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Crafts and the Circular Economy

Tuesday 01 December 2020


Halle Butvin (Chair)

Halle has spent 15 years designing and implementing impact-driven international development programs in the Caucasus, East Africa and Asia, ranging from democracy and governance to biodiversity conservation to economic growth. She is an expert in artisan craft, textile and apparel supply chains and has extensive experience assisting small ​artisan enterprises to develop product and access markets. In addition to starting and running One Mango Tree, a fair-trade textile enterprise in Uganda, Halle has worked with artisans in Kenya, Pakistan, Armenia, Bhutan, Kazakhstan and ethnic Tibetan communities in China. In her current role at Smithsonian's Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, she leads the Cultural Sustainability Program, designing research and training activities to link cultural heritage preservation interests with opportunities for economic growth. 

PDF link to Halle's presentation:

Gabish Joshi

Gabish Joshi possesses a progressive career of over a decade in export trade fields for private and non-profit enterprises, with in-depth experience in fair trade (mainly handicraft business) helping create sustainable job opportunities for the underprivileged artisans/ producers in Nepal and beyond. He is actively involved in helping empower SMEs in South East Asia via multiple integrated channels like B2B online marketing, trade shows, publishing sourcing reports and more. Currently, he is associated with Ennovent, a venture catalyst that takes innovative business ideas with sustainable solutions to low income and complex markets in developing countries.


Nick Gant

Nick Gant founded the Community21(.org) research and enterprise group, University of Brighton, UK. He leads practice-based research into social and sustainable design and the relationship between them. He has collaborated with NGOs and charities including Rural Community Council Network, Vision Aid Overseas, The Marine Conservation Society, The NHS, The UK Milk Bank and has worked with global organisations as diverse as Philips, Vivienne Westwood, Veolia, Interface, Apple Corps, Dyson, Vodafone, ICI, The V&A and Natural History Museum, New Balance, PUMA, and the BBC and has presented research and consulted to regional and national governing bodies. He teaches and supervises doctoral research across design disciplines, he co-wrote the MA in Sustainable Design at The University of Brighton and has won funding from a range of industrial and research bodies. 



Insta: nickgant_community21

twitter: @mycommunity21



Prasad Bidapa

Prasad Bidapa Is the pioneer in the Indian Fashion Industry since the last four decades. He is the iconic fashion guru of India. An ex-student of NID Ahmedabad, he is the creator of high-profile events like India Men’s Fashion Week, Colombo International Fashion Week, Kingfisher Fashion Awards & Megamodel Hunt.

A textile expert himself, he has presented the Rajasthan Heritage Week since 2015. This is a project he developed for the Government of Rajasthan under Hon. CM Smt. Vasundhara Raje. This is considered to be one of the most successful Khadi & Handloom revival projects in the country.

He is  currently working with various Departments to create similar Handloom Revival Projects in other States. He also holds the Karnataka Fashion Week annually working with National & International Designers to present the products of Karnataka in Handloom cotton, wool, silk and Khadi.

He recently anchored an International Textile Program for the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) in New Delhi. 


PDF link to Prasad's presentation:

Mayor Chiri Babu Mahrjan

Mr. Chiri Babu Maharjan a permanent resident of Lalitpur Metropolitan City of Nepal holds a postgraduate degree  in Commerce and Management from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Mr. Maharajan is happily married to Ms. Mishri Maharjan and the couple is blessed with a son and two daughters.

He worked for nearly 28  years in various capacities such as Administration Assistant, Administrator and Project Manager on Tribhuvan International Airport Improvement Project on behalf of Canadian Company , ANL Consortium. His passion in local politics made him engaged in local politics and was elected as councilor of Local Government (Lalitpur) for 5 years term in 1982 and two additional terms as councilors. In the general election of May 2017, he won as a Mayor of the Lalitpur Metropolitan City for a five-year term. Socially Mr. Maharajan was equally active. He aided in various capacities in many social organizations and served as a President of one of prestigious organizations known as Jyapu Samaj (an indigenous community-based organization having 32000 farmer community members of Inner City of Patan who plays important role in any  cultural events in Patan). ​​

Joe Iles

As Circular Design Programme Lead, Joe’s role is to inspire and empower millions of designers to create products, services, and systems for the circular economy. Part of the team since 2011, Joe has helped shape the circular economy narrative, crafting stories and messages to reach new audiences and improve understanding. Joe has worked closely on Circulate, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s circular economy news channel, events including the flagship Summit in London, and the Disruptive Innovation Festival, an online festival of ideas.


Rashvin Pal Singh

Rashvin is the Group CEO of Biji-biji Initiative, which is one of Malaysia's pioneering and award-winning Social Enterprise that champions sustainability. Biji-biji Initiative compromises of subsidiaries across few industries, in Ethical Fashion, Circular Economy Solutions, and their latest venture ME.REKA, which is an innovative and alternative education model, designed to build 21st Century talents. Rashvin plays a regular role in global programs and speaking engagements, he was a panel speaker at the Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) 2019 in Addis Ababa and was selected as an Obama Leader in the Asia Pacific inaugural cohort. 


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