As of today, we’ve received more than 60 entries to the Clean Energy Challenge, from innovators working on energy issues across five continents. We’re thrilled to see the enthusiasm – but we also want to help those of you still hesitant to take the plunge. 

With the submission deadline fast approaching (5 December is the extended date!), we’re here to tackle the top 5 excuses stopping you from joining the Challenge. Sit back, relax, and let us get you off the starting block.

Excuse #1: “I don’t have enough time.”

We say: We understand that submitting an idea is easier said than done. That’s why we decided to listen to your requests and extend the deadline of the challenge til 5 December. That means you still have little less than one month to tinker away on that proposal! Also good to know: after the initial submission date, nominated teams will have another opportunity to refine their entries before the final judging. So, get your idea in the door, and worry about perfecting your grammar later.


Excuse #2: “Clean energy is a huge issue. I don’t know where to start.”

We say: We can help! Together with our research team STBY, and local experts on the ground, we’ve prepared specific design briefings focused on five world cities: São Paulo, México City, Amsterdam, Nairobi and Delhi. These citypacks are available for download on our platform, and are stuffed full of tools which can guide you, like background information, suggestions on where you can make the most impact, and inspiring examples.


Excuse #3: “But I don’t live in any of those 5 cities!”

We say: No problem – we welcome proposals from all corners of the world. The topics addressed are of course not exclusive to these five cities. Still, we ask you to submit ideas with a specific locale in mind to enlarge the chance that they can actually be implemented. Our suggestion is to try and show us that you are aware of the local situation in your chosen city and that you have connections with a local partner. As our Challenge Leader Dagan Cohen explained, ‘The key thing is that your idea has the potential to be applied instantly and is also scalable.’

Excuse #4: “I’m not a designer.”

We say: This competition is not restricted to designers. Our aim is to activate and empower all creative communities around the world to look at one of the most pressing issues of our time, and to do so through every angle. Clean energy is not just about transitioning to renewables; and there are many valuable point of views. That includes those of innovators and entrepreneurs across all disciplines, whether you’re a student, professional, or a start-up already working on a project. Read more on the kinds of ideas we’re looking for here.


Excuse #5: “I’m not sure that design can make a difference.”

We say: We’ll let our creative director Richard van der Laken take this one. He says that, “For some time now, a wave of conservatism has been sweeping through the world, which will not disappear quickly. It’s my belief that one of the few real counterbalances is creativity. Creation is neither left nor right. These challenges are about showing the public that we can actually do something about the issues that concern us all the most.’”

Ultimately, our view is simple: when it comes to clean energy, we need every creative solution we can get. And while we eagerly await political revolutions and technological breakthroughs, design can help accelerate the transition by supporting activism, by scaling existing technologies and by challenging the status quo. That’s the power of design. And more.

Ready to submit an idea?  VISIT THE CHALLENGE PLATFORM >>