Circularity & Community

17 circularity + community.jpg

In this workshop, participants will learn how to apply circular manufacturing principles in their own lives and communities, understand current trends within the space, identify gaps and opportunities as well as together imagine a world where communities can make most of what they need through their own local circular production. Additionally there will be a practical element to the workshop whereby participants are able to produce their own infinitely recyclable tools from polymorph bioplastic.

Workshop Goals:

  • Introduce participants to the principles of circular manufacturing and community ownership
  • Build shared imagination and vision of a hopeful future where communities can support many of their own material needs through local distributed circular manufacturing
  • Foster creativity and critical thinking by encouraging participants to design their own objects using a combination of polymorph, hot water and objects from the local environment
  • Encourage participants to incorporate circular design principles into their projects
  • Raise awareness about the importance of community participation and ownership in building circular companies
  • Develop strategies for facilitating community ownership and participation in building circular companies/organisations

The workshop will be conducted over 3 hours in three different sections - the first being on circular manufacturing as a concept, the second on community participation and ownership and the third being a fun practical experience with polymorph plastic. These will all be approximately 1 hour each.

Participants: Workshop can be scaled between 5-30 participants depending on interest. An emphasis will be put on accessibility, ensuring everyone can contribute and participate.

There is little implied knowledge with this workshop, apart from a basic waste of plastic, recycling and understanding the concept of circularity. Some degree of understanding around how molds work is also implied, a sense of comfort with being somewhat messy. A safety briefing will be provided as well. Participants feeling unsure will be encouraged to team up with participants who have this knowledge and feel comfortable working with the material to ensure it is as accessible as possible


Kern Mangan-Walker is a non-binary identifying person from New Zealand-Aotearoa who is a passionate connector, team-builder, and problem-solver, obsessed with creating a net-positive impact on the world around them. They excel at crafting effective systems, raising capital for good causes, and creating momentum for social and environmental shifts.

They spent time as a delegate in the Aotearoa Youth Leadership Institute of New Zealand where they attended the UNFCCC Climate Negotiations in Lima, Peru and the Social PreCOP in Venezuela, 2014. Kern was also a founding member of the isgood.ai cooperative, where they helped to develop membership infrastructure and create a sustainable system of shared ownership and community governance within the organization. Additionally they worked for several years as a director of Generation Zero, New Zealand’s youth climate movement - being a key part of several policy-shifting campaigns at the national level.

Kern's current projects are equally exciting: They’re also a partner & investor at Special Studio, a company that's changing the way things are made by creating beautiful 3D-printed furniture from recycled plastic. They also co-founded Play Grasshopper, a Sydney based startup that's improving family well-being by connecting digital and active learning/play. Alongside this they assist NGOs and social impact businesses with revenue growth and fundraising. In their spare time they're an avid surfer, writer, hiker and artist - having exhibited solar balloons made from waste plastic at several festivals.