About What Design Can Do

What Design Can Do (WDCD) was initiated in 2011 as a platform to showcase design as a catalyst of change and as a way of addressing the societal issues of our time. The story is told through our annual conference in Amsterdam, additional conferences in other parts of the world, the worldwide What Design Can Do Challenge, as well as our own publications and the WDCD blog.

Across all of our initiatives, our aim is to present best practices and visions, to provoke discussion and to facilitate fruitful exchange between disciplines. Why? To demonstrate the power of design; to show that it can do more than make things pretty. To call on designers to stand up, take responsibility and consider the beneficial contribution that they can make to society.

In 2018 WDCD focusses its attention on climate action and social justice by challenging the creative community to contribute solutions in its own capacity. ‘Designers are optimists, so we will approach this issue with lots of positivity,’ WDCD-founder Richard van der Laken says. ‘Instead of worrying about problems, we are going to attack them with all the creative energy and inventiveness we can bring together at WDCD.’

WDCD Live Amsterdam 2017  (23 & 24 May) was entirely dedicated to climate change. The event also saw the launch of the WDCD Climate Action Challenge, an international design competition asking for game-changing ideas for a better world.

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