Hybrid Event: Spin the wheel - Financing the reskilling and upskilling for circular cities

Developing and investing in circular economy projects and competences has become an imperative to avoid exceeding planetary boundaries.

Being on the forefront of action, cities and local governments can steer this change by channeling financial resources in the right direction.

As an official side event of the EU Green Week, and part of the ICLEI Brussels-based series of events Breakfast at Sustainability’s, the event will explore linkages and concrete actions that should be considered by investors and project owners when developing circular and a long-lasting, place-based skills and workforce.

The event will highlight the central role of local governments in linking both with the private sector as well as public and private investors. It will revolve around the pivotal questions “What role can local authorities play in fostering circular economy upskilling and reskilling of the workforce? What can financiers do to support? What are the main bottlenecks, and what potential solutions?”. Participants will also learn about ICLEI’s current efforts in delivering Project Development Assistance (PDA) to local authorities and other project developers in the frame of the DEFINITE-CCRI and CircularInvest projects under the umbrella the CCRI.

City representatives, multilateral banks (EIB), financing experts and EU policymakers will explore the link between sustainable financing and circular reskilling at the local level through participating in a panel discussion after presenting their viewpoints in a quick round of lightning talks. After that, the floor will be open for discussion with participants both physically present and online along the key questions and objectives of the event.

This event focuses on gathering expert input on how to strengthen project proposals to finance circular reskilling and upskilling; inputs gathered via the sessions will inform the work carried on in two EU projects - CircularInvest and DEFINITE-CCRI.

Practical information:

Date and time: 8th June 2023 from 10:00h to 11:30h CEST
Format: hybrid event
Venue: Rue du Luxembourg 19, 2nd floor, ICLEI Europe Brussels office

Register here


10:00-10:05 Welcome and Introduction
Moderator, Nikolai Jacobi, DEFINITE-CCRI Coordinator, Sustainable Resources, Climate and Resilience Team, ICLEI Europe

10:05-10:15 Scope and objectives of the Circular Cities and Regions Initiative (CCRI)
Lucie Blondel, Policy Officer, European Commission, DG Research and Innovation

10:15-10:30 Circular Economy Project Development Assistance (PDA) for cities and project developers
Nikolai Jacobi, DEFINITE-CCRI Coordinator, Sustainable Resources, Climate and Resilience Team, ICLEI Europe

10:30-10:40 Setting the scene – challenges and trends for upskilling the circular transition
Morgane Veillet Lavallée, Senior Researcher at the Circular Jobs Initiative, Circle Economy

10:40 -11:15 Lighting Talks & Panel Discussion “Financing upskilling and reskilling for circular cities”


  • Dieter De Smedt manager invest and tech innovation, City of Ghent
  • Pia Nieminen, Senior Policy Advisor, European Investment Bank
  • Heather Matson, Executive Director, Global Head Gender, Diversity & Inclusive Finance, Bankers without Boundaries (TBC)
  • Morgane Veillet Lavallée, Senior Researcher at the Circular Jobs Initiative, Circle Economy

11:15-11:30 Open discussion and wrap-up

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