Growth International - organisational and personal development

Workshops and Seminars

Building a Successful Circular Business: Creating Value and Reaching Consumers

Date: Thursday 11 May 4pm to 7pm
Venue: Sussex University, Falmer Campus, Building Jubilee G30
Speaker: Max McMurdo, founder of Reestore

Are you a business, big or small, that is trying or wanting to move beyond the predominant “take, make and dispose” economic model? Are you keen to use innovative business models and design your goods and/or services in a way that reduces waste, helps restore resources, and contributes to a transformation of the way we run businesses and indeed our lives? These are the key tenets of what we call a Circular Economy. If you are seeking ways to adopt these ‘circular principles’ in your business or have already done so, we want to hear from you!  

Join us at the School of Business, Management and Economics, University of Sussex at our second event dedicated to the Circular Economy. This workshop is for businesses only, for a close look at the issues you face on the ground. We want to canvas your input on the main challenges in transitioning to circular models and running successful businesses on circular principles.

Our main focus will be on how you incorporate circular principles into your value proposition, and how that value proposition can deliver a thriving business. The value proposition of a business is the fit between what your business offers and why people would buy from you. Consumer awareness and attitudes are critical to whether customers respond to a value proposition involving circular principles. 

To confirm your place or to request more details and information, please contact Oliver Carr at 

More information can be found here


Professor Martin Charter to speak on BS8001 at Circular Economy Workshop

We are very pleased to announce that Professor Martin Charter, will be speaking at the Circular Economy Workshop on 19th January 2017 on the new BS 8001 framework and circular business models. Martin is Director, of The Centre for Sustainable Design, University of Creative Arts, BS8001 Advisory Board member and part of the core writing group for the new BSI framework.


Thriving as a Business in the Circular Economy

Roundtable Workshop

Venue: Brighthelm Centre, North Rd, Brighton BN1 1YD

Thursday January 19th 2017, 4pm to 7pm

The School of Business, Management and Economics at the University of Sussex and Growth International are hosting a roundtable workshop on ‘Thriving as a Business in the Circular Economy’ 

The Circular Economy (CE) is an alternative to the traditional linear economy of “take, make, dispose”. CE aims to keep resources in use for as long as possible and extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recovers and regenerates products and materials at the end of their useful life.

CE promises many highly desirable outcomes including the sustainable use of the world’s resources, robust avenues for economic growth with lowered environmental impact, and new, high quality employment opportunities.

It is widely recognised that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will have a key role to play in CE. However, the opportunities and challenges they face in the transition to CE are underexplored.   

This workshop brings together academics, businesses and policy makers with four specific aims:

·       To share knowledge and experience of engaging with circular practices

·       To provide information about the new draft BS 8001 CE framework

·       To generate discussion about opportunities and challenges of CE business models

·       To consider the development of a region-wide CE network that would potentially support SMEs

This workshop is designed to deliver something of value to all participants. As academic researchers, we wish to hear first-hand about the challenges SMEs face in engaging with CE practices and ideas about the form of support that would help remove these barriers.

For businesses, the workshop will offer a space to engage with other firms and relevant stakeholders as well as hearing from Professor Martin Charter who is a member of the BS 8001 framework Advisory Board. This is also an opportunity to share know-how about existing successful CE business models, identify shared problems and explore solutions in a local context. 

If you would like to read some background information on the Circular Economy, we suggest you take a look at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation website:

We very much look forward to welcoming you to the workshop on Thursday 19th January 2017 from 4pm to 7pm. To confirm your attendance or for further information please contact Peter Desmond of Growth International on 07956 586390 or at by 5th January 2017.


3.45pm - Registration and refreshments

4.00pm - Welcome & Introduction

4.10pm - “What is the Circular Economy?” – a video from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation

4.15pm - The new BS 8001 framework and circular business models – Professor Martin Charter, Director, The Centre for Sustainable Design, University of Creative Arts and BS8001 Advisory Board member

4.40pm - Round Table Discussions

5.30pm - Feedback from Table Discussions

6.00pm - The potential of a region-wide network for facilitating the transition to CE

6.15pm - Green Growth Platform Circular Economy project – Rachel Espinosa

6.25pm - Wrap up and Conclusion

6.30pm - 7.00pm - Refreshments


The Role of Business in International Development in Africa

Notice of Second Roundtable on Wednesday 28th October 2015

The subject of this second Roundtable will be “The Circular Economy” which is gaining increasing traction in the business community.

The event will be held at Sussex University on Wednesday 28th October from 5.30pm to 7.30pmThe School of Business, Management and Economics is kindly hosting the event and is providing refreshments afterwards. The evening is also supported by The Business and Development Centre at the Institute of Development Studies and the Tomorrow’s Inclusive Development initiative at Tomorrow’s Company.

To get the ball rolling Professor Hubert Schmitz will give a short talk on “From throw away to circular economy: why does it matter?” Peter Desmond will then share some conclusions from the research he has been undertaking in South Africa on the circular economy and recycling mobile phones for his MA in Globalisation, Business and Development.

The Roundtable discussions will then centre on the practical aspects of creating a circular economy and how to involve developing countries in the dialogue. As a backdrop to the subject, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation is a good source of information.

Details can be found on the invitation here

If you would like to attend, please email Peter Desmond at


Report of a Roundtable Dialogue

Held on Tuesday 17th February 2015

at the Brighthelm Centre, Brighton

Click HERE to download the report

Many companies undertake projects in collaboration with government, NGOs, business and academia to assist in the relief of poverty across the world. However, are there new and more effective ways of working together so there will be less poverty in Africa?

Creative business consultant and futurist Nick Price ( facilitated the Roundtable Dialogue event. We designed a process to use fresh thinking approaches to help look ahead to new possibilities for collaboration.  


55 people attended from the private sector, civil society, social enterprises, academic researchers, entrepreneurs, and organisations representing the Global South. We gathered in small groups and worked together to co-create ideas on new ways that business can collaborate with others to reduce poverty in Africa. 

The event built on the work already being done by: 

Tomorrow’s Company(

Business Fights Poverty( and 

The Business and Development Centre(

The results of this work is summarised in the Report which can be downloaded HERE.

Please feel free to share this report with anyone you think might be interested.

If you would like more information or would like to contribute to ideas for the future, please contact Peter on or call Peter Desmond, Director, Growth International, on 07956 586390