Keynote Speaker: Building a Local Circular Economy -- Jonathan Pereira, Plant Chicago
Thursday, May 18, 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. - Michelangelo AB
Jonathan Pereira is the Executive Director or Plant Chicago. He has over 15 years of experience in informal science education and program development in Chicago and New York. He's worked in non-profit, for profit and government and managed programs that have involved numerous partners in all three sectors.
Plant Chicago operates out of The Plant, a collaborative community of food businesses that are incubating a local circular economy. A 93,500 sq. ft. former meatpacking plant located in Chicago’s disinvested Back of the Yards neighborhood, The Plant currently houses over a dozen small businesses, including indoor and outdoor farms, kombucha and beer breweries, a bakery, a cheese distributor, a coffee roaster, and other emerging food producers and distributors.
The mission of Plant Chicago is to develop circular economies of food production, energy conservation and material reuse, while helping to empower people of all backgrounds to make their cities healthier and more efficient. Plant Chicago re-imagines the economy as a circular system of resource flows, where the output from one industry becomes an input for another. In a circular economy, economic growth is decoupled from infinite resource consumption. The Plant offers a unique opportunity to create a local circular economy by closing waste loops at many levels. Plant Chicago partners with the businesses co-located there to close waste loops and develop circular economies and engages the public to create more resilient communities. Plant Chicago’s educational programming, year-round farmers market, and open-source technology demonstration programs empower people of all backgrounds to participate in the growing circular economy.