What Design Can Do Refugee Challenge receives over 600 entries from 69 countries

What Design Can Do Refugee Challenge receives over 600 entries from 69 countries
June 14, 2016
AMSTERDAM. More than 600 designers and creative thinkers have entered their concepts for the What Design Can Do Refugee Challenge…‘The great participation confirms that designers and creatives want to use their skills to create better everyday lives for refugee children and families,’ says Jonathan Spampinato of IKEA Foundation.

Corinne Gray, Acting Co-Lead of UNHCR’s Innovation Unit, said: ‘The largest refugee crisis since World War II requires new approaches. More than ever we need designers, entrepreneurs, and anyone with a commitment to change to work together with us to create the most dignified existence possible for those who are forcibly displaced.’

What Design Can Do initiator, Richard van der Laken, is equally bolstered by the result: ‘This response demonstrates a huge commitment of designers to urgent societal issues. Indifference and cynicism is not applicable to these people. They show us what design can do,’ he said. Refugee Challenge leader Dagan Cohen added: ‘The fact that we have received submissions from 69 countries proves that the Challenge really resonated with creative thinkers all over the world.’ He expects that selecting 20 to 30 concepts for a shortlist (published on 20 June) will be a ‘tough job’.

The five best concepts will be announced on 1 July by Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders, during What Design Can Do Live in Amsterdam.

A LinkedIn network for refugees, access to knowledge and work, a photo agency for pictures taken by refugees and a coat that turns into a tent. These are just a few of the avalanche of ideas submitted to the What Design Can Do Refugee Challenge. Between now and 20 June, everybody can vote for one of the 600 entries. And the entry that receives most public votes will automatically make it onto the shortlist for the final round, to be announced on 21 June.

The UNCHR has set up a special innovation platform where experts can view and discuss the entries over the coming weeks. What Design Can Do has invited over thirty experts from various disciplines to provide feedback to participants, so that their definitive concepts are as strong as possible when the selection phase starts…
UNHCR Innovation Platform: https://refugeechallenge.unhcrideas.org/Page/Home

About ‘What Design Can Do’
What Design Can Do (WDCD) is an Amsterdam-based design platform that advocates the social impact of design. WDCD raises awareness among professionals and the public for the potential of creativity and calls on designers to take responsibility and consider how their work can benefit society. It does so by showcasing best practices, raising discussions and fostering collaboration. Since its launch in 2011, WDCD has hosted six successful international design conferences in Amsterdam and São Paulo. Learn more at http://www.whatdesigncando.com…