VIDEO: McDonough Presents at the 2014 World Economic Forum

UPDATE: Video of William McDonough’s session entitled “Beyond Sustainability: From Limits…to Growth”

William McDonough helps the World Economic Forum Set the Agenda for Sustainable Business


January 22, 2014, Charlottesville, Virginia — William McDonough, pioneer in sustainable design and commerce will be a key leader at the World Economic Forum’s 2014 Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, January 22-25. For the first time, the WEF meeting has a dedicated program addressing global climate change as well as advancing cradle to cradle design and circular economy strategies for sustainable business. As part of his activities at the Annual Meeting, Mr. McDonough will present a special session entitled “Beyond Sustainability: From Limits…to Growth.”

“I am excited that the World Economic Forum is focusing on cradle to cradle design and the circular economy as drivers of sustainable growth in our fast-changing world,” Mr. McDonough said. “Concerns over climate change, limited resources and sustainability can be a powerful engine for beneficial innovation. Through this series of programs, we want to add to the current sustainability agendas, most of which are posited on “being less bad,” the concept of “being more good” and to we want to reframe the central question of commerce from simply ‘how much can I get for how little I give’ in a world of metrics and limits to ‘how much can we give for all that we get?’ in a world of values and abundance.”

Mr. McDonough’s wide-ranging participation at the Annual Meeting includes:

  • Wednesday evening, Mr. McDonough will be moderating “Rethinking Our Sustainable Future,” where the panel will discuss the intersection of climate science, urban design and advanced manufacturing.
  • Friday morning, he will discuss improving competitiveness through innovation at the inaugural meeting of the World Economic Forum’s European Business Council.
  • Friday afternoon he will lead an invitation-only session with business, government, and NGO leaders entitled Beyond Sustainability … From Limits to Growth. The goal of the session is to prepare participants with insights and publicly available tools that can be used by enterprises to manifest positive strategies for continuous improvement. McDonough’s presentation and facilitated workshop will signal how the business community can “wage peace” using principled, values-based innovation and commerce.
  • Friday evening he will deliver opening remarks at the Climate Change and Sustainability dinner.
  • In Saturday’s official sustainability program, Mr. McDonough, Dame Ellen MacArthur of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Frans van Houten of Royal Philips will debate the subject of “Waste to Wealth,” moderated by Ali Velshi and broadcast by Al Jazeera America here at 11:00 AM CET (5:00 am EST).
  • Saturday afternoon, The Huffington Post will be streaming an interview with William McDonough. Tune into HuffPost Live at 1:30 pm CET (7:30 am EST).
  • At Saturday’s private session, “Scaling up the Circular Economy,” he will be facilitating discussion around the benefits, opportunities and challenges of scaling up cradle to cradle design and circular economy concepts.

Mr. McDonough will encourage participants in all his sessions to imagine human activity resourcefully creates an abundance of safe, healthful materials in biological/technical cycles; clean, renewable energy and water; a fair, sharing society; and an opportunity to offer hope for a creative life to everyone, everywhere. “This is a great and defining moment in commercial history,” Mr. McDonough said. “We are returning to the notion of being generous and removing remote tyrannies to future generations. It will take us all. It will take forever…but that’s the point. In the world of sustainability, things are often too late, but never too early. Let’s get started.”