ABOUT US

OUR STORY

Open Design Afrika (ODA) is a proudly Afrikan social enterprise and non-profit company that represents a global community of thought leaders, change-makers and creative problem-solvers. What began in 2013 as the Open Design Cape Town Festival by the original co-founders Christo Maritz, Y Tsai and Suné Stassen, has since developed into a new Afrikan brand through the leadership of a new team. Open Design Afrika is an international knowledge-sharing platform in Afrika. This platform aims to build capacity in Afrika through creativity, specifically by creating accessible opportunities to learn, share and participate with one another as Afrikan citizens. To this end, ODA is dedicated to nurturing a future-ready culture of problem-solvers and change-makers who are equipped and empowered with the appropriate 21st century skills set that will enable them to add value to the future world of business, our environments and society at large.

The three building blocks that drive our underpinning philosophy of sustainability, inclusivity and prosperity include design-led innovation and technology, education as well as community. Together, these building blocks provide our ODA community with a solid foundation to unlock truly Afrikan and innovative solutions. Ultimately, ODA’s story is about driving design-enabled social change and creating a design and entrepreneurial culture for the common good.

Since we registered our new enterprise, we have been crazy busy developing exciting new projects that allows ODA to continue to add value, create change and have an impact the year-round; after all, we have always been more than just a festival! Our own team of change-makers, city-makers, social designers and training experts have been hard at work identifying local challenges and evaluating how best we can add value to create change through short interventions and yearlong projects.

AFRIKA
IS RISING

RISE WITH HER

All Afrikan languages write Afrika with a “K”.

We see Africa with a “C” as an external and outside worldview of Afrika. Afrika with a “K” is us as Afrikans taking ownership of our future and our destiny. It is an inward looking out perspective of our Afrikan continent.

OUR VALUES

Since we aim to provide a knowledge-sharing platform in Afrika, our values are informed by the humanist philosophy of Ubuntu – “I am because we are” – which favours empathy, justice, tolerance, integrity, inclusivity and equality. Ours is a community-driven focus that calls for collaboration, connection and reciprocal relationships in order to instill pride in Afrika and in being proudly Afrikan, and to create optimism and alternate narrative for a better future. As such, our values are made visible by way of providing meaningful and appropriate experiences for all parties involved to stimulate the design of wellbeing, design for change and design for life.

We are VISIONARY.
We are PASSIONATE.
We are BOLD.
We are PURPOSEFUL.
We are EMPATHETIC.
We are CHANGE MAKERS.

OUR VISION

To build capacity beyond the 21st century in Afrika. To create an international knowledge sharing platform and stimulate the development of a future-ready culture of problem solvers and change makers for Afrika, by Afrikans. A confident culture of global citizens equipped with appropriate skills that can add value to the future world of business, environments and society at large.

We want to be the benchmark in Afrika for design-led innovation! Our vision is to use the ODA platform to shape alternate futures by making Afrikan citizens aware of their inherent creative problem-solving skills and nurturing these skills towards a better quality of life, ultimately by creating and cultivating a culture of design through multi-disciplinary civic collaboration.

OUR MISSION

We create accessible opportunities and use creativity to connect our three pillars: EDUCATION + INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY + COMMUNITIES so that we can unlock true Afrikan solutions that can greatly contribute to the wellbeing and skills development of our people and the design of thriving circular economies.

Our vision is made tangible for citizens by way of creative and design-enabled experiential learning and accessible opportunities. More specifically, ODA educates citizens towards critical and creative citizenship by providing unique, context-specific learning experiences that equip them with the relevant design tools and design thinking strategies to become active citizens who exercise their creative agency with confidence and purpose. We inject our Ubuntu-informed values into all our projects, which include, but are not limited to, events, festivals, workshops and training camps, community activations and interventions – to mention but a few.

OPEN DESIGN AFRIKA PILLARS

ODA FESTIVAL

ODA PROJECTS

ODA SERVICES

Coming Soon

MEET THE TEAM

Meet the leaders and supporters behind the ODA brand.

FESTIVAL 2019
APPLY NOW

Rise up with us.

OPEN DESIGN AFRIKA
WETOPIA ACADEMY

Make cities together.