Why Re-think?

“With Re-think we take the first step towards the Circular Economy”

Accelerating the transition from the linear model, in which we live, to a new circular productive paradigm, where nothing is wasted and human activities have no negative output on the environment.

This is the target of Tondo, an association unofficially launched in April 2018, which was set up in November of the same year, with the idea of ​​acting concretely for the development of the Circular Economy.

The association arised from the will of Francesco Castellano, president and founder of Tondo:

«We want to transform the Circular Economy into a practical reality».

The first step is Re-Think, a forum on the Circular Economy, to be held in Milan on the 14th of February, at the Catholic University (for more information, click here: http://re-think.today/). The event will involve industry experts, startups and corporations that are moving towards the Circular Economy.

Why participate? Castellano explains:

«The forum is an opportunity to acquire a medium and long term vision on some topics related to the Circular Economy. Participating therefore means finding ideas that will soon become market trends and opportunities to develop new businesses».

In this interview, Francesco tells us about the birth and the objectives of Tondo.

How was Tondo born?

The idea for the association comes from my real experience. I was swimming in the sea, the place was beautiful from a naturalistic point of view, but it was completely ruined by the presence of plastic: there was plastic everywhere. On the sand, in the sea. I began to question myself about the world in which we live and I have identified two enormous problems, evident to all, which it is impossible to not see now.

The first is plastic: it is stupid to continue throwing tons of plastics into the sea, which the fish eat and the birds too. And we are at the end of the food chain: in this way, we are eating plastic.

And the other problem?

The amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the air. With plastic, we have witnessed a failure of the production activities. With the greenhouse effect, and therefore with climate change, we see a complete failure of human evolution.

From these reflections I began to think: what is the solution?

What was the answer?

These two enormous problems have a solution: we must begin to imitate the model of “functioning” of nature. In nature, in fact, everything falls within a positive productive cycle: nothing is destroyed, everything is reused. If there are discards, they become the input for a new process, for another activity, without damaging the environment.

And so Tondo was born.

I began to deepen the subject of sustainability and I found the concept of the Circular Economy very interesting. But I also found a lot of theory on the subject, a lot of marketing, a lot of words, and rarely realized. So I started studying organizations that practically supported in this direction – they exist for in the Netherlands and in England – and when I realized that there was nothing similar was in Italy I created Tondo.

What is the Tondo Team?

We are already twenty. By increasingly getting involved into the theme, I managed to get other people involved to starting with my girlfriend, Lienke, who is Dutch and which also helped me to make a comparison with similar initiatives in the Netherlands. Then came Luca, Sabrina, Stefano, Francesco, and Alberto, who are giving me a big hand in organizing the coming event of the 14th of February.

Why Tondo?

The name recalls the concept of circularity. But there is a deeper aspect, which you can see by looking at the logo: we also wanted to embrace the concept of a cell that is in motion continuously.

What are the goals of the association?

We want the Circular Economy to become a practical reality. How will we do that? First, by promoting information and training on the topic, with the publication of studies, through classes and events, and by stimulating applied research and studies through the network we want to develop.

Secondly, we will also try to give a shape to those researches: the idea is to lead researchers, startups, and corporations on the subject co-designing pilots regarding projects that have a real market and that can be scalable.

Tondo’s first public step was the organization of the event on the 14th of February. How was the idea born?

Personally, I have approached the topic of the Circular Economy only recently, as I mentioned. That’s why I thought it could be a quick way to get to know the best experts on the topic and to involve, at the same time, companies and startups that are implementing interesting projects related to the Circular Economy.

The goal of the event is therefore to involve all the most important actors operating in Italy in the Circular Economy. From here, we want to try to influence the choices of the 20/30 companies that, in fact, control a large part of the economy in our country, dialoguing with them so that the Circular Economy becomes a model of reference and not just a good promise.

Cities, technologies (energy), materials: these are the 3 themes on which the event is concentrated.

Yes, we started from these themes because we think that these are important areas, where many changes will happen in the next years and where new business will be created.

First of all the materials. We have talked about how plastic is pervasive. This is why I am convinced that biomaterials will soon be established on a large scale. Personally, I think that in the near future synthetic materials will disappear or be drastically reduced, replaced by organic substances.

On technologies, the focus will be on energy from renewable sources. There are many solutions proposed by researchers, now in the testing phase, which could soon become a reality.

The third chapter concerns the urban economy: cities are the fulcrum of human existence, where most of the goods available are consumed. Here too, existing projects are interesting, but more needs to be done to spread them on a large scale. I am thinking, for example, of buildings that, from simple places, become real centers of production for energy and food, able to reus waste, such as wastewater.

These are just some of the trends, but during the event, we will have a more complete idea of ​​everything that revolves around the Circular Economy, with extremely innovative ideas and revolutionary potential.

We renew the invitation to the event on the 14th of February.

At the event, there will be large companies, startups, and researchers. Everyone will be invited to explain, in a very concrete way, what they do or what they will do to embrace a circular model

The participants will, therefore, acquire a medium and long-term vision on some relevant topics related to the Circular Economy. Participating means finding new ideas that could represent significant business opportunities in the near future.

Re-Think is therefore an opportunity not only to discuss certain topics, but also to understand in which direction the market will move and act accordingly.

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.