They did not know it yet but that budding connection would turn into a strong and long-lasting collaboration.
Through the upcoming months of the Catalyst Lab, both of them interviewed stakeholders in their respective regions and worked on their individual initiatives. But by Module 4 on Crystallizing, it became clear that to reach their common vision of a regenerative Switzerland they should be joining forces. So on February 12th, 2021 they chose a name for their joint venture and Future of Waste was born.
This was the beginning of a journey to shift mindsets and guide a systemic change in Switzerland towards a circular economy.
The amount of plastic per year leaked into the oceans according to Jambeck et al, 2015, source. The only way to handle this is to cut the pollution at the source.
The net benefit Circular Economy could create by 2030 according to McKinsey, source. It is economically viable and offers new job and innovation opportunities.
Switzerland’s position in the European ranking of waste production per capita, source. Only half of that is recycled and hardly any of it is used in Swiss production.
Today, Switzerland uses up three times the amount of resources it should aim to consume to stay within sustainable development goals. source, page 26
Social entrepreneur and catalyst – Business innovation & Managing climate solutions
An avid purpose-driven business proponent, Boryana’s focus has been on how business practices can benefit society and operate in alignment with nature. Her passion for nature and water, in particular, drove her to investigate the limitations of the buy-use-throw-out practices that dramatically contribute to the natural world’s misalignment. Ever since she has been exploring alternative economic models and business practices.
Boryana has experience in convening multiple stakeholders in various formats, future of work themes, community building, and managing climate solutions. In 2020 she joined the Catalyst Lab at collaboratio helvetica and co-initiated Future of Waste together with Julia Bodin.
Social entrepreneur and catalyst – Environmental engineer
During her Master’s project, Julia studied coral resilience to global change and discovered the extent of plastic pollution. Ever since she has been driven to work for a shift in the single use and linear economy that causes so much impact on the natural environment. She created Let’s Talk Waste in 2018 as an entrepreneurial project and offers environmental team building and employee engagement activities.
In 2020, she joined the Catalyst Lab at collaboratio helvetica and created the non-profit side of Let’s Talk Waste to host Future of Waste, a venture co-initiated with Boryana Milova.
Our wisdom council or Jedi Board as some like to call it, is a group of wise and knowledgeable women and men who convene 3 to 4 times a year to support us in keeping true to our vision and help us build more resilience in the project. They are here as individuals connecting to the project on a human level and not on a company or organization level.
Our work is only possible with the support of a strong group of individuals and partners. They are men and women who contribute to the success of Future of Waste in various capacities and time.