In a new set up, WDCD Live Amsterdam on 24 & 25 May 2018 will focus more on establishing connections between designers, NGO’s and businesses. ‘WDCD is a platform for designers, but in order to solve complex social issues we need to connect with knowledge institutes, social entrepreneurs and companies too,’ says WDCD’s programme manager Nanne Brouwer. ‘The programme contains elements of interest for all these parties.’

WDCD Live Amsterdam returns to Amsterdam’s municipal theatre Stadsschouwburg, where the event was held in its first five years. But with a new focus and new structure, things won’t be the same as before. ‘Our aim is that after two days of WDCD the audience is left with the creative fuel, the knowledge and the network to realize their own or other’s projects,’ says Brouwer.

Themed around the topics of climate action and social justice the programme will provide opportunities for learning and doing, as well as inspiration and encounter. The first speakers announced shows that there are plenty of reasons for everyone to attend WDCD.

The programme dives into new developments in creative leadership with Google’s Robert Wong.

Activating communities

Designer Dave Hakkens, initiator of Precious Plastic, Arab-American journalist Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, (Al Jazeera), Dutch activist film maker Sunny Bergman and Brazilian environmental activist Nicole Oliveira ( will talk about the role of design in activating communities towards a better future.

Vegetarian Butcher Jaap Korteweg and designer Daniel Freitag, co-founder of the Swiss recycled bag producer Freitag, will reveal the business strategies that set real change in motion. Meanwhile, Brazilian architect Guto Requena and Dutch textile designer Femke van Gemert will show how purposeful design can convey a powerful message. Finally, Joel Towers, executive dean of Parsons School of Design, will share his vision on educating the game changers of tomorrow.


Day 1 will start and close with plenary talks on stage in the Stadsschouwburg, but will for a good part be filled with workshops in different formats both in the theatre and nearby venue De Balie. This first day will also be Demo Day for the 13 winning teams of the WDCD Climate Action Challenge. They will present their finalized projects to a selected audience of possible investors, partners and fellow designers.

Day 2 will bring a larger part of main stage talks. Brouwer: ‘You could say that Day 1 is more about learning and doing, and Day 2 more about inspiration and encounter. There are many links between both days and the value of the whole event is in the connection of all the elements necessary to create change. Our goal is that everyone will leave WDCD enriched and recharged, full of energy to make that difference together.’

The full programme will be online shortly.