What Design Can Do (WDCD) has been awarded a grant to support its work to address climate change with design from Dutch Postcode Lottery, the largest charity lottery in the Netherlands. WDCD is an international organisation that seeks to accelerate the transition to a sustainable, fair and just society using the power of design. Based in Amsterdam, with hubs in São Paulo, Mexico City, Delhi, Nairobi and Tokyo, WDCD started in 2011 and is initiated, curated and organised by creatives. 

The challenges facing our world today are complex and urgent. Design and creativity play a vital role in helping to address these challenges by sparking innovative ideas and driving real change. With an estimated 80% of environmental pollution originating from a product’s design phase, from materials to packaging, designers urgently need to address their approach to design. In today’s world, everything we interact with – from the products we use, the buildings we live in, to the clothes we wear – is designed. Designers are becoming increasingly aware of their impact on climate change but need the skills, tools, and trust to make a greater social impact.

WDCD supports creatives and designers globally by empowering them to recognise their role in creating social change and by mobilising them to put their ideas into action. Start-ups supported by WDCD have designed new materials from pineapple waste, portable shelters for refugees, self-powering greenhouses, and even created clean energy from living plants.

“This is great news for What Design Can Do – and the planet”, says co-founder Richard van der Laken. “With this support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery, we will be able to continue to advocate for design’s role in finding solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.”

WDCD will use this generous contribution from the Dutch Postcode Lottery (from the funds received from the lottery’s 3 million players), to help designers that build on a fair and sustainable society with knowledge, tools and funding. The support will also be used to continue to advocate for the power of design and designers for climate action with governments, academics, the private sector and the consumers worldwide.

“What Design Can Do is an international organisation that aims to create a fair, more sustainable and just society through design. They do this, for example, by developing sustainable alternatives to plastic packaging, combating waste and promoting a circular economy.” said Stijn Boonstra, who presented the check to What Design Can Do on behalf of the Dutch Postcode Lottery.