In order to reach its goals, Designathon Works deployed the following general activities and projects:


  • GCD 2017 & Report- participation of 18 cities and 600 children.

  • Waternet designathon for the Amsterdam International Water Week. video of Minoct and the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte

  • Position Paper IDC conference 2017, Stanford University. read here

  • Children on stage at the SIngularity U conference. video here

  • Collaboration with the Municipality of Amsterdam. video here

  • Worked with 40 Dutch schools reaching 2900 kids & trained 200 teachers.


Further development of the Designathon Works pillars:

1. School program

On a local level, 40 Dutch schools have completed our school programs, we have trained 200 teachers and worked with over 2900 school children. We will continue our regular school program, training teachers and doing consulting work for schools. We also strengthen our focus on making new network partner relationships to reach more children.


A few example school programs below:

Collaboration with the Municipality of Amsterdam

The most important designathon event in 2017 was the Designathon School Challenge in collaboration with the Municipality of Amsterdam. Through this challenge we encouraged schools to separate and recycle waste. At the moment, 80% of the waste generated by schools is lost for recycling. For the first ever Designathon School Challenge, five elementary schools and two high schools accepted the invitation and challenge on: Waste Sorting at Schools. The Jury identified De Biënkorf school and their design as highly distinguished above the rest and Makerversity translated their prototype into a real working object!



We have a partnership with Amsterdam Public Libraries where we hosted our GCD in 2017, but also took part of their program of Maakplaats 021- a makerspace where schools and after school programs take place.


Nairobi visit

Our Nairobi Visit was mainly focused on finding partners that can help us reach our impact goal in 2023. We identified two potential partners to help us further develop and scale. The Nairobi Design Institute as a partner for developing Designathons in schools. Another option to work with BRCK, who developed the KIO kitt, a device that brings online learning into the rural areas of Kenya and 29 other countries.

2. Designathon events

Our tailored-made services are commissioned by a company or organization and made to fit the chosen purpose, theme or context. A designathon workshop includes one or more of the following knowledge areas: creativity and 21st century skills, SDG’s and technological literacy. We will continue to encourage through consultancy efforts and inspire organizations with innovation.


A few 2017 collaborations below:


Collaboration with Singularity U The Netherlands:

We were able to present two inventions of the children and our view on creativity to change the world on the SingularityU Summit The Netherlands. The audience rated our performance as the most impactful of the conference.

Collaboration with Waternet:

Waternet and the Amsterdam International Waterweek (AIWW) challenged children to think beyond borders concerning international solutions to local issues and design smart solutions to improve water quality all over the world. Designathon Works and artist Pavèl van Houten inspired children to design and create an innovative solution or concept to improve water quality.

One of the prototypes the children built has been transformed into a large object: The Minoct. The Minoct is a multi-legged robotic creature that whizzes across the water surface, its goal being guaranteed water purification. The Minoct can be used in all oceans across the world.

3. Global Children’s Designathon:
Global Children’s Designathon is our flagship project. It is a one-day event, organized annually in November, with children from all around the globe working in parallel to design and develop solutions and innovative concepts around a specific theme, build prototypes and present them to each other via a live connection, to the live audience and to the wider public via media.

GCD 2017 participation & impact
Global Children's Designathon celebrated the third edition in 2017. Growing from 5 to 18 cities in only three years time. On 11 November 2017, 600 children spanning 25 nationalities participated in 18 cities around the globe: Amsterdam (the Netherlands), Chennai & Panjim (India), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Dubai (UAE), Dublin (Ireland), Duisburg (Germany), Johannesburg (South Africa), Clearwater (FL, USA), London (UK), Milan (Italy), Montreal & Vancouver (Canada), Nairobi (Kenya), Singapore, Tel Aviv (Israel), Tunis (Tunisia), and Zagreb (Croatia). The theme was
Clean Water. Children spoke up! They identified hundreds of problems and generated ideas which led to great inventions, prototypes and presentations.

GCD 2017 research & learnings
We used the opportunity of Global Children’s Designathon 2017 to conduct a remote field study in 10 of the 18 participating cities. We sought to understand: the level of children’s knowledge and their concerns about water in their societies, the child as creative changemaker for global issues and what we can learn from the children’s perspective on water. The collected data has allowed us to assess how children see problems around water from a local and global perspective and also apply the inventions they came up with to tackle the identified problems.

back to Annual report

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Designathon Works Foundation

Keizersgracht 264
1016 EV Amsterdam

The Netherlands

CoK: 60140615
RSIN: 853781606
Bank: NL77 TRIO 0197 9551 85

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