Re-think Circular Economy Forum: online the program

A hackathon on circular economy in Taranto


It’s online the official program of Tondo’s event dedicated to circular economy, with speeches and panel discussions among companies, institutions, startups and research organizations. A hackathon dedicated to the circular economy and open to students, recent graduates and doctoral students enrolled in Southern Italian universities will also take place in parallel.


Milan, Sept. 26, 2023 – Tondo, an international organization working in the field of circular economy, presents the official program of the eighth edition of Re-think – Circular Economy Forum, with main partner Eni, which will be accompanied by a hackathon dedicated to students, doctoral students and recent graduates from universities in Southern Italy.


Re-think – Circular Economy Forum will take place in presence on October 17 and 18, 2023 at the Ionian Department of the University of Bari in Taranto and will be continued on October 19 by the Circular Bootcamp, an open-door discussion between companies and startups, organized by Joule, Eni’s school for enterprise.


“The Re-think initiative,” said Elio Sannicandro, Dir. Gen. Taranto 2026 – Dir. Ag. Reg. Asset, “fits fully into the planning strategies that the Puglia Region and the Municipality of Taranto are implementing for the sustainable development of the city, collaborating on the same vision of the future regarding the development of the green, blue and circular economy. In particular, the Puglia Region is working on the Mediterranean forum dedicated to Water to be held in Taranto in 2024 with the aim of seeking concrete solutions to improve the sustainable use and management of water resources.”


The event will present a view on macro-trends, possible evolutionary paths and main projects of Circular Economy at local, national and international levels. The main purpose is to stimulate the birth of innovative and entrepreneurial activities in the Taranto area that have a positive impact on the local and national economic system.


Over the course of the two days, there will be a number of speeches by corporations, startups, research organizations and institutional players who are pursuing and supporting projects on the Circular Economy at the local, national and international levels. The event will cover three main topics: energy transition and sustainable mobility, technologies and trends in the energy field that use new energy sources, such as the possibilities offered by biofuels, biogas, hydrogen or other forms of renewable energy; circular ports and blue economy, emerging technologies and trends that transform ports and the sea into places where the circular economy can be implemented; and waste and water valorization, technologies and trends that enable the valorization and optimization of production processes from a circular perspective. In addition, several round tables were organized, including one dedicated to the Mediterranean Water Forum and one to SRIP. All details can be found on the official program, available on the initiative’s website.


The University of Bari, which has been a partner in this initiative since the first edition in Taranto, is increasingly committed to the themes of Circular Economy and territorial sustainability,” commented Angela Stefania Bergantino, professor at the University of Bari. – In addition to teaching, there are numerous initiatives regarding research that it coordinates, starting with PNRR projects, and which aim not only at innovative research: some examples are the theme of sustainable mobility, energy transition, territorial cohesion and tourism, but which will take charge of promoting and supporting the dissemination of research results in the territory.”


In parallel to the event, a hackathon dedicated to circular economy and open to students, recent graduates and doctoral students enrolled at universities in Southern Italy has been organized. The hackathon will take place on October 16-17, 2023 in a hybrid mode (in-person in Taranto and online), and the winning teams will be able to present their idea during the first day of the Re-think Circular Economy Forum.


The purpose of the hackathon is to spark new innovative and entrepreneurial projects and expand the knowledge and culture of circular economy among younger people. Participants will have the opportunity to put their knowledge and passion for sustainability and the circular economy into practice by working on predefined challenges.


The focus will be on 3 thematic macro-areas. The first is Sustainable Mobility Hack, with Eni Joule: the challenge aims to develop innovative and digital solutions, including assessing their feasibility in economic terms, aimed at creating a sustainable and digital port. The second challenge, organized by Comes, is about Green Hydrogen: the goal is to address the challenges posed by the use of green hydrogen as a strong energy alternative, proposing a green hydrogen production, storage and conversion system. Finally, the last challenge concerns Mar Piccolo Recovery projects with the Air Force: the challenge aims to identify designs for the recovery and redevelopment of the Mar Piccolo Park area, through circular and sustainable solutions.


The overall winning team of the hackathon will receive a voucher worth one thousand euros; the winning teams of the other two challenges will receive a voucher worth five hundred euros; and the winning team for the Eni challenge will win a 2-day “Experience Trip” at Joule Headquarters in Rome.


Circular economy is one of Slovenia’s strategic development priorities,” said Katjia Cimpersek for the Slovenian Embassy: –it is closely linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and is included in national documents such as the Vision for Slovenia in 20501 and the Slovenian Development Strategy 20302, as well as in Slovenia’s Smart Specialization Strategy. The Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia has granted sponsorship to this year’s Re-think Circular Economy forum event in Taranto.


The Main Partner of Re-think Circular Economy Forum is Eni. Partners include Eni Joule, the Mediterranean Water Forum, the Municipality of Taranto, Confindustria Taranto, Cisa, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Italy, SRIP – Circular Economy, BaLab, and Cassa Edile.


The event was sponsored by the European Commission Representation in Italy, the Ministry of Environment and Energy Security, the Apulia Region, the Municipality of Taranto, ARTI Puglia – Regional Agency for Technology and Innovation, the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Italy, the Taranto Chamber of Commerce, the Jonian Dolphin Association, IRSA-CNR, the Order of Engineers, the University of Bari, the University of Foggia, LUM University – Libera Universit√† Mediterranea “Giuseppe Degennaro,” the University of Salento and CHIEAM BAri.


For more information, you can visit the event website: https://re-think.today/taranto-event-2023.php



Francesco Castellano

Francesco Castellano holds a Master degree in Business Administration, and he has gathered almost twenty years of experience in research, finance, consulting, and business management. During this time, he was engaged in different types of projects as a consultant at Bain & Company, launched Uber operations in Turin, and worked in the FP&A department at General Electric.Lately, he founded To... Read more

Francesco Castellano holds a Master degree in Business Administration, and he has gathered almost twenty years of experience in research, finance, consulting, and business management. During this time, he was engaged in different types of projects as a consultant at Bain & Company, launched Uber operations in Turin, and worked in the FP&A department at General Electric.

Lately, he founded Tondo, a cluster of organizations focusing on spreading Circular Economy approaches and concepts, and supporting companies in the transition to a clean and circular future. Francesco is also the ideator and coordinator of the Re-think Circular Economy Forum, a format of events organized in many different locations in Italy showcasing the most relevant Circular Economy solutions.

Francesco has been a guest speaker at different universities and events, like Federico II University, Bocconi University, LIUC - Cattaneo University, Pavia University, Padua University, Catholic University, IPE Business School, 24ORE Business School, Campus Party, Torino Stratosferica, Visionary Days.

Francesco is passionate about Circular Economy, Cleantech Innovations, Venture Building and Entrepreneurship.