Meeuwis is a graphic designer in the design team at What Design Can Do. He has studied graphic design at the Willem de Kooning Academy, where he explored the human made division between technology and nature. At the office he is busy making sure the WDCD brand is visually stunning, andout of office, he is trying to become a coding master.
Tuğçe Akbulut is a multidisciplinary impact-focused designer and a connector. After more than a decade of creative direction career within the film industry, she entered the field of social innovation by working as an incubation program coordinator for a social entrepreneurship platform. She has participated in several national and international events to advocate design's social, environmental, and economic value. Her professional story was selected among the 80 inspiring women for the British Council Turkey's book project called 80 Years, 80 Women, 80 Stories. She is the founder of the conscious matching platform Cross Change and the Design for Change, the first impact-driven creative community in Turkey. She continues working as a conscious design curator and taking the role of a programme manager within the Make it Circular Challenge.
Gaël Colin is our Corporate fundraising manager. He has worked for more than 15 years in marketing and fundraising for the non-profit sector. He previously worked for international NGOs, some of the most famous French universities and FoundationAlphaOmega. He’s passionate about creativity and the development of unconventional ideas. When he’s not asking for money, he spends his time in a kitchen cooking some typical French dishes while sipping a glass of red wine and listening to loud music.
Chieri Higa joined What Design Can Do as a content editor after completing a master’s in applied ethics at Utrecht University. Previously, she studied at Design Academy Eindhoven and wore many hats as a freelance creative, working as a chef, creative instructor, and writing articles on the intersection of design and ethics for magazines such as Damn Magazine, Foam Magazine, and The Common Table. After hours you can find her at the ceramics studio, cooking for her friends, sewing a costume for the next big party, and reading a lot of short fiction.
Rosa Kieft is Head of Innovation Programme at What Design Can Do, leading the innovation, research, and challenge programmes. With a background in art history and visual culture, she started working in cultural programming with a special interest in the intersection of arts and science. In addition, Rosa works on WDCD's international collaboration with WDCD's city partners, fostering WDCD’s global network.
Richard Van der Laken is a creative director based in Amsterdam. He met Pepijn Zurburg while studying at the Utrecht School of Art and Sandburg institute, and together they formed De Designpolitie - a renowned visual design agency, graphic design collective Gorilla, and What Design Can Do. Since forming, they’ve worked with many partners from Rabobank to Artis Zoo, won numerous awards, and feature in the permanent collection of galleries such as the Design Museum London and MoMa New York. At WDCD, they’ve created multiple design challenges, publications, and events hosted across Amsterdam, Brazil and Mexico. If Richard’s not in the office, he’s probably halfway across the world, preaching the What Design Can Do story at conferences like TED, The Next Web or Design Indaba.
Louise joins WDCD after spending the last five years working for the not-for-profit sector in London. She focused on developing impactful campaign strategies to encourage the public to engage in global issues. After developing a career in international development, Louise enrolled in a social innovation programme to explore how creative entrepreneurship can help address society's most pressing issues. She’s particularly interested in the power of creative innovation to create a positive social impact.
As WDCD’s communications manager — while our talented Daphne is on maternity leave — Jess optimises the global marketing strategy.
For seven years, she’s worked in marketing across design, art, architecture, drinks, wellness and tech. She also works as a freelance journalist, consultant and leads a cultural project called Unbore, founded after completing a Masters in ‘Design, Culture and Society’ in 2017.
Jess advocates for design with a positive impact on climate action and social justice, looking at how to solve the pressing problems of today to shape a better tomorrow. Besides work, she loves moseying around exhibitions with friends, learning a new craft and planning a food trip somewhere new.
Currently serving as WDCD's Operations and HR Manager, Soraya efficiently oversees the organisation's smooth functioning, filling a crucial role in the team dynamics.
