the title '557 ideas for a better world' is displayed on a red background surrounded by a freeform mosaic of images featuring selected submissions from the redesign everything challenge.

It’s a wrap: the open call for the Redesign Everything Challenge has officially come to a close! This global competition was launched by What Design Can Do and the IKEA Foundation in January 2024 to find and celebrate the world’s most creative climate solutions. In total, 557 ideas were submitted by participants from 73 countries, offering imaginative ways to redesign everything from products and materials to spaces and services. Many entries also seek to reconnect people and restore their relationships with nature, paving the way for more adaptable, resilient and inclusive futures.

As we move into the next phase of the competition, work begins on reviewing all the entries with the help of our multidisciplinary Selection Committee. The nominees will be announced on 30 April, after which an international Jury will select the 10 winning teams who will receive €5000 in funding and a tailor-made accelerator programme including a bootcamp in Amsterdam and speaking opportunities.

“On behalf of our entire team and partners, we want to thank every participant for bringing their ideas to the table,” say WDCD co-founders Richard van der Laken and Pepijn Zurburg. “Redesigning everything was always going to be a big ask — but this shows how many creatives are bold enough to try. We couldn’t be more excited to get to know them and to help them make a meaningful contribution to climate action.”

Creative climate solutions
Redesign Everything Challenge

Entries from top left to bottom right: Blended Materials, Kantamanto Social Club, Matterpieces, The Revival.


All public submissions are now available for viewing on the Challenge platform. Here, you’ll find an incredible spread of climate solutions across five main disciplines: products, materials, communications, spaces and systems & services. Although participants were asked to position their ideas within these disciplines, one of the key trends we’re seeing is an uptick in interdisciplinary initiatives. “I see promising collaborations between designers and biologists, materials scientists, engineers, academics, and technologists,” explains Tuğçe Akbulut, who is the programme manager at WDCD. She notes that more creatives seem to be breaking away from siloed thinking, for example by exploring different ways to create and measure impact. “At the beginning of the open call, we asked for solutions that fit at least one of 8 circular strategies for change, but I noticed that most of the projects are developed very holistically.”

There has also been a marked increase in community-led projects that focus on creating change on a neighbourhood level. From a farmer’s collective working to reduce crop waste, to a platform promoting climate literacy in children, many of these projects are also deeply inspired by local and traditional knowledge. “In this Challenge, we have received applications from more than 70 countries,” adds Tuğçe. “Every region has its own local wisdom, and designers are revisiting this knowledge and combining it with new technologies to address the current needs of their communities.”

In terms of new products and technologies, there is an incredible wealth of innovative materials in the pool of entries, many of them delivering circular or regenerative alternatives to conventional plastics and textiles. Think leather made from mushrooms, packaging made from discarded fruit peels, or floortiles made from demolition waste. Here, many projects are moving their focus beyond recycling towards creating in a way that actually restores natural ecosystems rather than depletes them. This goes hand-in-hand with a spike in projects that aim to renew resources or preserve biodiversity, from systems that help communities manage their water to campaigns that support wildlife populations.

Climate design ideas
circular redesign everything

Entries from top left to bottom right: Make it Count LabelFabulous Fungi, Textile Agroforestry, Uncook the Planet.


To help us review all applications, we have carefully curated a Selection Committee of experts in design, circularity, climate innovation and creative entrepreneurship. It’s not a secret; they have a very tough job! Over the next few weeks, they will roll up their sleeves and collaborate on a process to determine the most innovative and impactful solutions that will shape the final list of nominees. Besides rating each submission against the four main criteria for projects (impact, creativity, feasibility and strength of the team and network), each member will also share their unique perspectives on the climate urgencies facing their respective regions and industries.

What else makes a project a top contender? “I will be looking for ideas that showcase innovative thinking and push the boundaries of traditional design solutions,” explains sustainability expert Wangui Mwangi (Kenya), who brings a wealth of experience in spatial and system design. She adds: “Winning ideas should reflect a deep understanding of diverse communities and stakeholders, ensuring that solutions are accessible, equitable, and culturally sensitive.”

For material designer Taina Campos  (Mexico), the most promising ideas are those that “show commitment in contributing to social and planetary restoration.” She hopes to see proposals that help humans reconnect with other living systems, by “returning nutrients to natural cycles instead of extracting resources.”

Other names in the selection committee include designer Kaori Akiyama (Japan), circular economy specialist Wairimu Mwangi (Kenya), Stirworld co-founder Amit Gupta (India), and Creatives for Climate founder Lucy von Sturmer (Netherlands). The full list of members can be found on the Challenge platform, and the nominees will be announced on 30 April 2024. Stay tuned!


Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published.