Media Release: Building Bridges for a circular and regenerative economy

Suki Dusanj-Lenz
November 29 2021
Driving the circular economy to scale for a regenerative future, Impact Hub and partners join forces to connect high-impact global innovations from emerging and developing economies to the Swiss ecosystem on November 29th - December 2nd, 2021.

Geneva, 29 November 2021 - COP26 underscored the necessity for countries and actors of the private and public sectors to recognize the urgency of action needed to meet the climate change targets, in particular, financing solutions that help secure global net zero by 2050.

The circular and regenerative economy not only represents a trillion dollar economic opportunity, but is a key part of the global solution to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to restore the health of our ecosystems.

On June 23, 2021, the Federal Council in Switzerland adopted the new Sustainable Development Strategy 2030 and an action plan for the years 2021-2023 as an important requirement for all federal policy areas.

The Impact Hub has been playing a critical role in accelerating the transition to a circular and regenerative economy through the Swiss-wide pioneer initiative Circular Economy Transition launched in 2018, as well as with its flagship program focused on emerging and developing markets, Accelerate2030, and the Impact Hub spin-off Kickstart Innovation, a global leader in startup-corporate matchmaking.  

“Now it is time to bring the circular economy to scale - and all aspects of finance are vital in doing so. Private sector investors, banks, and corporate finance departments, as well as governments and other public sector bodies that control trillions of dollars of public investment and set the regulatory framework, all have a crucial role to play”, says Santu Boëthius, co founder of Impact Hub Geneva and Accelerate2030.

Introducing global innovators to the Swiss and Geneva ecosystem

From coral reef safe sunscreen made from agricultural waste to simplified investment solutions for clean energy, the Accelerate2030 and Kickstart Innovation ventures create solutions for the world's most pressing challenges, driving the transition towards a circular economy globally.

“Technology-based innovations can significantly accelerate the transition to a circular economy in Switzerland. We are happy to see that over 40% of the deals made between our private and public partners, and the participating startups were committed to circularity, this year”, says Katka Letzing, Co-Founder and CEO of Kickstart Innovation.

The Impact Hub will showcase some of the most innovative ventures at the Building Bridges 2021 (November 29th - December 2nd), enabling them to connect and engage in interactive cross-sector discussions with the leading financial institutions, the United Nations leaders and impact investors from the unique Swiss and Geneva ecosystem.

“Impact Hub is founded on these principles to bring engaged people together to enable the transition into a more inclusive and respectful future, Building Bridges ensures that we have honest and impactful dialogue to accelerate Sustainable Development Goals”, says Amanda Byrde, Co-President of Impact Hub Switzerland and Co-founder of Impact Hub Geneva and Lausanne.

Among the outstanding speakers and panelists:

The speakers will share their perspectives and key learnings on how to drive the transition towards circular and regenerative systems, and highlight the importance for industry leaders and entrepreneurs from emerging economies to come together to achieve the SDGs.

Three of the most engaging conversations that will take place during the Building Bridges week are:

  1. Driving finance to scale entrepreneurial solutions for the SDGs Tuesday, 30 November, (8:00-9:30 CET): a breakfast event where the Accelerate2030’s entrepreneurs will showcase their innovations, engage in an interactive conversation with thought leaders and speak on collaboration opportunities that advance the SDGs and circular economy in emerging markets.
  2. Financing innovation to achieve the circular economy transition - Wednesday, 1 December (8:00-9:30 CET): This event will gather businesses, entrepreneurs and investors showcasing innovative high-impact circular solutions and exploring innovative models for financing the transition to a circular economy.
  3. Factory17: The Pioneers of today, shaping the world of tomorrow - Wednesday, 1 December (19:30-21:00 CET): An inspiring evening of powerful stories by the pioneers, visionaries and leaders who play their part in accelerating the shift towards a sustainable and regenerative financial system.


For more information, please contact:

Nirosha Beck (Ms.) (FR, EN)

Head, Communication Department,

Impact Hub Geneva & Lausanne, Accelerate2030

+41 78 669 28 38

Suki Dusanj - Lenz (Ms.) (EN)

Global Senior Communications Manager

Kickstart Innovation

+41 77 529 63 26


About Impact Hub Geneva

The mission of the Impact Hub Geneva is to promote social innovation, support the transition to a circular and regenerative economy, and promote the emergence of new entrepreneurial projects that work towards achieving the Sustainable Goals. Within our coworking space and through our programs, we bring together citizens, entrepreneurs and major economic players, and encourage them to collaborate on issues of sustainable development and climate action. Some of our programs are: Accelerate2030, Circular Economy Incubator, Kickstart, Intrapreneurship Academy.

About Accelerate2030

Co-initiated by Impact Hub and UNDP out of Geneva in 2016, Accelerate2030 has become the world’s largest program for scaling entrepreneurial solutions towards the SDGs, implemented across 33 countries in Africa, Asia, Latam, East Europe, supporting over 400 entrepreneurs over the past 5 years.

In this fourth edition of the program, we scouted for the most promising SDG-related entrepreneurs across 20 countries, including: Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Tanzania, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Turkey, North Macedonia, Croatia, China, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

To learn more about Accelerate2030’s impact, visit, or read the 2020 Impact Report here:

About Kickstart

Kickstart is one of Europe's largest zero equity, multi-corporate ecosystem innovation platforms that runs a scale-up program for high-growth startups with the goal to accelerate deep tech innovation in Switzerland. Science and engineering-driven technologies have the potential to solve humanity’s biggest challenges. They require unprecedented collaboration between established organizations and the most audacious entrepreneurs out there. Kickstart is committed to build bridges and bring various organizations such as startups, corporates, cities, foundations and universities together. Each year, Kickstart brings up to 100 entrepreneurs to Switzerland to collaborate with key players for proofs of concept, pilot projects and other innovation partnerships. Additionally, through the intrapreneurship program Kickstart helps established organisations accelerate internal innovation.

Kickstart joined forces with Impact Hub Lausanne and Impact Hub Geneva to grow its presence in the Romandy region through the Circular Economy Initiative. Circular Economy, sustainability and digitalization are now at the forefront of the focus areas including EdTech & New Work, FinTech & InsurTech, Food & Retail Tech, HealthTech, Smart City & Technology, as well as Intrapreneurship.

In this year's Proofs of Concepts, 20 out of 50 have a focus on Circular Economy. Among the renowned Swiss companies and institutions that have entered into a cooperation are AXA, Coop, Migros, Swisscom, la Mobilière, Stadt Zürich, PostFinance, Credit Suisse, ETH Zurich, Sanitas, Canton de Vaud, Mava Foundation and others.