Since we registered our new social enterprise in 2018 we have been crazy busy developing exciting new projects that activate the Open Design Afrika brand to continue to add value, create change and have an impact all 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 and create change through short interventions and yearlong projects.

Most rewarding for us is to reach, impact and make a difference beyond our celebrated Open Design Festival footprint.

Open Design Afrika’s (ODA) vital role and value as an accessible Citizens’ Education platform and a strategic vehicle that builds human capacity beyond the 21st century in Afrika has been further underpinned and strengthened by key international organisations. This includes Forbes who recognised: “CREATIVITY IS THE TOP LEADERSHIP SKILL OF THE FUTURE” and the World Economic Forum, who listed complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity as the top three of  ten 21st century skills that are vital to be successful in the dynamic future that’s ahead.

The ODA team will continue to build capacity through creativity and are dedicated to design a more prosperous Afrika that can benefit the greater good of all our people, our environments and our economies also into the future.


Many parts of the world are faced with a failing societal ecosystem, with low success rates in schools and children lacking core life skills which, in turn, results in too many mediocre businesses and unsustainable practices; too few thought leaders, problem solvers, innovators and change makers and a society that generally lacks integrity, empathy and an authentic understanding of people, cultures, communities and environments that are different to their own.

We are focusing on developing FUTURE-READY skills for different audiences, including young children, teens and unemployed youth.

Within the context of the 4th Industrial Revolution it has become crucial to focus on the development of human skills because these are the skills that cannot be automated by a machine. It is important to note that the development of human skills is optimised through creative activities and experiences from a very young age. This skill set enables human kind to develop a symbiotic relationship with the machine which will empower us to deliver future results with precision, reach, impact and significance to a level that’s never been possible before. This future really excites us and we are working hard to create accessible opportunities to develop this dynamic skill set.

Our Future-ready skills training opportunities will always be complemented by our ongoing advocacy and demonstrations of the vital role and impact of creativity and design-led innovation as change agents at our forthcoming events to inspire active citizenship and impact on policy making.

With our systemic approach towards igniting change, we aspire to the long-term development of a culture of problem solvers and change-makers that will have the confidence to add value to the future world of business, our environments and society at large.

Please do not hesitate to contact us in this regard. Please send an email to



“Making Cities Together” in Cape Town

Open Design Afrika (ODA) is very proud to launch the first Wetopia Academy in October 2019 where a diverse pool of city makers and change makers will unite to collectively build new, inclusive and more prosperous ecosystems that can benefit the greater good of our people.

Lack of empathy and an authentic connection and understanding of other cultures and people hinders collaboration, progress and impact that’s needed to stimulate systemic change and social cohesion so that people can unite to build more resilient and thriving communities and cities.

Wetopia demonstrates, investigates and develops exciting experiences that stimulates different collaborations between policy makers (politicians, civil servants, community leaders, entrepreneurs, institutions…) and civil society (citizens, communities, artists, city makers,..).It’s about exploring, learning, understanding and designing new ways to create democracy through collaboration and co-creation.

Conceptualised and curated by Joke Quintens and Suné Stassen from Open Design Afrika, the ODA Wetopia Academy is a learning programme for active citizens, change-makers and policymakers who are serious about creating real change. Aligned with the longstanding ‘citizens education platform’ of Open Design Afrika Festival and in collaboration with a number of local and international field experts, city-makers and change-makers, we are excited to take things to another level.


Rise up with us.


Make cities together.