Global Premium Partners


Autodesk Logo
IKEA Foundation is the philanthropic arm of INGKA Foundation, the owner of the IKEA Group of companies. Its mission is to create substantial and lasting change by funding holistic, long-term programmes that address a community’s fundamental needs: homehealth, education and a sustainable family income, while helping them fight and cope with climate change. The Autodesk Foundation invests in the most impactful people and organizations using the power of design to create a better world. It the first foundation to focus investment exclusively on the people and organizations using design for impact. We call them “impact designers”—they are the catalysts of the design-led revolution now underway.
Arjowiggins Logo Antalis Logo
Since 1770, Arjowiggins Creative Papers has been making fine papers for those who create fine ideas. From our Anglo-French roots we have grown into a leading paper manufacturer with a global reach, marrying nearly 250 years of experience, knowledge and skill to the most advanced technology. Arjowiggins’ creative papers are available worldwide, meeting the needs of international clients and guaranteeing the print quality and consistency that graphic community demands.


Antalis is the world’s leading distributor of paper, packaging solutions and visual communication products for professionals. The company was born in 2000 through the merger of 40 international distribution companies across the globe. Antalis sponsors the yellow paper for all What Design Can Do publications.



WDCD Brazil Live Event Partner


Mandacaru is our partner in Brazil, with whom we have organized WDCD São Paulo 2015 and 2016: the two first editions of WDCD outside of the Netherlands. Mandacaru are specialized in the creation of unique cultural experiences and artistic programmes with social impact in the country and abroad.



WDCD-Acceleration Hosting Partner


The Student Hotel is committed to create state-of-the-art facilities and colourful experiences which will change the way we live, work and travel and that redefine our understanding of what makes a ‘student’.


Cooperation Partners


STBY (‘Standby’) is a design research consultancy based in London and Amsterdam. STBY’s creative research projects connect organisations with the lives and experiences of their customers to bring real people into the heart of service innovation processes. STBY is the initiator and co-founder of the REACH network for global design research and is the design research partner of What Design Can Do since 2015.


Social Enterprise NL propels the growing movement of social entrepreneurs in the Netherlands. Enterprises looking for innovative solutions to social challenges, such as climate change. Enterprises recognizing money as a means instead of an end goal. Like Vandebron, who supplies sustainable energy straight from the energy source. Together with our 350 enterprising members, we work to better the world. To increase their impact, we offer them a stage, representation, knowledge, advice and a strong alliance. Together, we create a new economy with profit for everyone: circular, poverty-free and inclusive.
som digital is a digital agency based in Amsterdam. som digital applies smart online marketing principles to increase digital conversion. Their online persuasion expertise helps large Dutch organisations to increase effectiveness of their websites, landing pages and marketing campaigns. som digital is the digital marketing partner of What Design Can Do since 2017.




