Cradle to Cradle Product Design Challenge

Designing for the Circular Economy

Design Challenge VI Judging Panel

The following experts have been selected to participate on the Judging Panel due to their knowledge and leadership in design, and advocacy for sustainable design principles. We are grateful that they are generously contributing their time to help select the leading designs in Design Challenge VI.

Chris Uecker - Senior Scientist, Product Design and Development, Target

Chris Uecker currently brings his passion and multi-industry sustainability expertise to Target as a Senior Scientist on the Product Design and Development team. In addition to his responsibilities leading product development for Target’s own brands in the areas of household essentials and health care, Chris is actively involved in the company’s research and development efforts, focusing on sustainable chemistry and product design. Often tapped for his industry expertise as an innovator, formulator and product developer, Chris has provided thought-leadership on several industry panels and is known for his ability to drive meaningful change, while advancing sustainability efforts in the areas of surface cleaning, pharmaceuticals and personal care.

Dr. Debbie Mielewski , Senior Technical Leader, Materials Sustainability - Ford Motor Company

Debbie is passionate about the work she does to improve Ford’s environmental footprint and believes these new materials are going to dominate the market in the future.  She started working at Ford in 1986 on predicting the durability of automotive coatings.  Subsequently, Debbie worked in plastics processing, and then plastic materials. In 2000, she started the bio-materials project, focusing on inclusion of soybean oil into urethane foam formulations.  This product was introduced in the 2008 Ford Mustang, and now every North American built vehicle hosts soy in the seat cushions, backs and headrests. Since that time, 7 other plant-based materials have been introduced into Ford vehicles, making them a leader in this space. 

Emma Fromberg , Informal Education Programme Manager, Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Emma is a designer by background and is part of the education team of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. She is interested in exploring how the design of digital technology can support a restorative and regenerative economy.

At the Foundation, she manages the annual Disruptive Innovation Festival (DIF): an online festival of ideas that offers a virtual stage for anyone who wishes to share their disruptive ideas with a global audience.

Besides her work at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, she is Founder and Design Lead of her design-driven start-up: The CirQlight. This is a product-service system that delivers bicycle lighting through a performance model. The users do not buy the bicycle lamp itself, but they buy light: the value of the bicycle lamp. This enables the company to keep the products, components, and materials at a high value at all times. Through this start-up, she actively explores the barriers and the opportunities of digital technology in a circular economy.

Doug Brown , Manager, Business Strategy, Sustainability - BASF Corporation

Doug Brown is a member of BASF’s North American corporate leadership team for sustainable development, is a subject matter expert on sustainability to BASF and serves as the primary intermediary for 12 operating divisions with annual revenue of $16 billion.  BASF, the world’s largest chemical company supplies to industries including; Construction, Transportation, Agricultural, Consumer goods and Packaging. Doug has previously served in advisory roles with; USGBC HealthBuild Council; Urban Land Institute Climate Land Use & Energy Board, ULI Redevelopment and Reuse Council and Board of Directors for the Sustainable Building Industries Council. 

Lewis Perkins, President - Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute

A long-time advocate for “doing the right thing,” Lewis is a champion for sustainability – personally and professionally.  Prior to joining the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, Lewis consulted to companies both big and small on creating programs and awareness for environmental and social initiatives. Perkins led the "green" charge as director of sustainable strategies for The Mohawk Group, a leading carpet manufacturer and commercial division of Mohawk Industries.  He continues draw on this passion and experience to help advance the Institute’s mission of scaling Cradle to Cradle Product Certification worldwide.

Nora Sophie Griefahn , Co-founder & Managing Director, Cradle to Cradle Association

Nora is the Managing Director and co-founder of the Cradle to Cradle Association and environmental scientist with a focus on sustainable chemistry. She studied at Leuphana University Lüneburg, Technische Universität Berlin, as well as the Goethe University Frankfurt. Studying abroad led her to the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, the University of Copenhagen, to the USA and France. In her work for the C2C association she develops strategies for an increasing impact of the association on the whole society and shapes the rapid growth of the young organization. She leads teaching activities for the C2C association, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the University of Applied Sciences Mittweida.

Sachlene Singh, Technology Evangelist, Autodesk

As a Technology Evangelist, Sachlene enjoys the opportunity to work with users of design software and make them successful. With a more recent focus on emerging technology companies, Sachlene has played the role of mentor, design advisor, engineer and team member to help startups bring their products to market. She is a Mechanical Engineer, has a Master’s Degree inMechanical Engineering and has several years of experience in the industry and at Autodesk.

Stephen Leonard, Senior Innovation Leader, Growth & Insights - Arconic

As a practicing industrial designer and innovator for over 30 years, Stephen has worked in a variety of industries including industrial/commercial products, materials, aerospace, defense, children’s toys, medical/surgical equipment and fast moving consumer products. At Arconic's Technology Center (ATC), he is responsible for orchestrating front-end innovation programs for Arconic. His background in innovation covers innovation processes, innovation facilitation, ideation and brainstorming, idea visualization, invention and design practices, IP, technology & innovation road mapping, customer/end-user insights and cultural impacts of innovation.  While working at Alcoa, he was the project lead responsible for the design and development of the newly announced Central Park Conservancy waste container system which has won several prestigious design awards. He is a recipient of other design recognitions for consumer products and surgical equipment and has published work in areas of surgical equipment and DFMA practices. Steve is the holder of over 53 US patents.

Stuart Constantine, Co-Founder & Publisher – Core77

Stuart is the co-founder and managing partner at Core77, a New York-based publishing company focusing on the design industries. With over 20 years of experience in the design and technology industry, Stuart has grown deep expertise in industrial design, product development and management, digital publishing, and interaction design. Stuart currently oversees operations for,, along with various partner sites. 

Warner Philips , Cleantech entrepreneur & investor, Founding Board Member, Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute

Warner is an independent cleantech entrepreneur and investor with over 17 years of building and investing into early stage and growth businesses, focused mostly on consumer lifestyle markets. In 2002, Warner co-founded cleantech incubator Tendris, which spurned start-ups such as renewable energy retailer Durion (later Oxxio), carbon neutral credit card affinity program Climacount and LED lighting pioneer Lemnis. Prior to Tendris, Warner was an investment analyst and investment manager at NeSBIC, the independently operated VC firm under the Fortis group in the Netherlands where he made investments across all industries, transaction types ands company development stages, including Refresco, a pan-European multi billion dollar buy and build platform in soft drinks and fruit juices a transaction Warner led and where he served on the board.

Warner is also a Founding Board member of Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, and serves as an operating advisor and venture partner to Pegasus Capital Advisors, a leading private equity fund focused on businesses solving resources scarcity challenges; and he advises to smart thermostat company Nest. He is an investor in Nest, in energy software company C3, in residential solar services company Sungevity, in social impact fashion brand Maiyet, and in community product sharing company Yerdle.