Steering Committee Spotlight: Maria Atkinson AM
We sat down with Steering Committee member, Maria Atkinson AM, Founder of Maria Atkinson Consultancy, to find out more about the circular economy, it's development within the Asia Pacific and why circular thinking is such an important discussion to be part of right now.
Circularity is proud to be working with a number of leading industry representatives to help create an invaluable experience for our 2022 delegates.
Maria Atkinson is internationally recognised for her work in sustainability and for catalysing change on the big issues that matter in society. She advises clients to help them articulate and then deliver sustainability outcomes for a project or their organisation. Keep reading to hear our full conversation!
WHAT MAKES YOU SO PASSIONATE ABOUT CIRCULAR ECONOMY?
Maria: “Well, science tells us that we are extracting and using resources at an unsustainable rate and many of these are already scarce now.”
“Plus, we can be much smarter with the way we create, use and re-use things by keeping within our planetary limits and innovating through design, manufacturing and construction. Honestly, there is nothing but upside with a circular approach!”
HOW DO YOU SEE AUSTRALIA AND THE ASIA PACIFIC MOVING TOWARDS A CIRCULAR ECONOMY?
Maria: “Our region is where innovation at scale can be applied. Asia Pacific nations have entrepreneurial cultures layered on top of ancient histories that include vernacular practices and traditions that are based on conservation, maintenance and the re-use of precious resources.”
“Imagine an APAC agreement where the skills and resources were focused on sharing resources and we made changes to the way we extract, use and re-reuse resources that are inclusive and cause no significant harm – in fact, prevent harm to create what is needed.”
WHAT EMERGING TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING THAT ARE CONTRIBUTING TO A CIRCULAR ECONOMY?
Maria: “Us – ordinary people are now now seeing the wasteful take-make-use-dispose model as something of yesterday. People want the innovation of material science that mimics nature to be applied and people want the responsibility of impact to be on the businesses that create these things.”
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO BE ON THE CIRCULARITY STEERING COMMITTEE?
Maria: “Circularity is global and by being connected to the best ideas, breakthroughs and leading examples of what is possible is exciting! The Circularity conference is Australasia’s chance to look to Europe to learn and also share what we know. I give and I get, that’s why I am keen to contribute to this important event.”
WHY DO YOU THINK SOMEONE SHOULD ATTEND CIRCULARITY THIS NOVEMBER?
Maria: “In my lifetime, we have not had the supply chain disruptions we are experiencing now. Instead of getting in the operational management consultants who typically advise how to cut costs to support a business, come to Circularity and hear how you can transition to grow your own business and personal impact. There’s money in this and even cheaper capital available to help!”
Want to learn more about the circular economy and actionable steps you can take to achieve it? Circularity 2022 will bring together the region’s top thought leaders across both private and public spheres, to share knowledge, collaborate and drive actionable change towards a more circular future.
Book your early-bird ticket now to save $300 on your ticket. We hope you can join us 24-25 November at the Hilton Sydney!