Amsterdam Live Event Partners


Stimuleringsfonds Logo AFK Logo vbat13Logo_zw
The Creative Industries Fund NL is a government funded organization that issues project grants in order to foster substantive quality in architecture, urban design, landscape design, product design, graphic design, fashion and E-culture, to foster innovation and cross-sector approaches and to professionalize entrepreneurship. Improvement of the links between designers and clients, and expansion of the international market are important concerns of the Fund.  The Amsterdam Fund for the Arts believes artists, creativity and experimentation are inextricably linked to Amsterdam. The AFK supports projects and programmes that increase interest in art and culture, appeal to a wide audience and maintain the multiformity of the array of art available in the city. The Association of Dutch Designers (BNO) is the professional association for designers and design agencies in the Netherlands. The association unites more than 2,500 individual designers and 150 design agencies and corporate design departments. The BNO is committed to advancing the economic, social and cultural interests of its members and to promoting their work and the profession both domestically and internationally. Since 1984, VBAT have been passionate about giving brands, products and spaces the life force they need to thrive in the marketplace.The award-winning brand design agency’s mission is to help clients untangle complicated brand design issues, create workable solutions and craft them into unbeatable end solutions.
 HNI_lijn_ZW_T-01 TriodosBank-FC black Reframing Logo2
Each year, dozens of international professionals working in the fields of architecture, design, fashion and digital culture come to the Netherlands at Het Nieuwe Instituut’s invitation to get acquainted with the multidisciplinary way of working that characterises Dutch design. The International Visitors Programme fosters international dialogue, cultural exchange, market expansion, and broadening of the international professional network. The institute creates custom schedules that enable its guests to quickly get to know a large number of organisations and individuals working in the Dutch design field. The programme is made possible in part by support from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Adobe is the global leader in digital marketing and digital media solutions. Our tools and services allow our customers to create groundbreaking digital content, deploy it across media and devices, measure and optimize it over time, and achieve greater business success. We help our customers make, manage, measure, and monetize their content across every channel and screen. Triodos Bank connects savers and investors who want to change the world for the better with entrepreneurs and sustainable companies doing just that. Triodos Bank only lends money to organisations working to bring about positive and lasting change in three main key areas: environment, social and culture. They finance thousands of businesses, charities and projects across Europe – from fair trade enterprises benefiting families in developing countries, to renewable energy companies supplying thousands of households with clean green energy, closer to home. The Reframing Academy aims to enable commissioners, clients and citizens to cope with ‘big changes’ ahead. By using the renowned Reframing process, Reframing Academy inspires participants to let go of the ‘here and now’. To attain real world transitions, a different mindset is required. Through Crash Courses, Boot Camps, Master Classes and tailer made programmes, that is exactly what Reframing Academy offers.
Designpolitie Logo Pictoright Logo
De Designpolitie (The Design Police) is a graphic design agency based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, founded in 1995 by Richard van der Laken and Pepijn Zurburg. The agency produces communication and identity design for clients in the non-profit and commercial sectors with an emphasis on cultural and social organizations. Vander Laken and Zurburg also are the initiators of Gorilla, a visual column on current affairs, published in De Groene Amsterdammer, and founding fathers of What Design Can Do De Projectstudio is the organizational motor behind What Design Can Do. De Projectstudio develops and realizes projects in the creative industries, including events, exhibitions, festivals, campaigns and congresses in The Netherlands. The company was founded by Lisette Schmetz en Christiaan van Bokhorst, who combine their experience of more than ten years in project management, production and advice in the cultural sector.

Pictoright is the author’s rights organisation for visual creators in the Netherlands: illustrators, artists, graphic designers, photographers and other professional image creators. Pictoright distributes collective royalties, manages copyrights for artists, provides legal assistance, offers advice and strives for a better copyright position for image creators. Social Inc. is a social media and brand publishing bureau based in Amsterdam. Using social media as a tool to gain insight into consumer behaviour, they help brands to add value in every step of their relationship with their clients. No matter the channel, platform or device – Social Inc.’s mission is to create lasting connection between brands and people.
ADCN_vignet+adcn_01 RGB Black Lenoirschuring Logo  
ADCN is the association for creativity in advertising and design in the Netherlands. ADCN has the mission to develop the best creative collective in the world: unleash creativity, stimulate excellence and kickstart innovation in communications in the Netherlands. Lenoirschuring is a renowned studio and printing office for quality print work and therefore a favourite printer of many designers in the Netherlands. With ten people the print shop is specialized in print work that need attention and dedication. The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) believes that design impacts lives.  Through education, knowledge sharing, advocacy, community building and outreach, we strive to advance the interior design profession and, in the process, to demonstrate and celebrate the power of design to positively change people’s lives. BeamSystems is a renown partner in the cultural world providing many festivals, museums and symposia with our audio-visual equipment since 1981. We are happy to be a partner of What Design Can Do since the first edition. And many to follow.
Cutwork is a global design studio centered around patented industrial technology that allows metal and other materials to be bent by hand. Our products include flat-pack kit furniture, metallic structures and other interior design solutions. Currently the company is using the technology to develop low-cost, sustainable shelter solutions for refugee housing and beyond.Recent projects include: Custom office furniture for Station F in Paris and the scenography / architecture for the exhibition of Takesada Matsutani at the Venice Art Biennale 2017. SpeedComfort runs for comfort and climate action. SpeedComfort, the smart radiator ventilator is Dutch design and saves up to 30% on your energy use. It draws heat from your radiator, heating the room quicker and more evenly, increasing your comfort. Quick and easy to install.SpeedComfort allows you to lower the water temperature of your central heating, saving energy and greenhouse gas emissions. Our design is future-proof, contributing to the climate action challenge. Winner of “Hollands Best Green Invention 2015” .  The ideal place to sit down, relax and have a bite after a long conference day is in the greenhouse of Mediamatic ETEN, located on the waterfront close to Muziekgebouw. This habitat offers locally-sourced food and self crafted beers on a sunny terrace: an oasis in the busy heart of Amsterdam. Mediamatic ETEN is the official restaurant partner of WDCD and participants can come for breakfast on Tuesdays an Wednesdays on 08:00 and wood-fired pizzas on Mondays and Tuesdays from 16:00 – 21:30.  The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam enriches people’s lives with modern and contemporary art and design. Their collection, exhibitions, publications, research and educational programmes offer unique and compelling insights into today’s world, reflecting on broader social issues, as well as those that influence our individual lives. The Stedelijk has always been, and remains, an advocate of fresh ideas and experimentation, encouraging critical discourse and a better understanding of the present through art and design.