With an extensive background spanning over three decades in the international fashion industry, Soraya actively contributed to the successful launch of the first series of H&M stores across Europe and the US, as well as meticulously curated collections for the discerning Dutch market and orchestrated a remarkable grand opening for Europe's largest Flagship Store.
Motivated by a passion for meaningful work and personal reflection, Soraya seamlessly transitioned her diverse skillset and leadership for organisational restructuring and team coaching to the non-profit sector. Her impactful four-year tenure as the Operations Director at ADCN reflects her dedication to fostering positive change within the industry.
Beyond her professional pursuits, Soraya is currently in her third year of training as a Life Therapist at the School of Life, where she continues to broaden her horizons and deepen her understanding of holistic well-being.
Marieke den Ouden is our designer from Rotterdam. During her studies in graphic and social design at the Willem de Kooning Academy, she looked at the relationship between the Netherland’s clothing industry, consumerism, and graphic design. Photography is an important aspect in her work, and wherever she goes - the camera goes too. Can’t find Marieke on land? Probably because she’s sailing across the ocean on a pirate ship, teaching youngsters about sustainability and telling everyone she was a vegetarian before it was cool.
Daphne Schmidt is our marketing & communications manager. She studied marketing in Amsterdam and has been trying to use these skills for a greater good ever since - she’s passionate about sharing the stories, people and projects that make the world a better place.
Previous work includes organisations like the North Sea Foundation and online platform Nudge, where focus on sustainability and societal issues are key. During the weekends, she escapes the city in her campervan for some good ol’ peace and quiet. On a quest to bake a perfect loaf of sourdough bread (tips welcome).
Lara Snatager develops the programmes for all events we put together at What Design Can Do. She studied theatre in Amsterdam, following which she became a producer for various cultural festivals and events – such as the Iranian Film Festival and Club Interbellum. Joining artists, journalists and activists alike, Lara’s search for ‘gesamtkunstwerken’ never ends, if not for a good cheesy joke or impromptu sing-along at the end of the day.
Pepijn Zurburg is a designer and art director. During his studies at the Utrecht School of the Arts and Sandberg Institute, Pepijn met Richard van der Laken. Together, they founded renowned visual design agency De Designpolitie, graphic design collective Gorilla, and What Design Can Do. Their work has won numerous awards, and features in the permanent collection of galleries such as Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and MoMa New York. Working with partners and clients from KPN to Frascati Theatre, and many more. Pepijn is responsible for leadership and strategy, branding, and visual communication for everything What Design Can Do. A true all round designer with a strong hands-on approach. Pepijn is married (to another graphic designer!), and together they have two children.
Designer born in João Pessoa, Manaira moved to São Paulo in 2002, where she lives until today. In 2010 she funded the design and cultural production studio Mandacaru with her sister Bebel. Together they have organized exhibitions, seminars and multiple projects in graphic design. In the last years, she has been working as creative director, scenographer and producer in many projects for private companies and public institutions.
Writer, digital expert, journalist, traveler, feminist and extremely curious person. Livia creates strategy and content for social profiles, newsletters, podcasts, and websites. Since 2006, she has worked for different publishers, agencies and cultural institutions, talking about varied subjects, from climate issues to classical music. Lívia is innovation-oriented, be it in writing, photography, mobile video and audio.
Ricardo Lozano is a designer, cultural manager and design and creative industries promoter. He understands design as an engine of change to improve the quality of life of society in general and help create better futures. He has worked in the academic field at Centro and the Universidad de la Comunicación and is a founding partner of Cítrico Gráfico and the Abierto Mexicano de Diseño.
Joanna Ruiz Galindo is a cultural manager passionate about design, Mexican heritage and the artisan process. She has worked for more than ten years in the promotion and commercialisation of independent design and has founded important initiatives such as Promotora Nacional DMX, La Lonja MX and the Abierto Mexicano de Diseño, among others.
