The #cocreateDESIGN FESTIVAL is a new initiative of The Netherlands Consulate General which aims to celebrate and examine the power of design to tackle current socio-economic and environmental challenges within an African context. In collaboration with The Craft and Design Institute and Future Cape Town , the first edition of the initiative will be hosted under the theme “Beyond the Crisis.” The festival will take place 22 – 24 February 2018 in the East City of the Cape Town CBD.

At present, our society is faced with growing inequalities and the severe pressure the planet faces under the weight of environmental stress. With the global population projected to grow by 2.2 billion people, and more than half of the population living in Africa, 60% of whom live in urban areas; how can we make cities on the continent work better now and in the future for all of its citizens?

“The author of Hope in the Dark, Rebecca Solnit mentions in her book that w hat we dream of is already present in the world, and this is what we have drawn inspiration from for this initiative,” stated Bonnie Horbach, Netherlands Consul General.

“In the past four years we were fortunate to be a part of multiple projects through our national campaign #cocreateSA. What I find is that the best solutions come from society at large and citizen activists who know what is required and how to make it happen. This festival celebrates what has been achieved and works towards doing more. By sharing and collaborating, we can co-create a world beyond the current challenges.”

“We are currently at a turning point in how we choose to move forward. Through this initiative, we would like to understand how we as a collective can overcome egos, outdated economic models, social divides and a cycle of no progress; to tackle the water, food and mobility challenges in South Africa and Africa,” said Rashiq Fataar, Chief Curator of the #cocreateDESIGN FESTIVAL-2018 and Director of Future Cape Town.

“This event is a call to action to the public, designers, thinkers and do-ers working at the forefront of some of the biggest challenges of our time.” “Design as process, design thinking, creativity and innovation are probably the most over-used and possibly misunderstood words right now; they are flavour of the decade and will become increasingly so in the context of the ‘4th industrial revolution’, says Erica Elk, Executive Director of the Craft & Design Institute.

“Design is and always has been around us in every aspect of our lives; and we have no doubt that in many ways – maybe not all – design processes – and the creative thinkers and do-ers engaged in this very broad space – may lead us to engage with these intractable problems differently and systemically. This initiative provides us with a  wonderful opportunity to share, listen, reflect, learn and inspire new, different and better ways of dealing with our societies in crisis; we are very proud partners with the Netherlands Consul General and Future Cape Town,”  concluded Elk.

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