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Open Design Afrika Festival

Open Design Africa Festival (ODA) use its festival platform to teach a nation the power, value and impact of creativity for the greater good

ODA use creative experiences (e.g. Family Makers weekend) in public spaces @ street level to also reach & impact on disadvantaged communities in Cape Town; to educate a nation the power of creativity to develop future-skills & a future-ready culture of problem solvers & change makers; to create aspirations, greater social cohesion & unlock Afrikan solutions that add value to the greater good.



HundrED shortlisted this innovation

HundrED has shortlisted this innovation to one of its innovation collections. The information on this page has been checked by HundrED.

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Target group
March 2020
"We believe in the power of the collective that also speaks to our Afrikan humanist philosophy of Ubuntu, which simply means, “I am because you are”

About the innovation

Open Design Afrika is a Festival that adds value to the Greater Good

What we do?

“Building Future Capacity for our City and for Afrika through Creativity for a more Prosperous Future”

Open Design Afrika Festival is a unique accessible public collaborative platform that focuses on the power and impact of creativity as a change agent to create: systemic change, significance, meaning and value for the greater good. Through mobilising its festival platform as a vehicle that can help to scale reach and impact, Open Design Afrika is dedicated to continue to explore new and effective ways to democratise participation, knowledge, tech and creative experiences at “street level” (marginalised communities included) in order to: scale reach and impact through knowledge sharing and creative experiences that inspire, change mindsets and behaviors, stimulate new aspirations amongst the Afrikan youth for a better future; develop global citizenship in Afrika; develop Afrikan role models and change makers; stimulate and unlock Afrikan potential and solutions and develop Afrikan pride.


South Africa, Afrika and many parts of the world reflect a failing societal ecosystem. Low success rates in schools; children and youth lacking core life skills and appropriate future-skills which leads to too many mediocre businesses that's not purpose driven to add significance and meaning; too many unsustainable practices; too few purpose driven innovators, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, problem solvers and change makers and an unjust society that lacks integrity, empathy and an authentic understanding and connection with other cultures, people and our planet.

We ask: How can we mobilize a festival platform that's inclusive and accessible to all who want to participate so that we can democratise knowledge, tech and creative experiences? How can we use creativity as a change agent to create greater impact and value in order to change mindsets and behaviour, inspire and ignite new aspirations for a better future, teach empathy and create greater social cohesion on a greater scale?

Open Design Afrika (ODA) mobilize its festival platform to scale reach, participation and impact on more than an exclusive few. The 10 day festival in Cape Town is an accessible, collaborative and public celebration of creativity, design and innovation that:

  1. creates accessible opportunities for a diverse audience, inclusive of people from marginalized communities, to experience and engage in the power, value and impact of creativity in a variety of fun and playful ways;

  2. mobilize creative and cross-cultural experiences to stimulate greater social cohesion;

  3. educates, demonstrates and celebrates Afrikan design-led innovations from diverse sectors that are using creative intelligence to add value to the greater good;

  4. demonstrates how creativity is successfully integrated across sectors to work towards achieving UN SDG’s in Afrika;

  5. is developing an invaluable International knowledge sharing platform in Afrika for Afrikans and further abroad;

  6. showcases Afrikan greatness on an international stage at the top destination in Afrika, the V&A Waterfront;

  7. contributes to the knowledge economy in Afrika;

  8. contributes to the elevation of Afrika on a world stage as a valuable contributor to global challenges;

  9. features the ODA Family Makers Weekend: a variety of fun maker spaces where young and old from different cultures and communities can play, make, collaborate, explore, experiment and be creative together while at the same time also developing much needed 21st century and future skills; big focus on STEAM activities;

  10. drives the “future-ready” education agenda through the ODA STEAM Education Day;

  11. Creates accessible opportunities for local and Afrikan micro-enterprises, start-ups, makers, innovators and social entrepreneurs to showcase their business, skills, talent, product;

  12. Features an Inspiration Day where Change Makers from different demographics have the opportunity to collaborate and share their personal success stories and failures as entrepreneurs with an engaging and diverse audience;

  13. will continue tofocus on democratising knowledge, tech, participation and experiences: through the “Design for the Greater Good” Showcase at street level (concept development phase): Showcasing top design-led innovations: products, systems, environments, services, tech, design, creativity and more from Afrika and further abroad – examples that are adding value to the greater good and driving the UN SDG agenda.

Why we do it?

To date Open Design Afrika has been driving a number of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’S). In light of our aims to activate systemic change we do not single out a particular SDG; instead "we believe in the power of the collective that also speaks to our Afrikan humanist philosophy of Ubuntu, which simply means, “I am because you are”. This communal and participatory outlook underpins all Open Design Afrika’s efforts as a vehicle for change. By way of providing meaningful significant experiences for everyone involved, Open Design Afrika is dedicated to create optimism for a better future that can benefit the greater good of our people.

Now is the time for all of us to be: inclusive, purposeful, empathetic, progressive, energetic, visionary and bold. With these values we aim to instil pride in being proudly Afrikan and to develop and showcase Afrikan change agents and role models on a world stage.

Our vision is to use the Open Design Afrika Festival platform to shape alternative futures by making Afrikan citizens aware of their inherent creative problem-solving and solution-seeking skills, value and abilities and to nurture these skills towards creating a better quality of life for more than an exclusive few. "We are committed to create and cultivate a future-ready culture through multi-disciplinary civic collaboration".

  1. To educate why Creativity has become 2nd to none and its crucial role as an equal to technology to deliver on the demands set out by the 4th Industrial Revolution

  2. To democratize participation, new knowledge, skills transfer, tech and relevant experiences

  3. To change mindsets and behavior, to inspire and unlock Afrikan potential, ideas and solutions

  4. To use Creativity to help develop human skills needed to thrive in the future

  5. To educate and inspire a nation: to contribute to the development of a future-ready society and culture of problem solvers and change makers who can confidently add value to the future world of business, our environments and society at large.

  6. To stimulate the development of 21st and future-skills through creativity

  7. To demonstrate the power, value and impact of Creativity and how to integrate and apply it in order to work towards achieving the UN SDG’s in Afrika and further abroad

  8. To create systemic change through Creativity and design a more prosperous future and value chain that can benefit all our people, our economy and our environments.To develop Afrikan role-models

  9. To develop Afrikan pride

  10. To Inspire Afrikan youth to aspire to greatness

  11. To stimulate greater social cohesion and nation building through cross-cultural experiences

  12. To create hope for a better future

  13. To challenge the negative perception of Afrika

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