‘Quality of entries for the WDCD Climate Action Challenge is very high’

Entries from 70 countries, many from the global south

Published in Climate Action by

Analysis of the WDCD Climate Action Challenge entries shows that, again, submissions came in from all corners of the globe. Participants from 70 different countries entered 384 projects. The top contributing countries are The Netherlands and Brazil underlining the strong base WDCD now has in both countries. India delivered the third most entries.

The division between the different tracks in this challenge came out well balanced with 170 projects from creative professionals, 122 student projects and 93 startups. The response per topic was also pretty much evenly divided (with many projects addressing multiple topics): Energy 222, Water 193, Food 137, Health 134, and Housing 115.

When looking at the design approaches, there was a clear preference for Products and Spaces (257), followed by Systems (158), Services (127) and Communications (109) – here too many entries took multiple approaches.

High quality

‘Our overall impression is that the quality of the entries is even higher than last year’s challenge’, says WDCD’s challenge leader Dagan Cohen. ‘We aimed for more submissions from professionals, which is exactly what we’ve got. It’s also very nice to see that we not just reached Western creatives and entrepreneurs, but many from the global South too, which was one of our other goals and the reason to focus on adaptation. It’s now up to the selection committee to choose the 45 most promising projects – 5 student projects, and 20 from the other two tracks. We are very excited to see which projects will be among the nominees announced on 21 October in Eindhoven.’

Broad range of projects

The range of projects the committee members have to choose from is very broad. From the Oregon Human Climate Readiness Assessment Project by professor Deborah Morrison of the University of Oregon to the Smart Rainbarrel entered by Dutch designer Bas Sala. The first helps inhabitants of Oregon prepare for possible weather extremes due to climate change. Sala’s rain barrel is connected to the Internet and can react to weather forecasts by either releasing or retaining water.

From India comes the proposal for Funnel Farming a universally applicable method for dry land farming, allowing farmers to begin cultivating their farms immediately while simultaneously improving soil quality over time. Dutch designer Jurgen Bey (Studio Makkink & Bey) meanwhile proposes to found a Water School in Dwarka, India, to be constructed by the pupils themselves together with selected emerging designers, artists and craftsmen. The project will teach all participants about more sustainable ways of construction and handling water.

Find out more about these and all the other projects at challenge.whatdesigncando.com.

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