WDCD Live São Paulo 2017 kicks off after two intensive jury days

Bringing together as many voices and ideas as possible


Published in Climate Action & WDCD by

It’s on. For the third time WDCD has landed in São Paulo, where speakers from different corners of the world gather for another live event that promises to be absolutely fantastic. Two days of judging the 35 nominees for the Climate Action Challenge by the international jury went ahead. It has been decided who the winners are, but you will have to wait one more day before we will announce them on stage at FAAP theatre in São Paulo.

‘I was really excited when I heard about this challenge,’ the Executive Secretary of the UN’s climate agency (UNFCCC) Patricia Espinosa answered when asked why she decided to join the international jury of the Climate Action Challenge in São Paulo, knowing that it would be right after three intensive weeks of leading COP23 in Bonn. ‘In the process of curbing climate change, we need to engage with other sectors’, she said. ‘The challenge of What Design Can Do can help us reach out to other audiences.’

In fact, that’s exactly what WDCD wants to establish: the encounter of the design community with as many voices and ideas and knowledge as possible in order to provoke new solutions for the pressing issues of our time.


Already within the international jury there was much appreciation for the diversity in expertise and perspective around the table. ‘Being in this jury has been so interesting because of the differences of experiences among the jury members,’ 350.org’s Nicole Oliveira said afterwards. ‘I didn’t expect I would learn so much from our discussions. This has helped to widen my vision on the climate issue.’

Designers in the jury, including ZUS Architects co-founder Kristian Koreman, product designer and author of The Hidden Impact Babette Porcelijn and Pentagram’s Naresh Ramchandani in turn were interested to hear the perspectives of the activists / scientists and business people present.

Two days of lengthy and intensive discussions finally led to a list of winners that will remain undisclosed till tomorrow, 23 November 2017, at 10:30 hours Brazilian time. What we can say is that the list is more than satisfying. Richard van der Laken, WDCD’s creative director and co-founder commented: ‘Again, our challenge shows that design is not only about beautiful stuff. The winning projects are daring, disruptive, empathic, smart and above all deeply engaged with people and society. That is what design should do.’

Exciting exchanges

But we kick off Day 1 of WDCD Live São Paulo 2017 with a full day of talks and sessions, and plenty of occasions to meet each other. All aimed at bringing about exciting exchanges of ideas, inspiration and, who knows, one or two encounters that lead to longer lasting connections. Between the kick-off by Juliana Proserpio, founder of Brazilian design thinking company Echos and the closure by British designer Pete Hellicar, we’ll hear, amongst others from Dutch designer and educator Jurgen Bey and Brazilian wonder architect Guto Requena. There will be music from the artists Ekena and Luiza Lian and no less than nine activation sessions where participants will work together and hopefully inspire each other in new and unexpected ways.

The sky is clouded in São Paulo today, but we can be certain that inside FAAP theatre we’ll have a sunny day ahead in all the other senses of the word.

Top image: the international jury with from left to right Babette Porcelijn, Elizabeth McKeon, Nicole Oliveira, Ana Toni, Fred Gelli, Patricia Espinosa, Naresh Ramchandani, Dagan Cohen, Richard van der Laken, Kristian Koreman and Pepijn Zurburg


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