WDCD Live Amsterdam 2024 posters in the city

If you live in Amsterdam, you might have seen the signs already. In just one month, hundreds of creatives, activists, policymakers and start-ups will meet in the city for the 12th edition of our annual festival. WDCD Live Amsterdam 2024 will take place at the beautiful Muziekgebouw and will feature a day-long programme of talks, workshops and exhibitions on design and climate justice.

Leading the conversation this year will be a line-up of rebellious thinkers, makers and doers from around the world, including Bobby Kolade (founder of BUZIGAHILL), Natsai Audrey Chieza (founder of Faber Futures) and Clive Russell (designer at Extinction Rebellion). Together, we’ll explore how creative activism can be a powerful tool for disruption—and learn from changemakers who are paving the way. Here, we break down everything you need to know about the event, from who you’ll see on the main stage to how to access the venue where the magic is happening.

What can we expect from the programme?

In a nutshell, there are three main components to this year’s festival. The first is a main stage programme featuring talks by leading figures in the creative industry; plus a string of performances to bring the crowd to their feet. In the afternoon, visitors will get to attend a breakout session of their choice; from a selection of smaller workshops and panel discussions on themes like cultural heritage, community-building and the role of new technologies. And finally, there’ll be a series of exhibitions and a circular showcase celebrating the 11 winners of the global Redesign Everything Challenge. Take your first look at the full timetable here.

Scenes from the main stage at WDCD Amsterdam 2022 and WDCD Mexico City 2023.

What are the main themes of the festival?

Right now, we are living in a critical time for climate action. Changing the course of the planetary crisis means saving all that we can, while building a new way of life that is regenerative and restorative by design. It also means telling better stories about the world than those who are destroying it, and imagining a future that is more sustainable, equitable and exciting than the past. During the festival, we’ll explore what this might look like in practice through the lens of three core themes.

In Designing for Climate Justice, we’ll explore how design can be a tool for resistance and collective liberation, learning from international speakers like graphic artist Edel Rodriguez and architect Afaina de Jong (AFARAI). The second theme — From Ancient Knowledge to Artificial Intelligence — is all about the changing role of new and old technologies in our search for social and environmental solutions. Here, expect to learn from cultural practitioners like Dirk-Jan Visser (New Horizon Initiative) and Henriette Waal (Atelier Luma) about how tradition and innovation meet in their work. Last but not least is Designing for the Circular Transition, a theme dedicated to the next generation of circular entrepreneurs, alongside industry leaders like René van Geer (Secrid). To keep reading about these themes, click here.

Which breakout session should I attend?

Breakout sessions are designed to give festival attendees the chance to connect and collaborate in smaller groups. Some formats are more hands-on than others, like the Diving Deep Labs which will invite you to workshop ideas around specific themes related to the main stage programme. For those who prefer something a little more reflective, Urgent Conversations will give participants the room to discuss critical issues with guest experts from the Dutch design world and beyond. There will also be a special Networking Session with the winners of the Redesign Everything Challenge, where visitors can swap business cards and meet other movers and shakers in the circular innovation space.

Whichever session takes your fancy, make sure to register your interest before the festival on 5 July, as seats per breakout will be limited. It will be possible to register on the day, as long as there is still place. Keep an eye on this page for more information on the sign-up process.

Breakout sessions at previous festivals.

Who are the winners of the Redesign Everything Challenge?

The Redesign Everything Challenge is a global competition organised by WDCD in partnership with the IKEA Foundation. It was launched in January 2024 to find and celebrate some of the world’s most creative climate solutions. From an incredible 557 submissions worldwide, 11 promising projects have now been selected as winners. During the festival, visitors will get the chance to hear from these winners as they present their projects on the main stage, and through a special exhibition and networking session elsewhere in the programme.

Will there be other opportunities to chat and mingle?

Yes! There will be exhibition spaces open throughout the day alongside breaks for coffee and lunch. All attendees are also invited to join a closing reception at the Muziekgebouw from about 18:00 onwards. One free drink is included with every ticket!

Where can I learn more about the venue?

For this year’s festival, we’re back in the iconic Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam. This impressive concert hall is a 15-minute walk or a quick tram ride from Amsterdam Central Station. For more information about accessibility and other practical details, click here.

The Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam is located on the banks of the IJ river.

Will the talks be recorded?

Absolutely. Main stage talks will be recorded and published in our video gallery in the weeks following the event. We’ll also be live reporting the festival on our social media, so make sure you’re following us for a taste of what’s happening on the ground.

Where can I buy tickets to the festival?

Regular tickets are available to purchase via our online ticket shop until 30 June or while supplies last. A limited number of late bird tickets will then be released until 5 July. A discount is available for students, and groups can reach out to events@whatdesigncando.com for more information.

WDCD Live Amsterdam 2024 will take place on 5 July 2024 at the Muziekgebouw. Click here for more information.