This year alone, blistering heatwaves, floods and famines have proven that climate change is the single greatest challenge of our time. To address it, we’ll need international collaboration, creativity and a hands-on mentality. That’s why WDCD, in collaboration with the Creative Industries Fund NL, will bring 18 Dutch and African designers and makers together at COP27.This year’s UN Climate Change Conference will take place on 6-18 November in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. At WDCD, we see this gathering as an opportunity to advocate for the role of design within climate action, and build the exchange of knowledge, experience and networks needed to activate it. After all, our hope lies in our collective actions.A climate emergency means that it’s time for business as usual to halt, for our priorities to shift and to recognize our responsibility to those on the frontlines of the crisis. It’s important to face, for example, that while the African continent is only responsible for 4 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions, it is currently experiencing the brunt of its impacts. In order to tackle this — and create true climate justice — we need creative ideas and disruptive voices at the table.
With a group of 18 creative innovators, called the Creative Climate Collective (CCC), from the Netherlands, Egypt, Mali, Kenya, South Africa, Mozambique, and Ghana, we’re joining COP27 in Egypt. We believe we have a design problem when it comes to addressing the climate crisis. We have good ideas, but we fail quite miserably when it comes to actually implementing them. Or lack the urgency. Or as Greta Thunberg pointed out in one of her speeches: “I don’t think we have a problem on the ideas level, the climate crisis has already been solved. We already have all the facts and solutions. You are failing to act.” With the CCC we believe creative innovators are fundamental in rethinking and showing how to change the system. Now it’s time to collaboratively bring that into action and start rebuilding our future by design. In that spirit, we join those around the world who have already declared a climate emergency, and we invite everyone to join us.