The 11th live festival of ‘What Design Can Do’ was taking Mexico City by storm from May 6 to 8, 2019. The design platform has chosen this third city after Amsterdam and Sao Paulo for obvious reasons. The history, the culture, the music, the people, the food, the geographic location – everything speaks for Mexico City.
‘What Design Can Do’ is a conference and global gathering for inspiration and creativity for social, environmental, and political change. With more than 30 speakers at the conference including Nadya Tolokonnikova, the Russian activist, artist, and founder of Pussy Riot, Selly Raby Kane, a Senegalese fashion designer, Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, a journalist at Al Jazeera, Sam Bompas of Bompas & Parr, an English experience designer, and Brazilian designer, filmmaker, and partner at Pentagram Marina Willer, the conference is truly global in its scope.
The aim of the talks and the diversity of the participants are a guarantor for positive change. Through the excellently organized conference underlined and complemented by music, culture, and more, like-minded design fans came together to look at social innovations that could improve Mexico and the planet as a whole.
Once dubbed the most polluted city on earth, Mexico City has shown that drastic actions can change lives. The lowered pollution levels that are constantly monitored were institutionalized through closing of factories, changing school hours, the ‘day without a car’ program extended over more than one day, ecobike sharing, and more.
At 2,200 meters above sea level, the air in Mexico City and probably everything else is not perfect. Platforms such as ‘What Design Can Do’, however, help to raise awareness and come away with concrete actions.
One of which is the ‘Clean Energy Challenge’ that was already kicked-off in September 2018. Together with the IKEA Foundation, ‘What Design Can Do’ challenged creative minds and designers around the world to tackle the production, distribution, and usage of energy in five cities: Sao Paulo, Delhi, Nairobi, Mexico City, and Amsterdam.
Currently, in the acceleration phase, the winners for each city’s unique challenge are working on ideas and prototypes to prepare for the implementation.
See our take on a previous ‘What Design Can Do’ conference.
Source: some images are courtesy of What Design Can Do FB and website.