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Tool 7: Melt Innovation Forum

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Idea and Organisation

MELT Innovation Forum is an annual conference that introduces new business and innovation opportunities to all sectors of CCI. In 2021, the forum took place online under the themes - the future economy, new business models, sustainability and future technologies. In the context of Creative Ports, the conference featured an international panel on the circular economy, which focussed on the textile industry and gathered speakers from Estonia and Germany.

The Tallinn Business Incubator initiated the MELT Innovation Forum in 2016. This year it was organised in cooperation with three organisations - Tallinn Business Centre, Tallinn Creative Incubator and the Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol, who joined forces to bring a versatile program to the virtual stage.

MELT Innovation Forum in Figures

  • 1860 participants

Aim and Target Group

The general aim of MELT is to bring together different target groups, including CCI intermediaries, enabling them to network, share ideas and build new relationships. The aim of the MELT Innovation Forum panel, “Pains and Gains of Circular Economy”, was to offer international circular economy idea exchange between creative entrepreneurs within the textile industry and introduce new business models.

When choosing the panellists for the discussion, the aim was to include speakers from different parts of the supply chain to help viewers understand the interdependency of the parts. The panel, therefore, included a material supplier, a product supplier, a data supplier and a platform for creating and sharing sustainable clothing.

The Program

The conference had a live stream, both on the MELT webpage and YouTube. The audience had a chance to ask questions and comment via the online chat.

The “Gains and Pains of Circular Economy” panellists included:

  • Enrico Rima (Lebenskleidung), material supplier
  • Stella Runnel (Stella Soomlais Design), product supplier
  • Ann Runnel (Reverse Resources), data supplier
  • Sarah Bürger (House of All), platform for developing and sharing sustainable clothing

Event schedule

09.30 - 10.15 Keynote speaker: Gunter Pauli, entrepreneur, economist and blue economy expert (in English) - Innovations That will Change the Economic Model
10.20-11.00 Panel discussion: What is the Colour of the Estonian Economy? / Moderated by Johannes Tralla (in Estonian)
11.05-11.50 Tallinn Creative Incubator presents: The Pains and Gains of Circular Economy / Moderated by Kadi Kenk (in English)
11.55-12.35 Tallinn Creative Incubator presents: New Consumer Behaviour - What Happens After Corona? / Moderated by Marii Karell (in Estonian)
12.40-13.25 Tallinn Business Center presents: Is it Necessary to be Big to Change the World? / Moderated by Johannes Tralla (in Estonian)
13.25-14.10 Tallinn Business Center presents: Old Businesses in a New Form / Moderated by Johannes Tralla (in Estonian)
14.15-15.00 Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol presents: Smart City Solutions Competition winners pitches and panel discussion, How to Bring Smart Solutions to Cities? / Moderated by Martin Goroško and Toomas Türk (in Estonian)
15.00-15.45 Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol presents: Cooperation Between the Corporation and the Public Sector - an Effective Growth Strategy for a Start-up Company / Moderated by Martin Goroško (in Estonian)

The “Gains and Pains of Circular Economy” panel

As most CCI intermediaries and creative companies’ understanding of sustainable design is often limited to material choice, it is vital to expand the target groups’ knowledge about different circular business practices. To achieve this, Tallinn Creative Incubator produced an educational video series: “How to Design Products Following the Principles of the Circular Economy?” The video series aimed to introduce different circular design principles and share success stories of design companies that are practising them. The first video was published at the MELT conference before the panel discussion.


As MELT Innovation Forum has been running for several years, it is a well-established brand among Estonian creative businesses. The cooperation with international CCI intermediaries and German companies helped the brand grow internationally. The CCI organisations helped to attract the international panel discussion participants. The event was shared in Creative Ports networks and marketed widely online.

Lessons Learnt

Due to Covid-19, MELT had to move online, making it harder to enable networking between the participants. However, sharing ideas and including international speakers was much easier than in normal circumstances. As the majority of the MELT target group were Estonian speakers and the conference was organised together with three Estonian partners, most of the program was in the local language. The keynote speaker and the panel discussion were the only parts in English. This was not enough to attract a large number of international viewers. To attract more international viewers and participants, the whole conference would need to be in English.