Current Challenge Phase

1: Initiate
2: Nominate
3: Improve
4: Triumph
5: Accelerate
6: Make it happen

Why this challenge?

We need to change the way we power our daily lives. Cities consume the majority of the energy supply, often powered by fossil fuels. Therefore cities and metropolitan areas offer a huge opportunity to transform the way we generate and use energy. We need creative solutions to get as much power from as little energy as possible, wasting as little as we can. That is why, together with Ikea Foundation, we are seeking design interventions that integrate renewable energy, energy saving and energy efficient approaches. Read more about the reasons behind this challenge.

metropolitan areas

The Clean Energy Challenge is focussed on five globally influential cities. For each city we have crafted locally specific briefings informed by real stories, global key issues and local design capacity. Find specific briefings for each city below.

Waste in México City Moving around São Paulo Eating in Nairobi Cityscapes of Amsterdam Building in Delhi





The student track is for students, or recent graduates (no longer than 3 years), from universities, art and design schools that are ready to make their first step as creative professional.

(creative) professional

(creative) professional

The professional track is for creative professionals such as independent designers, design studio’s, ad-hoc teams and non-profit organisations, including NGO’s with a creative idea.



The start-up track is for social impact start-ups with a product or prototype and (some) market traction looking to further build, validate and scale their business and find the best international market fit.

The judging criteria



Your idea is relevant because you’ve gained local insights and collaborate with people and/or organizations already working on solutions.



Your idea has positive impact on people, places and systems and you propose clear metrics to measure this.



Your idea is feasible: technically, economically, politically, legally, socially, culturally and psychologically.



Your idea may be developed for a specific location or community but has the potential to be scaled up to benefit the many.



Your idea is exciting because it is new and creative and a great story to share.



Your idea is developed by a well-balanced and highly committed team or you have assembled a group of people around you who can help develop your idea further.

The timeline

The WDCD Clean Energy Challenge covers a period of a year, from the open call for submissions to the implementation of the winning ideas. Each phase of the challenge is a step forward in developing the submitted ideas into impactful design, products or services that can push the transition to clean energy.

  • 1


    4 Sep 2018 - 5 Dec 2018

    The open call for submission will be launched on the 4th of September and is open until 5 December 2018. In each city there is a Design Jam organised to help prospect participants to inspire and generate ideas for submission.

  • 2


    5 Dec 2018 - 25 Jan 2019

    After all entries have been submitted a special selection committee in each city will establish a list of nominations. Nominated teams will be announced for Amsterdam, Delhi, Nairobi, México City and São Paulo on on the 25th of January 2019.

  • 3


    25 Jan 2019 - 10 Feb 2019

    The nominated teams get the opportunity to process the feedback and refine their ideas for re-submission from the 25th of January until the 10th of February 2019.

  • 4


    Mar 2019 - Mar 2019

    An international jury will select and announce the winning projects of the Clean Energy Challenge in the categories student, professional and start-up.

  • 5


    Mar 2019 - Jun 2019

    All winning teams will receive a tailor made Impact Development Program to further develop their ideas and prototypes

  • 6

    Make it happen

    Jul 2019 - Jul 2020

    The winning projects get a chance to work toward implementation and go-to market of their ideas and a chance to present their projects during the WDCD live event in Amsterdam.