Circular Economy Solutions Dialogues (CESD) 2021/22

From Global Value Chains to a Global Circular Economy: Mapping the Journey

Thu, Oct 21 2021
Europe/Berlin: 12:30 - 2:30pm
Thu, Nov 11 2021, Europe/Berlin: 12:30 - 2:30pm
Thu, Dec 2 2021, Europe/Berlin: 12:30 - 2:30pm
Thu, Dec 9 2021, Europe/Berlin: 12:30 - 2:30pm
Thu, Jan 20 2022, Europe/Berlin: 12:30 - 2:30pm

Circular Economy Solutions Dialogues

Circular Economy Solutions Dialogues: The Context

Resource extraction and consumption is expected to double by 2060, driven by global economic and population growth. Responsible for 90% of biodiversity loss and water stress as well as 50% of climate change impact, further resource extraction is set to accelerate environmental degradation while exposing the shortcomings of our linear ‘take, make, dispose’ model of production and consumption. A circular economy contributes to the decoupling of economic growth from resource use and negative environmental impact, offering a sustainable alternative to the linear growth model.

The emergence of global value chains (GVCs) interlinking production and the end consumer led to a fine-meshed net of linear interdependencies spanning across the planet. Embedding circularity in these value chains yields massive positive effects on re-usability, recyclability and design of the final product. However, countries involved in the same GVC are often characterized by different practices and standards and experience environmental effects differently. While negative externalities are often felt in the Global South where production takes place, decisions on what and how to produce are mostly made in the Global North. In order to find a common solution closing the loop globally, a multilevel, multilateral perspective is needed.

The increasing momentum of policy commitments, notably the EU ambition to lead a just transition to a circular economy (as expressed in the European Green Deal, the Circular Economy Action Plan), but also the global and regional alliances on the circular economy (GACERE, LAC CE Coalition, African CE Alliance) offers a cornucopia of opportunities to embed circularity into value chains. To (1) analyse challenges to the integration of circularity into value chains, (2) to identify scalable tools and approaches, and (3) devise context-sensitive strategies for their implementation, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the Global Solutions Initiative (GSI) are launching the Circular Economy Solutions Dialogue (CESD). The virtual, participatory dialogue consists of four sessions and is centred around the following four key challenges:

  • Integration of circularity into global value chains: How can we ensure that circularity is embedded into global value chains? What (pre-)conditions are essential to mainstream the concept? How can we align the interests of all stakeholders in the value chain?
  • Support of secondary raw materials markets: How can business models, technologies and policies support existing and create new markets for recycled materials? How can successful policies and practices be spread beyond national scope to close the materials loop on a regional and global level? How can localised markets for secondary raw materials facilitate a reduction in freight movements globally?
  • A just transition leaving no one behind: How can policy makers and all stakeholders make sure that the transition process is inclusive and leaves no one behind? How can employment and re-training opportunities be created where resource extraction industries disappear? How can the informal recycling be engaged and transferred into formalised along with a socio-economic upward mobility.
  • Sector focus, among others, on (vehicle) batteries and textile industries: Which strategies are pertinent in these specific sectors? Which actors need to work together and align their interests in order to make circular, global material flows a reality? How does the North-South and South-South cooperation express itself?

To close the gap between theory and practice, the CESD brings together approximately 25 experts from government and business, civil society, academia, think tanks, and international organizations. As organizers of the CESD, GIZ and the GSI are driven by a shared vision of a circular economy and a sustainable future for all.

Methodology and Sequencing

The process is designed as a two-month multi-stakeholder dialogue, comprising:

(1) four virtual meetings employing a mix of dialogue methodologies and leadership impulses;

(2) e-collaboration to draw out ideas in between; and

(3) a booklet on how to disseminate solutions.

Participants are expected to partake in all meetings to ensure continuity and a genuine team spirit.

The interactive and cross-sectoral nature of this moderated dialogue seeks to identify the preconditions that are necessary to embed circularity into value chains. The co-creative, participative meetings are moderated by two experts. We believe in an exchange without power point presentations.


21 October 2021

1st plenary session with break-out rooms: Participants will meet online for a first get-to-know to share expectations and to introduce their circular economy expertise.

11 November 2021

2nd plenary session with break-out rooms: Participants share promising approaches on how to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. Solutions and critical success factors are investigated.

02 December 2021

3rd plenary session with break-out rooms: Participants engage in deep-dive discussion for implementation of potential tools, solutions and approaches.

22 January 2022

4th plenary session with break-out rooms: The groups translate their collective experience into technical and policy proposals considering the special context of participating countries and peer groups.

Additional Deep Dive Webinar (participation encouraged, but not compulsory)

09 December 2021

Deep Dive Webinar: Global Value Chains, Batteries and the automotive industry

Expected Outputs

The collective effort and a commonly agreed list of key messages will be recorded in writing in a Results Booklet which will be available to the public. It shall serve implementers and policy makers in specific countries. In addition, the outcomes will enrich policy briefs and publications in the context of the G/T20 process, especially through GSI’s Global Solutions Summit as a platform for thought-leaders.

In case of questions, please contact Ms. Katharina Lange (

We are looking forward to our exchange.




21 October 21

12:30 – 14:30 CET

Global Value Chains

  • setting the scene
  • impact of COVID on CE
  • insights from the Global South

11 November 21

12:30 – 14:30 CET

Batteries & Industry 4.0*

  • achieving circularity in the batteries industry and other industries
  • resource efficiency
  • reverse logistics

*an additional deep-dive webinar will be held on the topic of batteries and the automotive industry
on 9 Dec 2021 (participation is encouraged but not mandatory. 

02 December 21

12:30 – 14:30 CET

People-oriented business models

  • sharing economy models
  • explore existing business models & the potential within them

20 January 22

12:30 – 14:30 CET

Multilateral agendas

  • identify missing links in each agenda