A structure that harvests water from the air in Haiti, a backpack radio station for disaster prediction in Indonesia, a fleet of drones to plant thousands of trees and a circular temple to help communities adopt a sustainable lifestyle. The 35 projects nominated in the WDCD Climate Action Challenge display wide diversity in many ways. The nominees are revealed today in Eindhoven during the Dutch Design Week.

The 35 nominated projects are revealed today at the Creative Embassy of Climate Action hosted by What Design Can Do as part of the World Design Event (WDE). Located in the Klokgebouw, the central venue of the Dutch Design Week, the Embassy of Climate Action presents an exhibition of all the nominations. Check out all  nominations and whatdesigncando.com.

The Climate Action Challenge, initiated by WDCD, in close collaboration with IKEA Foundation and Autodesk Foundation, received 384 entries from 70 countries. The projects are separated in three tracks: Creative Professionals (15 nominations), Start-ups (10 nominations) and Students (10 nominations).

The nominated projects are entered by designers from 16 different nations. They submitted ideas for all five topics (Water, Energy, Food, Housing, Health) with Water addressed the most. In general, many projects address multiple topics and also combine different design approaches (Communication, Products and Spaces, Services, Systems).

Wide diversity

The challenge asked for ideas that help people to adapt to the effects of climate change. The solutions proposed display a lot of diversity. Projects range from easy to assemble hospital beds to help contain disease outbreaks, for instance after a disaster, to a floating farm for resilient food production, and from artificial ice stupas for efficient water storage to paving tiles designed to integrate rainwater in urban environments.

‘The results of WDCD Climate Action Challenge show that creatives worldwide are concerned with our planet, and have a focus on the future,’ says WDCD co-founder and creative director Richard van der Laken. ‘I am delighted to see that in many projects education is a key component. These projects tell me that if we act now we can work on creating a conscious and active next generation. I am convinced that this challenge contributes to that important goal.’

Improvement, triumph, acceleration

Now, the nominated teams will have two weeks to improve and re-submit their their proposals based on the feedback of the selection committee and the challenge community. The nominated design professionals also receive a budget of €5.000 each to invest in their presentation. The refined proposals must be submitted before 5 November.

Next, it is up to the international jury that will convene in São Paulo prior to our third live event there on 22 & 23 November. Nine eminent leaders from the design, climate action and business fields will select the final winners who may share a prize package worth €900,000. The winners will be announced on the second day of WDCD Live São Paulo. And that won’t be the end. In fact, with the announcement of the winners we’ll be only halfway the challenge, because for the winners this will be the start of tailor made acceleration programmes aimed at making their ideas, prototypes or start-ups market- and investment ready. This acceleration programme is developed in cooperation with Social Enterprise NL.

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