Estonian Circular Design in New York City

Discover the Soul of Estonian Design: Tradition Meets the Future in Circularity and Digital Innovation

Discover the Soul of Estonian Design: Tradition Meets the Future in Circularity and Digital Innovation
Nestled in the heart of Northern Europe, Estonia has emerged as a powerhouse in the global design and digital innovation scene. Join us at Upmade in Estonia to learn how the of traditional core of minimalist philosophies of Estonian design became the cutting edge of sustainability and digital innovation.

This exclusive event is taking place for the first time in New York City, with top design leaders from Estonia in attendance who will share and discuss the roots of Estonian Design, its unique aesthetics, and its contemporary successes. You will find out why this tiny country is now recognized as having the “most unicorns per capita in Europe” and “the most start-ups per capita in Europe,” and how it became the world’s first 100% digitally transformed society. You will hear the backstory of the startup culture where products like Skype were born, and how Estonia became the world leader in digital governance, its innovative e-Residency program, and how this is revolutionizing the creative and entrepreneurial landscape.

Reet Aus
kelpman textile
johanna ulfsak
Piret Loog
Cervo Volante
K i l l u d
Heiter X
Studio Raili Keiv
Elize Hiiop Jewellery
Tarmo Luisk
By Urmas Lüüs
Leonardo Design
Olustvere puidukoda / Mirjam ja Markus Pärnamets
Hannah Segerkrantz / Kiukivi
Margit Terasmees
Kärt Summatavet
Riina O
RAIKU Bio Packaging
Andres Ansper
DiMa Estonian Academy of Arts (Sandra Luks, Argo Tamm, Cärol Ott, Reet Aus)
Krista Lehari Jewellery
Kristel Kuslapuu
SJX by Juhan Soomets
Maria Rästa Design
Arro Porcelain
Elmet Treier design

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The Circularity Gap Report 2024

2024 Circularity Gap report by Circle Economy Foundation and Deloitte is out to give a fair overview, how are we approaching our sustainable goals.

Despite the increased attention and discussions surrounding circular economy principles, global circularity is still declining. Over the past five years, the volume of discussions addressing circularity has nearly tripled, indicating growing awareness. However, the majority of materials entering the economy are still virgin, with the share of secondary materials decreasing steadily. For instance, from 9.1% in 2018 to 7.2% in 2023. At the same time, global material consumption continues to rise exponentially, with over half a trillion tonnes consumed in just the past six years alone, mirroring the grim reality: despite rhetoric, concrete actions towards circularity are lacking.

The Circularity Gap Reports since 2019 have provided essential analysis and theory, but it’s imperative to translate these insights into action now. Six of the nine key planetary boundaries measuring environmental health have been breached, largely due to the linear ‘take-make-waste’ economy. Adopting 16 circular economy solutions, as identified in the Circularity Gap Report 2023, could not only reverse this trend but also reduce global material extraction by one-third, emphasizing the urgent need for a circular economy.

While material consumption has historically correlated with increased living standards, we’re at a juncture where its acceleration, particularly in high-income countries, doesn’t necessarily guarantee enhanced wellbeing. Moreover, unequal distribution of wealth and resources destabilizes societies and strains Earth’s life-support systems. Thus, transitioning to circular principles becomes paramount to boost development, resilience, and safeguarding wellbeing amidst uncertainty and transition.

Governments and industries must break free from exploitative patterns by implementing bold policies, closing the circular skills gap, and ensuring a just transition. The focus shifts from ‘what’ needs to be done to ‘how,’ emphasizing systemic changes and people-centric approaches. Circular solutions must prioritize job creation and decent livelihoods while reducing inequalities and environmental harm. By funneling materials into industries and practices that elevate people and repair ecosystems, we can achieve global wellbeing within planetary boundaries, requiring tailored approaches across nations and industries.

In conclusion, prioritizing circularity-based development in lower-income countries, promoting circular industrial processes in developing countries, and reshaping consumption patterns in higher-income nations are crucial steps toward a sustainable future. The circular economy isn’t just about materials; it’s about elevating human wellbeing, repairing ecosystems, and reshaping societal paradigms for a more sustainable future.


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