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Episode 6

How SAP tackles the challenges of scaling the circular economy

Welcome to the sixth episode of Platform Disco! Today, our guest is Stephan Fester, who leads a global team at SAP dedicated to exploring circular manufacturing. Their focus lies on discrete products, which are items that can be disassembled and reassembled. This includes a wide range of products such as tables, cars, machines, and even spaceships, as long as there’s a clear construction plan and identifiable materials.

WHAT IS THE EPISODE ABOUT?
We talk about the importance of building ecosystems and leveraging existing capabilities to support a sustainable future. Stephan emphasizes the need to connect the dots and avoid building new software from scratch and also highlights the role of data in facilitating circular transactions and reducing friction in the circular economy. Stephan explains the challenges in embracing circular business models and the importance of trust and knowledge in driving the transition.

Additionally, we talk about the competitive advantage of SAP in enabling circular economy initiatives and the role of marketplaces in facilitating circular transactions. In that case we explore the opportunities for different companies in the circular economy and also talk about SAP’s transformation and leadership changes, as well as the importance of setting circular strategies and roadmaps.

Finally, we delve into e-waste, scrap steel, and product grading, stressing the importance of transparency and trust in marketplaces. The conversation emphasizes the role of partnerships and support in enabling circular business models. At the end we also discuss the importance of leveraging data and implementing business AI to improve processes.

Episode also available on SimpleCast

Meet the Hosts

Alex Pesjak

Alex is a seasoned platform professional who is passionate about creating value in ecosystems and platforms. With a deep understanding of strategy, transformation, and innovation, he is driven by the vision of a thriving Ecosystem Economy across Europe and beyond. Pesjak specializes in aligning purpose, ambition, and circularity to create strategic frameworks that drive success. He is skilled in transforming legacy businesses while simultaneously leading ecosystems through agile and dual operating models.

Alex has a 20 year Brand and Innovation Background in Coca-Cola and Kraft Foods while working as a consultant for the last 11 years in the fields above. With a passion for creating value for all stakeholders, he is dedicated to driving the transformation to networked business models and organizations. Alex currently serves as McFadyen Digital’s VP, Europe as a leader in their Strategic Advisory practice.

David Detjen

David is a digital commerce professional with expertise on the operator and partner sides of the equation in a variety of roles. This experience, both operating a platform in the form of an online marketplace, and serving in more of a consultative role, provides David with a unique perspective, able to “walk in the shoes” of far more than most while providing solutions.

Prior to joining McFadyen Digital, David honed his skills at the likes of Siemans Digital Logistics, Avatis Medical, Mindcurv, and Ecellerate, helping clients to transform their digital commerce capabilities. With McFadyen Digital, David continues this work leveraging the advantages of composable MACH approach to technology while utilizing the latest platform business models to provide scalable growth to his clients.

Peter Evans

Before becoming the Chief Strategy Officer at McFadyen Digital, Peter Evans was a Managing Partner at the Platform Strategy Institute, a consultancy dedicated to management strategy and application of platform business models across a wide range of sectors. Dr. Evans has over 20 years of experience leading teams in identifying, framing, assessing, and communicating high-priority marketplace trends and disruptions that support business planning and investment prioritization.

Peter received his master’s degree and Ph.D. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an International Academy of Management Fellow. He is also the co-chair of the MIT Platform Strategy Summit and the Founder of MusicTech Connect in Atlanta.

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If you or someone you know are leaders in the platform space with a story to tell, please complete one of the forms below to be considered as a guest for the Platform Disco podcast. With a distribution system that includes organic and paid social media, search ads, email lists, and newsletter lists, we have a large potential audience and a rapidly-growing number of audio subscribers on Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, IHeartRadio, SiriusXM, and more. The video version of the podcast is also syndicated via LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, and other social outlets. 

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