Date: Nov 28, 2023Time: 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

REGISTRATION CLOSED – HBSWA -The Plastic Waste Problem: What Do We Do? (virtual)

Tue, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM Virtual
General PublicSocial Enterprise Prog.


Plastic. It’s everywhere we eat, everywhere we live, everywhere we work, it’s a part of almost every aspects of our lives, used in everything from products to packaging. It’s ubiquitous.

Plastics and their byproducts are littering our cities, oceans, and waterways, and contributing to health problems in humans and animals. Exposure to mismanaged plastics can harm human health and marine species, causing entanglement and injury, ingestion, suffocation and toxic contamination. Additionally, the open burning of plastics may release toxic persistent organic pollutants – chemicals that don’t break down in the environment and contaminate air, water and food.

Plastic pollution is a global problem. Every day, the equivalent of 2,000 garbage trucks full of plastic are dumped into the world’s oceans, rivers, and lakes. Every year 19-23 million tonnes of plastic waste leaks into aquatic ecosystems, polluting lakes, rivers and seas.

Without decisive action, this problem is expected to triple by 2060.

What are the solutions and how do individuals, businesses, and governments come together to solve this pressing issue?

Join us for a fascinating panel discussion that explores three powerful solutions to solving the plastic waste problem with a few of the world’s experts on this topic!

Participants must register by Noon on November 27th to receive details on joining the discussion. The Zoom link will be sent out 24 hours before the event.

Please note that no refunds will be issued.



Benjamin LeVoie

CEO, Plastic Bank

An accomplished senior executive, Ben has over 15 years of unrivaled experience in spearheading transformational, commercial, and financial achievements. With a deep-rooted commitment to visionary and thoughtful leadership, he has masterfully navigated the realms of capital raising, investor management, commercial strategy and purpose driven business. He has managed diverse global teams and cultivated high-performance cultures throughout his tenure with great success.

Ben served as acting COO of Anheuser-Busch Inbev NA and Group Vice President, CTO for PVH Corporation where he delivered top and bottom line results while being a true servant leader who fostered high-performing team-based cultures.

Now at Plastic Bank, he steers the organization towards social recycling and empowering communities out of poverty. Ben’s journey is a testament to his dedication to both global communities and the environment.


Prof Manuel Maqueda

Co-Founder and CEO of Single-Use Plastic Elimination or Reduction (SUPER)

Recognized as an expert in plastic pollution, Maqueda is co-founder of several notable organizations such as SUPER (Single-Use Plastics Elimination or Reduction), a nonprofit enabling businesses to eliminate single-use plastics through a tiered certification program. As a forward-thinker, Maqueda has consulted for notable futurist organizations such as the Jeff Bezos-funded Long Now Foundation, dedicated to fostering long-term thinking in the context of the next 10,000 years. Manuel Maqueda is a Special Programs Instructor teaching Applied Circular Economics, and Regenerative Economics at the Sustainability Graduate Programs, and at the Global Development Practice Graduate Programs – Harvard Extension School, Harvard Division of Continuing Education.


Robert Goodwin

Co-founder and President of Ocean Cycle

Robert Goodwin is the co-founder of OceanCycle, a social enterprise reimagining the circular economy through sourcing, certifying and reusing materials to prevent ocean plastic pollution. OceanCycle is focused on making it easy for companies to integrate ocean-bound materials into their supply chains and make products at scale.

Robert got his start working on ocean plastic issues as Co-Founder and CEO of Executives Without Borders establishing recycling programs in Haiti in the wake of the 2010 earthquake. His programs created over 1,500 formal and informal jobs and cleaned up over 160 million bottles from the streets and canals.

Prior to OceanCycle, he was Executive Director of the Mattel Children’s Foundation and Director, Corporate Affairs and Philanthropy. Robert brought a new perspective on integrating business and purpose and launched a nationwide program called Speedometry using Hot Wheels cars to teach math and science in elementary. He also established global partnerships with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation and Save the Children.

He was also the Chief Operating Officer of International Aid, a healthcare relief and development organization, providing safe drinking water to families in need and programs to provide training and medical equipment to support global hospitals. Robert has also held senior positions at U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. State Department, White House and the Pentagon and supported humanitarian operations in Afghanistan, peace talks in Sudan, and the rebuilding of the health ministry in Iraq.

Robert is a graduate of the US Air Force Academy and served over 5 years on active duty achieving the Air Force rank of captain. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s General Management Program and has a master’s degree in business from the University of Southern California. He is the recipient of numerous military and civilian awards including the Air Force Exceptional Civilian Service Medal.


Date Time

Date: Nov 28, 2023Time: 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM


View Map


  • Free / Member/Member Guest (limit one)
  • 20 / Non-Members



HBS Women's Association