Member Groups

The Circular Economy 100 brings together members from across the economy to provide unique opportunities for multi-stakeholder collaboration. Member groups include corporates, governments and cities, academic institutions, emerging innovators, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and affiliates.


Corporate members feature international companies with a drive for innovation, operating and excelling in a global market. The CE100 provides corporate members with an engaging pre-competitive collaboration platform and exposure to the latest circular economy developments.

Accelerating the transition to a circular economy requires the economy to change from within. Business forms a core part of any economy and within this Corporates hold the reach and scale to play an instrumental role seizing the opportunity for change.

The CE100 offers Corporate members a unique multi-stakeholder innovation programme to accelerate their transition. The programme is hosted in a pre-competitive atmosphere and is designed to advance understanding of the circular economy, build organisational capacity, and exploit networking opportunities across business, government and cities, and academic institutions. Building capacity across their organisations is a key objective for Corporate members, and programme elements such as the Executive Education course are designed to support this need.

The programme is tailored to corporates’ operational as well as executive level, providing distinctive programme elements for each. The twice-yearly CE100 Acceleration Workshops are an example of the hands-on environment provided for senior managers involving capacity building, knowledge sharing and collaboration opportunities. The CE100 Annual Summit is the programme’s event for executive levels to learn about the latest developments, hear from leading thinkers and doers, and build their network.

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Emerging Innovators

As an innovative business with a globally unique technology, capability or process, the Emerging Innovator forms a crucial part of the CE100 through unlocking barriers to circular progress. Typically the Emerging Innovator is a developing business with an annual turnover of less than $20 million. In addition to leading its field, the Emerging Innovator will bring innovative perspectives to the CE100 workshops, summits and discussion forums.

The CE100 provides Emerging Innovators with an engaging environment to develop their growing business and learn about the circular economy. Interaction with Corporates, Governments and Cities, and academic members enables Emerging Innovators to develop and scale their innovations faster. They are key to successfully demonstrating a breakthrough technology, product or service, or business model.

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Government & Cities

The Government & Cities programme is open to national, regional, and municipal public bodies seeking to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. The program offers members an active best practice exchange with peers and leading actors from the business and academic community, and the opportunity to engage in collaborative initiatives to advance circular solutions.

The CE100 programme is built upon four key pillars: Capacity building, knowledge sharing, networking and collaboration.

Bespoke benefits for the Government & Cities group include dedicated, bi-annual Government & Cities Acceleration Workshop days, where all Government & City members come together around topics such as opportunity analysis, circular economy road map development, education, and engagement of the local business community. To support the latter, the Foundation is offering an ‘SME multiplier scheme’ (see below). Regular calls allow for continued exchange of ideas and joint problem solving.

The Government & Cities programme supports its members on the following three key objectives:

Setting the right enabling conditions:

  • Peer-to-peer exchange: Based on the feedback of our members, an open dialogue with peers is the most valuable support. The programme helps members to shape and share best practices in the form of case studies, and provide an open forum for exchange. The CE100 Government & Cities members contribute to international best practice sharing also beyond the CE100 group. They support the Ellen MacArthur Foundation through the development of a case study repository, for publication on the Ellen MacArthur Foundation website.

  • Circular economy toolkit for policymakers: The Foundation’s toolkit for policymakers provides a supporting methodology for policymakers who wish to embark on a circular economy transformation and systematically develop circular economy strategies.

Fostering regional innovation initiatives and cross-regional collaboration:

  • The programme supports members in the identification of important innovation areas and facilitates matchmaking between relevant organisations. Specifically, the multi-stakeholder nature of the CE100 network can be leveraged to set up collaborative projects (co.pros) – in the form of research, pilots, or scale-up of successful ideas.

Engaging and strengthening the local business community:

SME multiplier programme: The programme aims to increase and scale the involvement of small and medium sized enterprises. The idea is to build up circular economy capacity among selected organisations that engage with and support the local SME community. These stakeholders can then act as ‘multipliers’ to integrate circular economy thinking into their existing business support schemes / cluster activities / innovation competitions / etc.

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SME Multipliers

Engaging small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the circular economy is pivotal to accelerate the transition as well as driving local development.  Supporting SMEs is a key governmental focus area and through the CE100 SME Multiplier programme the Government & Cities members bring in a broad range of business support organisations to act as 'multipliers'. The multipliers benefit from capacity building, insight sharing and a special tailored SME Circular Economy Training Toolkit which strengthen innovation capability and economic competitiveness at a local level.

Pioneer Universities

Pioneer Universities are an international network of higher education institutions developing truly pioneering and innovative circular economy-orientated research and/or teaching programmes.

As non-fee paying members of the CE100 programme they have a formal agreement with the Foundation to commit to driving and supporting relevant and beneficial knowledge exchanges between business and higher education, furthering the collective understanding of the circular economy through insights and skills development. Many of these research and teaching programmes focus on our target disciplines - business, education, design and engineering.

A unique opportunity is also provided to Pioneers to gain significant knowledge of the circular economy through the CE100 programme. The presence of the Pioneer Universities facilitates an exchange of cutting edge ideas and real-world business experience which can offer new solutions or approaches for commercial members and the basis for research academic institutions. Such collaboration aids members and helps progress towards a circular economy.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation will work with a maximum of 10 universities until 2016.

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The CE100 Affiliates further strengthen the expertise within the programme. They bring extensive and relevant expertise, experience and knowledge crucial to accelerating a transition to a circular economy.