About What Design Can Do

What Design Can Do (WDCD) was initiated in 2011 as a platform to showcase the role of design in addressing the societal issues of our time. The story is told through our annual conference in Amsterdam, additional conferences in other parts of the world, the What Design Can Do challenges, as well as our own publications and the WDCD blog.

Over the years WDCD has developed into a research & development platform, stimulating idea generation by designers and facilitating the further development and implementation of concepts. Through open and invite-only challenges WDCD calls on designers to stand up, take responsibility and consider the beneficial contribution that they can make to society. Extensive accelerator programmes are aimed at turning their ideas into viable, market-ready prototypes.

In 2018 WDCD focusses its attention on climate action and social justice by challenging the creative community to contribute solutions in its own capacity. ‘Designers are optimists, so we will approach these issues with lots of positivity,’ WDCD-founder Richard van der Laken says. ‘Instead of worrying about problems, we are going to attack them with all the creative energy and inventiveness we can bring together at WDCD.’

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