WDCD Live São Paulo 2017 report: Activation Session 13 Climate Action Challenge - From Idea to Impact

‘I want to do what our clients need, not what they want’


Published in Climate Action & WDCD by

What was announced as a look behind the scenes of the challenge, developed into an intimate exchange of ideas on the ways to create impact through design with several leaders from the Brazilian design community.

Among the participants were Mauricio Medeiros, creative leader of service design consultancy EGGS, Camila Moletta, Head of Design of communication’s agency Isobar, Gabriel Bello Barros, Digital Transformation & Business Innovation Lead for the Global Sponsorship Program Office of Cisco and Flavio Barros, graphic design, owner of design consultancy eg!creative.

They shared thoughts with Ana Toni, director of Instituto Clima e Sociedade, Elizabeth McKeon, Head of Strategy at IKEA Foundation, Richard van der Laken, creative director of WDCD, all members of the international jury of the Climate Action Challenge, and Dagan Cohen, leader of WDCD’s challenges.

Convince the client

All participants told they were more or less struggling with how to convince their clients to accept bold ideas that can make a difference. As Flavio Barros phrased it: ‘I want to do what our customers need, not what they want.’

Gabriel Bello Barros, who oversees Cisco’s sponsoring of the Olympics, was specifically triggered by the challenge. ‘How you combined climate change with design, that was a surprise for me.’

Ana Toni also expressed her happy surprise with the challenge. ‘It was really courageous of you to start this challenge because you brought a positive vibe to the discussion,’ she said. ‘It gives visibility to so many solutions.’

Listen to the customer

One lesson learned from judging the challenge nominees, was the importance of really listening to the questions and needs of the final customers. Both Toni and McKeon disapproved of the projects that carried a sense of a western-cantered ‘I-know-what-is-good-for-you’.

The same goes for the commercial world. To make a difference, all present agreed, it is imperative to speak the client’s language, but also really understand the final customers’ needs and wishes.

All photos by José de Holanda

Richard van der Laken (left), Dagan Cohen and Elizabeth McKeon

Richard van der Laken (left), Dagan Cohen and Elizabeth McKeon

Mauricio Medeiros (EGGS, right) and Camila Moletta (Isobar)

Mauricio Medeiros (EGGS, right) and Camila Moletta (Isobar)

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