HOW TO ENTER

No Waste Challenge

The No Waste Challenge focuses on the devastating impact of waste and consumerism on climate change. We invite creatives from around the world to submit inspiring, imaginative solutions to reduce waste and rethink the way we extract, produce and consume resources on our planet.

 

Apply by 1 April 2021 for a chance at winning €10.000 in funding and a tailor-made development programme to turn your project into a reality. The challenge is open to students, designers and creative entrepreneurs from all countries.

Submit a project

  • 1. REGISTER AN ACCOUNT

    To submit your project you’ll need a What Design Can Do account. Registering is simple, and requires only an email address and a password. Do you already have a What Design Can Do account? Login here.

  • 2. CREATE YOUR PROFILE

    Once you are logged into your account, you can create your profile. We would love to know more about you! Let us know who the project leader is, what you do, and upload a photo or logo of your company.

  • 3. UPLOAD YOUR PROJECT

    Once your profile is created, you can add a project. Open the submission form and fill in the details, starting with the project title and description. Then, let us know: are you applying for the global challenge or one of the specific cities? What is the state of development of the project, and who is part of your team?

    In the same form, you will also be able to indicate the visibility of your project. If you are worried about IP or copyright issues for instance, it is possible to set your project to  ‘private’. These settings can be changed at any time.

  • 4. LANGUAGE

    We prefer to receive all submissions in English. However, if your project applies to one of the following cities: Mexico City, São Paulo or Tokyo, you may submit your project in Spanish, Portuguese or Japanese. Please be aware that in this case the project title and project description still need to be submitted in English.

  • 5. PENDING PHASE

    As soon as your submission is complete, your project will be reviewed by a WDCD moderator. You will receive a notification when your submission has been approved and published, or if there is any information that needs to be amended.

  • 6. EDIT YOUR PROJECT

    After approval by a WDCD moderator, you can adjust your project settings at any time during the Open Call until the submission deadline (1 April). If a problem occurs, please contact us at challenge@whatdesigncando.com.

TIMELINE AND MILESTONES

OPEN CALL

OPEN CALL

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION
12 JAN 2021 — 1 APRIL 2021
NOMINATE

NOMINATE

SELECTION OF NOMINEES
5 APRIL 2021 — 23 APRIL 2021
IMPROVE

IMPROVE

REFINEMENT OF NOMINATED PROJECTS
2 MAY 2021 — 14 MAY 2021
TRIUMPH

TRIUMPH

SELECTION OF WINNERS
16 MAY 2021 — 27 MAY 2021
DEVELOP

DEVELOP

ACCELERATION PROGRAM
JULY 2021 — DECEMBER 2021
MAKE IT HAPPEN!

MAKE IT HAPPEN!

FROM IDEA TO START UP
JANUARY 2022 — ONWARD

WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS?

 

Design briefs

 

We are looking for exciting, design-driven solutions that tackle the underlying roots and symptoms of waste, and which do so at various scales. This means our focus is on impact and innovation, rather than on finding nice things made from plastic waste. With this in mind, all proposals are required to fit at least one of three global design briefs:

 

Take less

How can we inspire the use of fewer natural resources and consume more mindfully? 

 

Make better

How can we make products and materials that are kept in use and/or regenerate natural systems?

handle smarter

How can we use waste as a resource or dispose more responsibly?

 

If you have any further questions about whether your project is suitable for this Challenge, feel free to contact us.

Categories

 

Next to this, all proposals are to be submitted in one or more of the following categories:

 

Communications

Information design, speculative design, campaigns, packaging design, films, music and other verbal or non-verbal messages, digital or physical

 

Products

Sustainable product design, fashion design, food design, material design (made industrially or in limited edition)

 

Spaces

Interior design, architecture, landscape design and other forms of spatial design for the private or public sector, temporary or permanent

 

Services & Systems

Digital or physical tools, services, platforms, programmes and infrastructures to influence human (and non-human) behavior and facilitate interactions

STAGEs OF DEVELOPMENT

 

Applications are also open to projects in different stages of development — from new ideas to existing enterprises.

 

Idea stage

Submissions in this stage display a compelling vision and a convincing  visualisation, but only a rough proof of concept. There are at least two initiators, but possibly not a well balanced team yet needed to bring the idea to the next stage.

 

Testing stage

Submissions in this stage are more developed. There is a proof of concept, a core team and a long term vision. Your focus is on developing a high quality product, service or programme and building a solid business case.

 

Evolve stage

Submissions in this stage are considered an existing social or creative enterprise. Your focus is on sustainable growth: expanding  market or public adoption, strengthening your organization, securing funds and increasing impact. 

judging criteria

Impact

Impact

Directly: you are able to demonstrate that your initiative leads to a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and has positive impact on people and the planet. Or indirectly: your initiative has the potential to shift people’s values and/or influence political and corporate policies.
Creativity & Design

Creativity & Design

Your initiative is exciting because it’s innovative and new - or builds on an old solution in a new way. Design is a clear differentiator. This means that your proposal is inspiring, well-crafted and easy to understand. Your design is not only user centered, but also earth-centered!   
Feasible

Feasible

Your initiative is firmly rooted in (local) research and you are working with, or have consulted experts to ensure your proposal is feasible on different levels, for example technically, economically, politically and socially.
Scalable

Scalable

Your initiative may be developed for a specific location or community but has the potential to be scaled up to benefit the many. You are able to demonstrate how.

THINGS TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION

 

To help you get the best out of your idea, here are a few recommendations from our research team

USE THE R-LADDER

 

In national policy, the ‘R-ladder’ is a diagram used to rank and prioritize strategies towards a circular economy. Generally, the higher up on the ladder, the more impact a strategy has. This concept offers a valuable checklist for designers and innovators working on solutions. Try it: Which R’s currently fit your proposal best? Are there changes you can make to pull your R’s closer to the top?

ADDRESS THE ELEPHANTS IN THE ROOM


Waste is an issue that touches our lives daily; and it can be tempting to focus on its most tangible aspects. But ultimately, waste is a symptom of other, much larger (and more wicked) problems. To create real and lasting system change, we must dare to address a few elephants in the room:

  • Capitalism has not shown it is capable to deliver the changes that are needed. Can design help us embrace different systems, such as the concept of the commons?
  • Overconsumption and overproduction is pushing the planet beyond its limits. How can we stimulate alternatives to buying and owning products?
  • A growing global middle class will swell to 5.5 billion people by 2030. How can we address the destructive behaviours and values of middle class consumption before it’s too late?
  • Globalization has led to hugely complicated and vulnerable supply chains. How can we rethink our trade flows and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the process?
  • De-growth or the notion of ‘sufficiency’ is the logical answer to the myth of perpetual growth. However, there is no attractive, alternative vision of how this might look. How might creative leadership help us imagine a circular economy that works for people and the planet?