Over 450 entries rise to the Clean Energy Challenge

Worm Hotels for Mexico City. An office bus that allows employees to work while traveling to their offices in São Paulo. A portable solar-powered unit to reduce post-harvest losses for Nairobi. Energy-efficient water tanks for Delhi. And a proposal to turn Amsterdam’s famed Red Light District into a Green Light District. These are just five of of the 452 entries to the Clean Energy challenge organized by What Design Can Do in close collaboration with its partner IKEA Foundation.

In this challenge the focus is on energy issues in five world cities. The topic of waste prevention and processing in Mexico City is addressed in 128 entries, moving around in São Paulo in 68 entries, building in Delhi in 75 submissions, eating in Nairobi in 84 proposals and producing energy within the city of Amsterdam in 97 ideas. You can see many of the entries here.

In each of the five cities committees of some twenty experts in the fields of design, social business development and the relevant theme reviewed the submissions and nominated the ten most promising entries.


The outcome of the selection phase was announced on 25 January 2019. The 57 nominees had the opportunity to refine their entries based on reactions they got from the selection committee members. On March 5th and 6th an international jury will decide which projects will get funding and support in the accelerator phase to develop their projects further into market-ready prototypes. the winners will be announced on March 6th in a special edition of the live talkshow of Tracy Metz, Stadsleven, together with What Design Can Do.