Circular economy will be focus of UOG’s next Island Sustainability conference


The University of Guam Virtual Conference Series on Island Sustainability will continue at 9 a.m. (ChST UTC+10) this Friday for its third session, which will focus on the concept of a circular economy and how island communities can use this model as a solution to sustainability challenges while stimulating economic growth.

Registration for the weekly conference series is available for no charge at

A circular economy cuts out waste and pollution, keeps materials in use, and regenerates natural systems.

This week’s session will host the conference’s largest lineup yet, featuring circular economy thought-leaders, entrepreneurs, and practitioners.

Andrew Morlet, chief executive of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, will provide a special video message. Based in London, the foundation has emerged as a global thought leader since launching in 2010. It works with businesses, government, and academia to build a framework for an economy that is restorative and regenerative by design.

The session will also include two panels. The first will share an overview of the circular economy and its relevance to islands. It will be moderated by Jackie Marati, chairwoman of UOG Island Sustainability Community Advisory Board and senior vice president/chief communications and corporate social responsibility officer for the Bank of Guam.

This panel will feature:

Rajesh Buch, director of sustainability practice and international development at Arizona State University
Kosi Latu, director general of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme in Samoa
Monica Okada Guzman, executive director of Guam Unique Merchandise and Art
Nate Maynard, research associate of Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research in Taiwan

The second panel will feature circular economy practitioners in the Western Pacific who will share their experiences in taking different waste products and creating economic opportunities. The panel will be moderated by Melanie Mendiola, CEO of the Guam Economic Development Authority, and will include:

Matthew Simpson, CEO of Green Banana Paper in the Federated States of Micronesia
Jerry Winata, head of foundation of Bawah Anambas in Indonesia
Rashvin Pal Singh, group CEO of Biji-Biji Initiative and Me.Reka in Malaysia

The focus on accelerating a circular economy is part of the continuous efforts by the UOG Center for Island Sustainability. Last year, the center launched the Guam Green Growth (G3) initiative to contribute to a new green economy for the island. The G3 initiative offered an Island Circular Economy Industry Workshop for more than 50 for small-business owners, entrepreneurs, and intrapreneurs.

The UOG Conference on Island Sustainability is in its 11th year. The first two weeks of this first-ever virtual version of the conference garnered more than 500 direct participants over the live video conference from 61 countries, states, and territories. The sessions are available to view on the UOG Tritons YouTube channel at