Manuel Maqueda

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Manuel Maqueda is an international teacher, speaker and innovator with a focus on restoring the balance of living systems, and reversing climate change.


Maqueda teaches Applied Circular Economics and Regenerative Economics at Harvard University -Division of Continuing Education. He created the Circular Economy Online Course at the University of California, Berkeley and the Circular Economy Program at UCLA Extension. He teaches and lectures on Circular and Regenerative Economics and Innovation at other international universities and business schools.


Recognized as an expert in plastic pollution, Manuel Maqueda is co-founder of several notable organizations, such as the Plastic Pollution Coalition, and SUPER (Single-Use Plastics Elimination or Reduction), a nonprofit enabling businesses to eliminate single-use plastics through a tiered certification program.


As a forward-thinker, Manuel is member of the Strategic Foresight Board of the Circular Economy Alliance and has consulted for notable futurist organizations, such as Jeff-Bezos-funded Long Now Foundation, dedicated to fostering long-term thinking in the context of the next 10,000 years.


Manuel researches how Artificial Intelligence can partner with human ingenuity to enable a regenerative economy. He co-founded, an organization pioneering the use of machine learning to design proactive responses to climate disasters.


As a speaker, Manuel Maqueda’s clients include Google, Uber, Salesforce, Santander, LinkedIn, NASA, Institute for the Future, Dell, Foresight Institute, Green Festival, Circular City Week, New Plastics Economy Conference, Plastic-Free World and the Government of the State of Washington, among dozens of others.


Manuel Maqueda’s speaking style is mind-opening, memorable, and empowering.




The Circular Economy Revolution: It's Not What You Think, But How You Think

Few concepts are more misunderstood and yet more pivotal to business and ecological innovation and success. In this myth-busting talk, you will get a grasp of pivotal circular economy concepts and gain actionable insights on how to incorporate circular thinking into your daily business.


The Future of Sustainability: Are You Ready For The Disruption?  

Did you know that over 90% of the value created by our economy is destroyed in less than one year, and turned into waste? Gain actionable insights on how to overcome challenges and leverage opportunities in the unavoidable transition to a circular and regenerative economy, which is worth trillions, and it's bound to create millions of jobs while turning business models inside out.


Regenerative Economics: The Next Frontier for Sustainability

Are you ready to embrace regeneration? Sustainability may make you more eco-efficient, and circular business models may make you more competitive, resilient, and eco-effective, but only regenerative thinking can provide the right framework for exponential innovation and climate change mitigation. Gain actionable insights on how to overcome challenges and leverage opportunities in this transition.


Sustainability: How To Fail Miserably At iI 

Fraught with real-world examples and metrics, this eye-opening and actionable journey will take you along six common ways of thinking and talking about sustainability that are guaranteed to fail miserably at delivering impact -and which may damage your brand and your reputation in the process, too.  


Climate Action Failure Guaranteed. When Simple But Wrong Defeats Complicated But Right  

Mainstream climate change mitigation strategies focused on decarbonizing energy and transport are likely headed for a spectacular failure. Learn three overlooked ways of thinking that will unlock new and more effective ways for leaders, businesses, and governments alike to think about climate action.


Eight Inconvenient Truths About plastics.  Everything You Didn’t Know You Don’t Know About Plastics

A deep dive into the often misrepresented and misunderstood reality of plastic pollution and its impacts on the environment and public health. This eye-opening talk will be punctuated by actionable insights, do's and don’ts, and challenges and opportunities for businesses and our society at large to innovate our way towards a future free of plastic pollution.


Journey to Midway

In this talk, we will use the behind-the-scenes story of the making of the award-winning documentary film Albatross to learn about the relationship between humans, place, and ecology and to envision possible futures for our species. Using breathtaking photos and footage, we will travel virtually to Midway, a remote marine sanctuary in the Pacific, and witness the lives of majestic seabirds that feed their chicks' plastic garbage instead of food. In the process, we will explore the power of art, storytelling, and film to transform the world. 


Will AI Destroy, or Save The World? 

From preventing extreme weather events to enabling regenerative businesses, AI and related exponential technologies are poised to become angular tools in enabling climate action, industrial symbiosis, circular economics, and planetary regeneration at scale. This eye-opening talk will be punctuated by actionable insights, and reveal key challenges and opportunities for businesses and our society at large.

Manuel Maqueda's Experiences

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