Dear creative, dreamer, maker, supporter, fan, partner, critic and friend, 

I’m sending you this message from my home in Amsterdam. The corona crisis here is unfolding in an unprecedented manner, and will not skip any part of the world.

What can we do?

No doubt everybody is asking themselves that very question right now. What can we do at such a time of insecurity, fear and potential lethargy? That is exactly the question the whole WDCD team has been asking ourselves. What can we do? And what are others doing around the globe?

For there is infinite creative potential out there. People are creative by nature. When the shit hits the fan, we adapt and respond with newfound inventiveness. Creative, social and smart initiatives are popping up around the globe. They are inspiring and heartening.


What can design do?

We plan to tap into all this amazing creative energy. Starting from now, we are going to do the following:

1) We will use of every inch of our platform

Framed as What Design Can Do In Times Of Corona we will use our physical and digital platform to inspire, activate and connect people from Amsterdam to Mexico City, from Toronto to Delhi, from São Paulo to Dakar.

2) We will collect and publish the most amazing initiatives
Think of all the products, services, apps, games, information designs, media, cartoons and so on that can help and support others in the difficult days that lie ahead. Check out what people in China or Hong Kong are up to. Their resourcefulness can set an example for all of us. We will continue to publish regularly on our website and on all our social media channels. So keep an eye on our website and emails.
3) We will mobilize our WDCD alumni
Over the years, many creative thinkers and makers have shared with us what design can do. 
Expect contributions from them in the coming weeks. For example MoMA’s Paola Antonelli, the Dutch Gorilla Collective, IKEA Foundation’s Liz McKeon, Austrian food thought leaders Honey & Bunny, Mexican graphic design maverick Alejandro Magallanes, Brazilian food chef Rodrigo Oliveira, our friends from Pentagram, Urban Think Tank’s Alfredo Brillembourg, Next Nature’s Koert van Mensvoort, Google Creative Lab’s Robert Wong and many many more.
4) We will reflect and discuss

Can this crisis be a turning point for humanity, with lasting and beneficial effects? Can we change systems for the better, for good? Can we bring people together in new ways? Can we reboot a world in need of a clean start?


What can you do?

5) We invite you to share with us a creative initiative that has inspired you recently.

Or even stronger, we invite you to share with us your creative projects and ideas (new, on-going and/or old) that address, or aim to provide solutions to, the environmental, social and political complexities in our world. 

Examples this can be: graphic commentaries, projects with a purpose, quotes, interviews, videos and more. Send your projects and ideas (or those of friends or relatives) to:
We will publish them and share them widely with our community. Do it because it matters!
Let us seize this opportunity to change things that badly need changing. For a start, our fossil-fuelled global economy. And let us embrace more than ever the positives, like the solidarity and creativity we are witnessing around the globe.
Stay safe, stay well, and trust your creative force.
Richard van der Laken
Co-founder and CEO, What Design Can Do


Please find attached a first visual column from our beloved Gorilla Collective. 
Over the coming weeks they will be responding to the news with their iconic visual columns.