CCC cities refine their business incubation pilots in Aarhus

13. juuni 2024

From 4 to 6 June the municipality of Aarhus in cooperation with Lifestyle and Design Cluster hosted the second workshop of the “Creative Circular Cities” project – a Business Lab. During the Lab the six cities taking part in the project – Aarhus, Gdynia, Kiel, Riga, Tallinn and Turku – refined their business incubation pilots for facilitating CCSI-supported circular business models. 

The dynamic three-day workshop was led by sustainable business advisor Jasper Steinhausen and along with the director of the partnership “Trace” Anette Juhl, behavioral scientist Pelle Guldborg Hansen and the leader of the association “Rethink Human Being” Christian Dietrichsen, they delivered inspiring keynotes and expert sessions.  

“If you want to create impact, solve business problems,” Jasper Steinhausen said about the essential mindset regarding circular economy. He further stressed the importance of collaborating and helping companies in reframing their approach to become greener.  

Despite Denmark’s many circular efforts, Denmark is just 4% circular so far, said Anette Juhl, the director of the partnership Trace which brings together 90 public and private institutions and companies to work on common projects with focus on circular economy in the plastics and textile industries. Anette shared her insights about leading the partnership, emphasizing the importance of finding synergies across different projects and “playing with the ones that want to play with you”.  

Pelle Guldborg Hansen introduced the participants to behavioural insights and nudging approaches and advised them “not to create behavioural change through forcing anyone”, but rather through different forms of signaling. If we want to influence people’s behaviour, we need to identify behavioural patterns and find “small things where people could do something different”, said Pelle.  

Christian Dietrichsen gave insights to the concept of “inner sustainability”, emphasizing that external changes require an internal transformation, and challenged the project partners in questioning the business incubation pilots’ core values as a means of specifying the business plan.   

During the Lab local actors from Denmark, that focus on circular solutions, showcased their ideas, products and business models, one of the highlights being a dress from milk yarn designed by Amalie Ege. Project partners from Gdynia, who are working on a bulk waste collection platform, could get inspired from “The Upcycle” – a platform matching industry with excess materials to companies that can put them to use. The project partners could also learn about the Reusable Cup solution – a deposit system for coffee cups, that is currently being tested in Aarhus.  

The company “Noeje”, present at the Lab, showcased their design furniture that is produced in collaboration with local craftsmen and suppliers, but “I tråd med Verden” shared their social business model – they produce clothes and accessories from textile leftovers and employ women who have suffered from depression and want to make their way back to the job market. 

“Creative Circular Cities” is co-funded by the EU’s Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme to promote circular transition at local level by involving the culture & creative sectors and industries.  

For more information about the project and updates on future events, stay connected through our website https://interreg-baltic.eu/project/ccc/ or reach out directly.