8 May 2024

Advancing Sustainability: "Mainstreaming Circular Economy for Transformative and Sustainable Change" Workshop at Universitas Gadjah Mada

Jogjakarta, Indonesia - The "Mainstreaming Circular Economy for Transformative and Sustainable Change" workshop recently hosted by the Institute of International Studies (IIS) at Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), in collaboration with PAGE through the UNDP Indonesia, and the Directorate of Environmental Affairs at Bappenas, concluded successfully on May 6, 2024. The workshop aimed to deepen the understanding of circular economy (CE) principles, advocating for their integration into educational systems and grassroots-level changes to foster sustainable development. The workshop gathered approximately 160 offline participants and 30 online participants, including government officials, researchers, academics, private, students, youth, and the general public. This diverse attendance ensured a rich exchange of ideas and experiences, fostering a multidimensional discussion on integrating circular economy principles into various sectors and levels of society.

The workshop was initiated with opening remarks from the leaders and the representatives from several institutions. The Director of IIS UGM and the Dean of the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences (FISIPOL) at UGM welcomed the participants, emphasizing the importance of innovative environmental strategies in education and policy-making. Further insights were provided by the EU Delegation to Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam, and the Head of the Environment Unit at UNDP Indonesia, who highlighted the global collaboration necessary to advance circular economy initiatives.

The event featured a diverse group of speakers who offered various perspectives on the implementation and challenges of the circular economy. Speakers came from the Directorate of Environmental Affairs at Bappenas, a Lecturer from the International Relations Department at UGM, and representatives from PT. Amandina and PT. Janitra Bhumi Indonesia. Additionally, the Ngupahan Team, a grand finalist in the Ideathon FLW, shared innovative ideas from their competition experience, showcasing young innovators’ roles in driving the circular economy forward.

Throughout the workshop, speakers and participants discussed the importance of forming inclusive circular economy regulations that involve all societal levels to ensure equitable representation and sustainability. Emphasis was placed on interdisciplinary research, supporting MSMEs through accessible resources and capital, and encouraging local community engagement through various initiatives like campaigns and exhibitions to enhance understanding and implementation of CE principles. Key initiatives such as the establishment of Circular Economy Living Labs were proposed to facilitate an exchange of knowledge and foster innovation in everyday practices. These labs are intended to serve as platforms for experimental environments where solutions based on CE principles can be developed and tested. Additionally, the workshop highlighted the need for educational institutions to integrate CE into their curricula, fostering an environment where students are not only aware of sustainability but also equipped to implement CE practices actively.

The workshop represented a critical step towards embedding circular economy concepts into mainstream policies and educational frameworks, setting a foundation for sustainable economic and environmental practices globally. Through collaborative discussions and targeted recommendations, it paved the way for transformative changes, promising a future where sustainability principles are seamlessly integrated into all levels of society and industry.