The role of Education towards Circular Economy Thinking and Action. Inspiring change with challenge based learning for Circularity

DATE: 14.10.2021


ORGANIZER: University of Turin



Education will play a fundamental role in the transition toward circularity, being the key for bringing change in knowledge, values, behaviors and lifestyles needed to achieve sustainable development.

The Circular Economy is a concept that requires all stakeholders to think and act differently, and education can serve as the ideal vehicle to inspire individuals to re-evaluate their role in closing product and service loops and instil a sense of personal motivation and collective eco-responsibility. The Department of Management of the University of Turin has been collaborating with various organisations and experts to design and implement innovative learning programs, especially within the EIT Food Ecosystem. The session will aim at sharing insights and lessons learned while igniting conversations on the role of education in the transition towards a circular economy transition.

The presentation will be held by Prof. Paola De Bernardi and Simona Grande.


17:00- 17:20    Opening remarks: Paola De Bernardi and Simona Grande, University of Turin & ECESP
17:20 – 18:20   Panel discussion Education for Circularity: drivers and opportunities

  • Simona Grande and Paola De Bernardi | University of Turin – Digital Education Hackathon Goes Circular and Circular Business Models for sustainable urban food systems Massive Open Online Course
  • Philippe Schuler | Global Impact Manager Too Good To Go – Fighting Food Waste through Education
  • Cristina Varese | University of Turin – Master Bioeconomy in the Circula Economy (Biocirce)
  • Gaetano Zarlenga | CUEIM – The Interreg MED Green Growth Community Capacity Building program


Paola De Bernardi is Professor of Circular Economy and Climate Change Management at the University of Turin, Department of Management. Her research interests lie in the area of Strategic and Management Systems, performance measurement systems and circular economy management. Paola’s work explores the role of entrepreneurship & innovation on sustainable and circular business model innovation. She is coordinator on behalf of the University of Turin of the EIT Food educational programmes: Global Food Venture and Innovator Fellowship. She is supervisor of the Smar AgriFood Lab of the Inter-departemental centre of Innovation and Technology (ICxT) of the University of Turin and co-founder of the Smart Commons Lab. She developed a MOOC under EIT Food funding on “Circular business models for sustainable urban food systems” for Future Learn Platform. She is the supervisor of the Turin Digital Education Hackathon a European annual hackathon on the challenge “Cities Go Circular, when Digital Education meets Urban Circular Business Models”. She is member of a) the Italian Stakeholder Platform on Circular Economy; b) the Sustainable Food System Network and c) the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ECESP) Leadership Group – Food Waste, Food Systems, Bioeconomy. Paola is the leading coordinator of the “Italian Imagine Circularity” initiative.

Simona Grande is a researcher at the University of Turin, Faculty of Management, and a member of the Italian Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform. She is part of the team that designed the EIT Food MOOC “Circular Business Models for Sustainable Urban Food Systems” and  “DigiEduHack Goes Circular”. In the past 6 years, she had the opportunity to conduct research in 20+ countries, participate in 60+ hackathons with various roles, mentor and interview 500+ entrepreneurs and experts with a focus on food innovation and circular economy practices.


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