The thirteen winners of the WDCD Climate Action Challenge gather this week in Amsterdam for a five day bootcamp that marks the start of the Acceleration phase of the challenge. They will participate in a programme of workshops, expert consultancy, networking events, inspiring talks and visits to peer entrepreneurs.

Finally they meet each other, the thirteen winners of the WDCD Climate Action Challenge selected by the international jury last November from a total of 384 entries. Two representatives of each project have travelled to Amsterdam for an intensive bootcamp designed to help them bring their projects further. This bootcamp is the first part of the five-month Acceleration Programme developed by Social Enterprise NL that is part of the award scheme.

This week the participants will take part in workshops on the Theory of Change, prototype and product development, partnership strategy and finance. In the coming time we will share some of the lessons of these workshops on this blog. All teams will also meet with their personal mentor, who will coach them throughout the Acceleration Programme.

Social meets Design

Tuesday afternoon, a Social Meets Design network event is organized where the winners will meet with experts from the networks of the Social Enterprise NL, What Design Can Do, and ABN AMRO bank that hosts part of the bootcamp in Circl. Circl is a venue and platform for sustainable development located in the centre of the financial district in Amsterdam.

Experts are also joining in Forum Sessions that help the participants determine the strengths and bottlenecks in their business models and develop their action plans. On Thursday the teams will visit either the restaurant Instock where the menu is made with surplus food collected from supermarkets or the campus of The Mobile Factory, where initiator Gerard Steijn will present the case of this social enterprise. The Mobile Factory transforms debris on location into new, stackable building blocks for rapid, safe and affordable housing.

A second bootcamp is scheduled for March and a third and final one in May, building up towards the presentation of the final projects on Demoday on 24 May 2018, during What Design Can Do Live Amsterdam.

Top image: winners meet each other in The Student Hotel