Amsterdam Live Event Media Partners


DesignIndaba Logo Fontanel Partner WeTransfer alt logo black
Dezeen is one of the world’s most popular and influential architecture and design magazines, and the winner of numerous awards for journalism and publishing. It’s mission is simple: to bring a carefully edited selection of the best architecture, design and interiors projects from around the world. Dezeen was launched at the end of November 2006 and has grown rapidly ever since, attracting over 1.75 million unique visitors every month. They are the premium media partner of What Design Can Do. Established in 1995 with its flagship conference, Design Indaba has evolved into a multidisciplinary experience that now comprises the globally acclaimed annual Design Indaba Conference, Simulcast, Expo and FilmFest, as well as a host of community initiatives, training workshops, music festivals, design projects, performances and publications. is the online culmination of the Design Indaba experience. From the start Design Indaba has been a partner and strong supporter of What Design Can Do. Fontanel is an online magazine made for and by students and professionals in the creative industry in the Netherlands. Launched in 2006, Fontanel has since expanded their coverage to include much of the Dutch creative culture; featuring stories on digital design, branding, food design, PR, startups, product design and fashion. In most recent years, the platform has grown from being an observer to being an active supporter of Dutch creative careers. Wetransfer is an online file-transferring platform, based in Amsterdam. WeTransfer’s mission is to create a platform that allows anyone in the world to send large files. With WeTransfer you can send up to 2GB per transfer free of charge. Since 2009 WeTransfer has sent over 200 million transfers, bringing WeTransfer close to  being the biggest transfer service on the web.

Motherboard is a multi-platform, multimedia publication, relying on longform reporting, in-depth blogging, and video and film production to ensure every story is presented in its most gripping and relatable format. Beyond that, they are dedicated to bringing their audience honest portraits of the futures we face, so you can be better informed in your decision-making today. 2017 marks the 60th anniversary of form. Since its founding in 1957, form has been the leading special interest magazine for designers and design-interested readers, that reports across all topics of design and the latest developments in the field. With news, focus themes, and analyses form sets topics, provides orientation and stimulates the design discourse. The publishing house form also offers special editions, art prints as well as design-oriented literature.  




Amsterdam Live Event Educational Partners



Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam offers contemporary and cutting edge art courses to complement changing, international practice. The outside world is no longer looking for the autonomous artist or the graphic designer, but rather for people who possess a multitude of talents and skills and who look beyond the borders of their original discipline. WdKA calls them ‘creating pioneers’. Students work both at local and at international levels with professionals from different disciplines in open and virtual settings. Design Academy Eindhoven specialises in design. It offers a four-year Bachelor’s course and a two-year Master’s course. It has an impressive, international team of tutors at its disposal and the quality of the designers they educate is very high. The DNA of Design Academy Eindhoven can be described as conceptual, authentic, creative, flexible, free, passionate and curious. Designers who graduate from the Academy are particularly gifted conceptualists. Wherever they end up, whatever they do, their main weapon is conceptual thinking. It allows them to ask critical questions about existing things and to introduce new approaches and to design from a bird’s eye view. Both with regard to design and research they know what they can do. Autonomy & originality are their trademark. ArtEZ University of the Arts is one of the major art institutes in The Netherlands and provides a range of programmes in visual art, architecture, fashion, design, music, theatre, creative writing, dance and art education for more than 3000 students in Arnhem, Enschede and Zwolle. The ArtEZ professorships contribute to research in the field of art and design. The ArtEZ professorships Fashion and E||scape run the Centre of Expertise Future Makers. Future Makers initiates artistically driven design research projects on sustainable and circular value chains for fashion and design and works together with design students, designers, companies, universities and research centres. Hello! We are Communication and Multimedia Design (CMD) in Amsterdam. We are part of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (Hogeschool van Amsterdam). We are a human-centred and context-sensitive bachelor-level design education in the field of interactive digital products and services. Our aim is to help our students both design and realize digital interactive solutions to real-world problems, optimized to the needs of users and other stakeholders. We focus on interaction design, visual design and technique (particularly front-end development). However, these activities occur in a context that shapes what is possible, acceptable and optimal.

Sign up for our newsletter