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The 2018 Hubert Curien Memorial Lecture: Economy Transition and the Role of the Circular Economy

Event Details:

  • Date:          Friday 23 February 2018
  • Time:          Lecture begins at 18:30    |    Pre-lecture reception at 18:00
  • Venue:       The Cyprus Institute - Events Room, 1st floor, Novel Technologies Building, Athalassa Campus
  • Speaker:    Dr Janez Potočnik, Former EU Commissioner for Environment & Member of The Cyprus Institute Board of Trustees

The 2018 Hubert Curien Memorial Lecture

Economy Transition and the Role of the Circular Economy

Dr Janez Potočnik
Former EU Commissioner for the Environment and Member of The Cyprus Institute Board of Trustees

23 February 2018, 18:30
Novel Technologies Laboratory
The Cyprus Institute

Pre-lecture reception at 18:00


For the first time in human history, we are living in the socio-economic space of planetary scope. We are more interconnected and inter-dependent than ever. The number of challenges we are collectively facing is growing and we can address them only together. Agreement on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is the first important step in the direction required. Trade-offs among various SDGs are unavoidable. Sustainable Consumption and Production is the most efficient strategy to avoid trade-offs and create synergies to resolve them.

The current economic model is not sustainable and it is essential and urgent that we transform it in a way to be consistent with the implementation of the SDGs. Circular economy is a concept, an instrument, which could help transforming economic model to a more sustainable one. To make this transformation possible, we would need to strengthen the leadership and improve the global governance.

An opportunity for the EU to lead this process certainly exists and it should not be missed.

About the speaker

janez potocnikDr Janez Potočnik received his PhD from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 1993. After a successful career as a researcher at the Institute of Economic Research, he was appointed Director of the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development in 1994, and Head of the Negotiating Team for Accession of Slovenia to the EU in 1998. He was also Director of the Government Office for European Affairs in 2000, Minister Councillor at the Office of the Prime Minister in 2001, and Minister responsible for European Affairs in 2002.

In 2004 he joined the European Commission, first as shadow Commissioner for Enlargement, and later that year as Commissioner for Science and Research, serving until 2010. From 2010 to 2014 he served as the European Commissioner for the Environment, and in 2014 was appointed as Co-Chair of the International Resource Panel hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme.

He was also appointed as Chairman of The Forum for the Future of Agriculture and RISE Foundation, and as a Member of the European Policy Centre's Advisory Council. Since April 2016, he is Partner in SYSTEMIQ, and is currently serving as a Member of the Board of Trustees of The Cyprus Institute.


The Hubert Curien Memorial Lectures

The Cyprus Institute founded the Hubert Curien Memorial Lectures Series, in honor of the late Prof. Hubert Curien (1924-2005), a Trustee of CREF and founding Chair of its International Council. Prof. Hubert Curien, a physicist, is regarded as one of the most influential scientists and science policy makers of the 20th century. After an involvement in the French resistance at the end of World War II, Hubert Curien graduated from the École Normale Supérieure. His scientific work was devoted to crystallography and he became an Assistant Professor at Paris University at the age of 27 and Professor five years later.

He worked at CNRS as the Head of Physical Sciences Division and soon after as Director General. He served as Minister for Research (in several governments under the presidency of F. Mitterrand), but he never stopped teaching during all those years. He assumed a number of leading positions within European Science: President of the European Science Foundation, President of the European Space Agency, President of the Academia Europaea, President of CERN Council, as well as in France, where he had been President of Académié des Sciences de France and in numerous science boards.

He was highly respected for his devotion to science, his openness and his generosity to people. His contribution in the planning and realization of The Cyprus Institute was pivotal and profound.

Previous Hubert Curien Memorial Lectures

2016 Prof. Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, President of the European Research Council (ERC)
2015 Prof. Daniel Cohen, Professor of Economics at the École Normale Supérieure, at the Université de Paris-I and at the École d'économie de Paris, France
2014 Carlo Rubbia, Nobel Prize in Physics, Scientific Director IASS Potsdam, Former Director General of CERN
2012-2013 Edouard Brézin, former President of the French Academy of Sciences, Chairman of Board of Trustees of The Cyprus Institute, and Herwig Schopper, former Director General of CERN, Emeritus Trustee of The Cyprus Institute
2011 Anastasios P. Leventis, Director of the Leventis Group International Companies and Chairman of the A.G. Leventis Foundation
2010 Richard N. Cooper, Professor of International Economics, Harvard University, USA
2009 Apostolos P. Georgopoulos, Professor of Neuroscience, Neurology and Psychiatry, University of Minnesota, USA
2008 Paul Crutzen (on his behalf Jos Lelieveld), Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Emeritus Director of the Atmospheric Chemistry Division of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany, and Professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography of the University of California at San Diego, USA
2007 Harold Varmus, Nobel Prize in Medicine, Lewis Thomas University Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, USA
2006 José Mariano Gago, Minister of Science and Higher Education, Portugal

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Additional Info

  • Date: Friday 23 February 2018
  • Time: Lecture starts: 18:30
  • Speaker: Dr Janez Potočnik,
  • Speaker Position: Former EU Commissioner for Environment and member of the CyI Board of Trustees