No Waste Challenge 2021

APPLICATION DEADLINE: APRIL 20TH, 2021.

Overview

The No Waste Challenge presented by What Design Can Do and the IKEA Foundation is now open for submissions! This global design competition focuses on addressing the enormous impact of waste and consumerism on climate change. We are looking for radical new ideas and design-driven solutions to reduce waste and rethink our entire consumption and production cycle.

Submit your proposals by 20 April 2021 and join us in accelerating the transition towards a just and circular society. To get started, learn more about the scope of the challenge, or check out the three design briefs available to participants.


WHAT CAN YOU WIN?

– €10,000 IN FUNDING

– A DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME CO-CREATED WITH IMPACT HUB

– PUBLICITY VIA ALL WDCD PLATFORMS & PARTNERS


WHY WASTE?

The answer is straightforward and devastating: our planet is drowning in waste. Every year we dump a massive 2.12 billion tonnes of it worldwide. This is partly because we’ve created an economy in which 99% of the stuff we buy is trashed within six months. If all this waste was put on trucks, they would stretch around the Earth 24 times.

The issue is systemic, and has disastrous impact on all other wicked social and environmental problems. From causing biodiversity loss to accelerating global warming — the destructive way in which we currently extract, produce and consume resources is driving us towards a climate crisis. If we can address the underlying root problems and symptoms of waste, we have a fighting chance at building a future that works for both people and planet. Will you join us?

WHY NOW?

We are already consuming 75% more resources every year than the Earth can sustain in the long term. And this overshoot is set to increase by a stunning 70% by 2050 unless we make some major changes — and fast. 

We believe that design has the power to raise awareness and change how things are made and what they are made of. Design also has a role to play in shifting narratives and facilitating alternative visions of the future. The COVID-19 crisis has provided us with an unprecedented opportunity to do so, and to re-evaluate our current systems in the process. It could help facilitate many step changes, and open doors for ideas, products, services and systems once deemed too radical.

The potential is enormous, and the time is now. So how do we encourage more mindful consumption; how can we produce for both people and the planet; and how can we handle waste more responsibly?

ABOUT THE CHALLENGE

January 2021, What Design Can is launching the No Waste Challenge, our third climate action challenge in partnership with the IKEA Foundation. This global design competition focuses on the impact of waste and consumerism on climate change. The climate emergency is not the only crisis upon us at the moment. COVID-19 may be more on our minds. The two are however connected. Human destruction of ecosystems and biodiversity loss are making virus spillover events, like COVID-19, much more likely. Our current wasteful lifestyles aren’t just making the planet sick, they are making us sick too. Designers and creative entrepreneurs around the world are invited to submit innovative solutions to reduce waste and to re-design our systems of extraction, production, and consumption to be less destructive — or even to make them restorative. Read these three design briefs that ask designers to tackle the underlying root problems and symptoms. For each, we have included some example solutions as inspiration.

APPLY NOW

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