Shifting from a linear economy to a circular economy is becoming a more important issue than ever to create values while reducing environmental impacts through effective and efficient resource use. In the circular economy session, we invite four speakers from the two institutes to cover a broad range of relevant topics from both social and technological viewpoints. Based on social trends and ongoing research projects provided by the speakers, enablers and barriers to a circular economy will be discussed.

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Summary report of the Circular Economy session



Yusuke Kishita

Associate Professor
School of Engineering
The University of Tokyo

Yusuke Kishita is Associate Professor at the University of Tokyo. Prior to the current position, he worked as Research Scientist at National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and Assistant Professor at Osaka University. He was a guest researcher at Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany (August-November 2019) and Visiting Academic Fellow at University of Cambridge (December 2019-February 2020). With the background of life cycle engineering and design engineering, his research interests include scenario design for sustainable futures, circular economy, roadmap design, and backcasting. He is currently involved in many research projects focusing on, e.g., circular economy business, service system design, and roadmap design for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He holds MSc and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Osaka University, Japan.


Stephen Evans

Centre for Industrial Sustainability at the Institute for Manufacturing
University of Cambridge

Professor Steve Evans joined academia in 1988 after 12 years in various industries. He leads the Centre for Industrial Sustainability at the Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge and is a visiting Professor at the Royal College of Art. He has led over £30m in grants including the 1st grant in sustainable business models and what we now call Circular Economy (in 1995). Steve has founded various cleantech start-ups and has been Special Adviser to the House of Lords, as well as holding many policy informing roles in the UK and globally. In 2019 Steve was elected to Membership of Academia Europaea.

Takanari Ouchi

Institute of Industrial Science
The University of Tokyo

Takanari Ouchi is a lecturer at the Institute of Industrial Science, the University of Tokyo. He received engineering doctorate in Nanoscience and Nanoengineering from Waseda University in 2011. After completing doctoral degree, he joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he developed liquid metal batteries, which are, in principle, a bi-directional electrolysis (electro-refining) cell, for application in grid-scale energy storage. While at the University of Tokyo, where he was a research associate from 2017 to 2021, he developed new smelting and recycling processes for rare and precious metals using pyrometallurgical and electrometallurgical methods. Since August 2021, he has been in his current position. Currently, he is also serving as the chairperson of the hydrometallurgy and electrometallurgy committee at The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS).

Anna Barford

The Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellow
Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership
University of Cambridge

Anna is a social and economic Geographer. She is currently researching how work and livelihoods intersect with environmental problems and solutions. This includes studying informal work in circular systems in lower- and middle-income countries, as well as how the crises of climate change and COVID-19 intersect with young people’s livelihoods.

Yuko Oshita

Project Assistant Professor
Institute for Future Initiatives
The University of Tokyo

Yuko Oshita is Project assistant professor of Institute for Future Initiatives, The University of Tokyo. She received her Master and Ph.D. in Economics from Kyushu University, Japan in 2010 and 2013 respectively. She joined graduate school of maritime science of Kobe University in 2013 as assistant professor and promoted to be Senior Lecturer in 2015. She joined Institute for Future Initiatives, the University of Tokyo as project researcher in 2019 and present position since 2021. Her research fields and interests include environmental economics, econometrics, industrial and economic structure, industrial ecology, sustainability, regional circular and ecological sphere and interdisciplinary science.