This Design Conference Wants Creatives to Help Solve Climate Change With a Competition

Winners will split award worth $1 million

The competition asks creatives to tackle a facet of climate change. What Design Can Do
Headshot of Katie Richards

What Design Can Do, a design conference currently taking place in Amsterdam, has proposed an interesting challenge to the creative community today. Beginning today, the conference is asking anyone and everyone in the creative community to submit ideas to its Climate Action Challenge. The goal? To find solutions that will help solve climate change.

Anyone in the creative community, from across the globe, can enter the competition with a few caveats. The challenge is broken up into three different categories for entry so technically entrants must fall into one of three categories: students and recent graduates (up to three years out of school), creative professionals (all you agency people out there) and start-ups.


The Climate Action Challenge also includes a briefing generator for those looking to enter. It’s designed to help entrants decide what aspect of climate change they would like to tackle, because, as the conference says, “climate change affects everything in our life, from our water to food, energy and housing.” The generator also helps creatives figure out what part of the world they want to focus on and what their design strategy should be.

While the challenge is meant to give people who want to help change the world a means to do so, winners of the challenge will also share an award package that is worth 900,000 euros—or just over $1 million—to turn the creative concept into a reality. That money, shared among multiple winners from each category, will go towards a production budget. It will also allow each winner to join the conference’s accelerator program, which is designed to take the winning ideas and bring them to life as quickly and responsibly as possible.

While each category has slightly different application rules, a winning idea should be “innovative, practical, scalable, affordable and easily understood,” according to judges of the competition. Entries have to include a “triggering title” for the project, one key image that conveys what the project is about and a one to two minute video pitch.

What Design Can Do created the challenge in partnership with the Ikea Foundation and Autodesk. The competition is open for entries beginning today and closes on Aug. 21.


@ktjrichards katie.richards@adweek.com Katie Richards is a staff writer for Adweek.
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