DIF on AIR The Development Paradigm

  • Speakers:
  • Harald Friedl, Sachin Bhoite

Topics relevant to the session

  • Details About the session
  • Speakers Info about who's talking

Think tanks, influential politicians and business leaders alike have been making a strong case to align the global debate on climate change with the circular economy and highlighting the potential of circular strategies for sustainable development. However, despite increased interest in the subject, also by developing countries in Africa and Asia, the circular economy as a development approach is currently almost absent from the development discourse. The circular economy, an emerging and all-encompassing economic concept that decouples economic development from resource use, offers great potential for developing countries and upcoming economies to leapfrog into a post-industrial era. This session will explore how we can support developing countries with a step-wise and multi-stakeholder approach towards the implementation of the circular economy.

This is an abbreviated version of an interview that took place on November 8th. Want to watch the conversation in full? Watch it here:


Harald Friedl

Harald Friedl


In his role as Circle Economy’s CEO, Harald brings extensive international experience running both for-profit and non-profit businesses with a focus on scaling impact. Before joining Circle Economy in 2017, Harald spent 5 years in Myanmar, during which he co founded Impact Hub Myanmar, headed the market development for the world market leader of electromechanical hydropower projects in the country and co-founded Myanmar’s first pre-incubation programme for social enterprises. Prior to moving to Myanmar, he lived in New York where he worked as the Head of Office for the Assistant Secretary-General and acted as the spokesperson for the Deputy Prime Minister of Finance in Austria. He has also spent time as a journalist and TV presenter for economic-focused news. Harald enjoys connecting with people who are striving to make the world a better place for future generations. In his spare time, he loves exploring the great outdoors with his wife and kids.

Sachin Bhoite

Sachin Bhoite

Urbanist in International Development

Sachin is a urban planner and resilience expert working in Arup’s International Development team. He has 15 years of experience working on complex and large scale urban projects in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Australia. An architect and urban designer by training, his experience ranges from designing buildings and urban master plans to research, designing knowledge products and capacity building tools for cities. Sachin is a designer who practices and promotes integrated working by bringing a trans-disciplinary perspectives on people centred design, strategic research and tools for improving the resilience and sustainability of cities. He thrives on integrating this work with specialisms like health, human rights, infrastructure, transport, planning and landscape. Sachin has lead Arup’s work on City Resilience Index, working in 34 cities, helped build capacity of local governments and international organisations.


NIck Jeffries

NIck Jeffries

Insight and Analysis, Cities and Circular Economy for Food, Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Nick works in the Insight and Analysis team of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a group of scientists, engineers and other technical specialists, that strive to provide evidence of the benefits of a circular economy as well as insights into the transition pathways. He currently manages the case study program, which disseminates real life examples of circular economy. Before joining the Foundation, Nick worked for many years as an environmental engineer. His experience includes urban regeneration and landscaping projects for Arup in London, Lebanon and Singapore; solar irrigation and aquaculture in Uganda and Ethiopia; post-conflict and disaster relief work in Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Iraq and Indonesia. He has an MSc in renewable energy and is a chartered member of the Institute of Civil Engineers and a member of RedR.

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