Margriet Schreuders is director of the Student Services Centre at Maastricht University. In this capacity she is responsible for a wide variety of services that support students during their time at Maastricht University, like employability training, extracurricular services, psychological support, language courses and sport facilities. Margriet is also jury member of the international jury of the sustainability competition Postcode Lotteries’ Green Challenge since 2019. Before that she was chairperson of the preliminary jury of the same competition. Previously she was, among other things, head of the charity department and member of the management team at the Dutch Charity Lotteries (Dutch Postcode Lottery, FriendsLottery). She was also member of the Executive Committee of the global fund Education Cannot Wait, which promotes education in emergencies and member of the Advisory Council of The Elders, the independent group of world leaders working together for peace, justice and human rights.
In 1992, Jeroen van Erp was one of the founders of design agency Fabrique. Under Jeroen's joint leadership, over the years Fabrique has grown into a multifaceted design agency with international clients like the Design Museum in London and The Ocean Cleanup. Jeroen is currently a partner in Fabrique and innovation strategist. He is the chair of the Dutch Creative Council and in November 2015 he was appointed Professor of Concept Design at Delft University of Technology.
Intellectual property law is the area of law that protects creativity. As a lawyer, Ruby has pledged her heart to this right for more than 33 years. Working for organisations and people who make and market innovative products drives Ruby in her work. She has developed a unique specialisation in the furniture and interior industry. But not only companies from those sectors know where to find her. Ruby’s clientele consists of a wide variety of (international) organisations that are active in various other sectors, from architecture to ICT, from pleasure craft to household appliances, media and art. Ruby also advises on privacy law. Ruby is proud that many of my clients are at the top of their field. Her clients can always count on her to think along and come up with the best solution for a problem. And when necessary, she fights for their interests in court. Ruby likes to share her knowledge by writing articles in professional journals, such as Interior Business and her contributions on LinkedIn.
Dina El Filali - Environmental Urban System Engineer, entrepreneur, facilitator and young writer/artist. During the day she works from her company ME-TREC (Metropolitan Training Research Engineering & Consultancy) for various clients to contribute to making our urban systems and regions more sustainable. Currently working for the Floriade as Program Manager International Demo & Research and for Region Foodvalley as process facilitator Werkplaats Hydrogen.In the evening, as an artist, she processes her insights into creative expressions, in spoken word. The common thread through all her work is unraveling complexity, facilitating transitions and empowering actors with knowledge, connection and insight so that we can work together towards resilient, circular and fair cities.
Anna Noyons (1984) is a social designer and the founder of ink social design. Anna has a study background at TU Delft and the Design Academy. She also studied art history and philosophy in Italy. In 2010 Anna started her own studio (Studio Anna Noyons) with clients such as: HEMA, Municipality of Amsterdam, Bever Sport and others. Between 2013-2017, Anna was Chief Product Officer at Peerby, an app that allows you to borrow stuff from people in your neighbourhood. At Peerby, Anna was part of the founding team. The app grew from 0 to more than 500,000 users in 4 years and raised 2 million euros from Venture Capital and 1.7 million euros with a crowdfunding campaign among the members of the platform (The app won several awards and even made it to the New York Times). In 2018, Anna founded ink studio, where she works with a permanent core team and a large flexible layer of creatives. Clients include Jeugdzorg Nederland, ABN Amro, Randstad, Peerby, 29k and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. Anna has been a guest lecturer at TU Delft since 2011 (an annual master's course in design), she is a Start-up mentor at Start-up Bootcamp and Rockstart (since 2016) and joined the Supervisory Board of What Design Can Do in 2021.
Eliane is the head of development for Leiden University Fund, the foundation that raises money for research projects and student grants at Leiden University. She has a background in marketing and fundraising. She has led fundraising campaigns for different organisations in different fields: most recently for Amsterdam UMC and before that for the National Maritime Museum en Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ. Eliane started her career in advertising, having worked at Leo Burnett Chicago and TBWA Amsterdam.
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