Open Design Afrika Wetopia Academy

“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, social cohesion and nation building so that people can unite to build more resilient and thriving communities and cities.

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.

The launch the first ODA Wetopia Academy in Cape Town, South Afrika will be in October 2019 at the Castle of Good Hope.

ODA Wetopia Academy inspires policymakers, civil servants, citizens, social and cultural workers and social entrepreneurs to be active change makers. By setting up new alliances and encouraging the making of new connections, ODA Wetopia aims to encourage active participation, develop responsible and responsive citizens, create sustainable collaborations, and build good governance.

This Open Design Afrika project is a yearlong programme of events done in collaboration with Joke Quintens, the custodian of the “Wetopia” concept and former deputy mayor of Genk (Belgium), a policy-maker and field expert in making cities together. We are also very proud to be associated with the Robert Bosch Stiftung organization that is the official sponsor of the ODA Wetopia Academy.

ODA Wetopia Academy chapters:

  1. The Wetopia City and Community Activations and Interventions
  2. Wetopia Inspiration Days
  3. Wetopia Learning Programme for Policymakers

More details about the upcoming ODA Wetopia Academy events in October 2019:

  1. Wetopia Community Activations and Interventions
  1. Wetopia Inspiration Days & Learning Programme:


The ODA Wetopia Academy is a yearlong programme of events and activations

At the ODA Wetopia Academy we will collectively demonstrate, investigate and develop 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 creating new opportunities where we can explore, learn, understand and design new ways to create democracy through collaboration and co-creation.

“Wetopia” magic happens when like-minded people from diverse backgrounds unite through significant experiences for a common goal and create real change as a united front. Throughout Wetopia experiences people also start to understand their different roles, own value and power and responsibility as active citizens to help build a better future that can benefit the greater good of our people

The events and activations will consist of the following three pillars:


The ODA Wetopia city and community activations (first workshops 19-20 October 2019 – start of a yearlong community program) * The G100 from Langa and the G100 from one other community (tbc soon), will be the first participants. Using storytelling, song making and other creative tools, participants will gain key skills to help them shape a new community narrative: “What do you want the world to know about your community? What is your collective narrative to the world?” and “what community interventions can strengthen your new community narrative?”


The ODA Inspiration Day for all Wetopians (21 October 2019) * Be inspired, network, learn and share knowledge: Join inspiring city-makers, policy-makers, social designers, change makers and civil society from Afrika and the rest of the world where they will share inspirational projects that have already ignited significant change


The ODA Wetopia Academy Learning Programme for policy makers (from October 2019 October 2020) is a handson, experiential “field” school where policy makers will learn how to become a real “Wetopian” and collaborate with civil society to make better cities together. The Learning Programme will also include a yearlong commitment to collaborate with communities to execute and implement the interventions that were identified at the workshops in October.

Follow our progress


  • ODA Wetopia Showcase at Open Design Afrika Festival in 2020 as part of the “ODA for the Greater Good” showcase. This showcase will highlight all the incredible stories of community heroes and changemakers from Langa and Athlone as well as present the outcomes of the yearlong design-led innovation process, implementation of community interventions and impact of the overall ODA Wetopia programme.
  • Secure more funding to role out ODA Wetopia Academy in two new communities each year so that more communities can engage and learn through similar experiences and develop a new community narrative and interventions and be showcased at the next ODA Festival.
  • Contact us if you are interested in aligning your brand with the values of our ODA Wetopia Academy project.

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Rise up with us.


Make cities together.