• CERAWeek
  • March 18 - 22, 2024

William McDonough

McDonough Innovation

Chief Executive

William McDonough is a globally recognized leader in sustainable design and development. He co-authored Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things (2002), widely recognized as a seminal text of both the sustainability and the Circular Economy design movements, followed by The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability–Designing for Abundance (2013). Through McDonough Innovation, McDonough advises commercial and government leaders worldwide on ESG, sustainability, Circular Economy, and design of products and facilities. He has worked with CEOs from companies such as Ford Motor Company, Gap, Google, Herman Miller, Hero MotoCorp, Proctor & Gamble, Starbucks, Unilever and Walmart. He is also an architect with William McDonough + Partners, a firm known for having designed notable landmark buildings in the sustainability movement. Through his third firm, MBDC, he co-created the original Cradle to Cradle Certified® Products Program and co-founded the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, which administers the program today. The product standard is recognized by the world’s leading retailers, including Amazon, Home Depot, Walgreens and Walmart. He has been active with the World Economic Forum for 25 years and served as the inaugural chair of WEF Meta-Council on the Circular Economy. In 2016, McDonough articulated a "New Language for Carbon" for human use as living, durable and fugitive carbon in the journal Nature as "Carbon is Not The Enemy." He articulated the Circular Carbon Economy as a design framework at G20, 2020 workshops. Time magazine recognized him as a “Hero for the Planet” and in 2019 Fortune magazine named him #24 of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.

Sessions With William McDonough

Monday, 6 March

Tuesday, 7 March

  • 08:30am - 09:10am (CST) / 07/mar/2023 02:30 pm - 07/mar/2023 03:10 pm

    Building Resilient Cities: Infrastructure and technology advancements

    How are these cities creating resilient, long-term infrastructure with the latest technologies to meet the growing risks posed by climate change? What are city planners doing to transform their cities into innovative hubs? 

  • 12:30pm - 01:00pm (CST) / 07/mar/2023 06:30 pm - 07/mar/2023 07:00 pm

    Why Carbon Is Not the Enemy

    Energy Transition/Climate & Sustainability
    While it is understood that emissions of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, cause global warming, discussion continues about decarbonization and a “post-carbon economy.” With carbon the most abundant element in the universe, it is everywhere--oil in our cars, the DNA in our cells, the cattle in our fields and in our soil. The bonds of carbon chains hold energy, and when they are broken that stored energy is released and carbon dioxide is emitted. How do we change the conversation around carbon, from being seen as an enemy to a resource?

Wednesday, 8 March

  • 11:30am - 12:15pm (CST) / 08/mar/2023 05:30 pm - 08/mar/2023 06:15 pm

    Book Talk with Bill McDonough: Net Positive: Waging peace through commerce and design

    Drawing on ideas initially put forth in Cradle to Cradle: Remaking The Way We Make Things, co-authored by William McDonough in 2002, Cradle to Cradle Design™ for the Circular Economy ensures “goods” truly are good and reusable in the Regenerative Biosphere and Circular Technosphere. In this inspiring presentation, Time Magazine’s “Hero of the Planet,” pioneer of the concepts of Cradle to Cradle Design and Circular Economy will share his vision on how to drive triple top-line growth and the critical role of the Circular Carbon Economy.
  • 12:15pm - 01:00pm (CST) / 08/mar/2023 06:15 pm - 08/mar/2023 07:00 pm

    Book Signing with Bill McDonough: Cradle to Cradle or Net Positive

    Join us for an opportunity to receive a signed copy of the book Net-Positive: Waging Peace Through Commerce by Design or Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things in our Agora Atrium. To obtain your copy of the book please be sure to attend the book talk just prior to the book signing.