Our mission


What Design Can Do (WDCD) is an international organisation that seeks to accelerate the transition to a sustainable, fair and just society using the power of design. Based in Amsterdam, with hubs in São Paulo, Mexico City, Delhi, Nairobi and Tokyo, WDCD started in 2011 and is initiated, curated and organised by creatives.

Our vision is a world that is sustainable, inclusive, just and safe, and we believe in the problem-solving power of design to get us there.

Our mission is to empower the global creative community to make a valuable contribution to solving the major problems of our time.

Our approach

WDCD offers an integrated programme of activities in order to build and empower engaged creative communities around the world.



Today’s systems are deeply flawed. From governance and decision-making bodies, to entire economic systems, the most prominent societal structures are driven by short-term and profit-first values. The resulting products, services and policies not only waste valuable resources, but often perpetuate long-standing injustices.



As we see it, the world’s biggest system flaws are, in the end, design flaws. That’s why WDCD believes tackling our most urgent problems requires imagination, collaboration and design.

  • 1. We need to design better policies, services, products and systems that put human wellbeing in direct connection with planetary wellbeing. 
  • 2. We need an inclusive, collaborative and creative approach.
  • 3. Our creative community is uniquely skilled to tackle these issues, but requires the necessary resources to do so.


WDCD approaches its mission with a firm commitment to climate action. Across WDCD’s activities, we stand with others working towards the following goals: 1) reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting biodiversity and 2) keeping the global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees celsius in accordance with the Paris Agreement.

While climate change might seem like a universal burden, it affects everyone differently. Taking an intersectional, inclusive approach to climate action, therefore, is not only constructive — but necessary — to achieve our vision.

Our impact


Since 2015, WDCD has challenged the international creative community to tackle the world’s most pressing issues. Each Challenge provides creatives with the connections, resources, skills and funding that’s needed to pilot, test and scale new innovations.


WDCD has reached 126 countries with its Challenge programme. From 2017-2019 alone, the 33 winning projects attracted around ten million euros in funding, and led to the creation of 96 full-time jobs.