2020 – As a virtual iteration of WDO’s Interdesign programme, World Design Challenges were established in 2020 in response to the global COVID-19 lockdowns to safely and effectively engage the global design community. Collaborating alongside partners like IBM, Design for America, UN Women Asia and the Pacific, ISS National Laboratory and World Packaging Organisation, WDO has since hosted four World Design Challenges to explore design’s impact on public health, gender equality, space-led innovation and sustainable packaging.
With the goal of harnessing the creativity and ambition of the next generation of design leaders and educators across multiple disciplines and regions, WDO established its Young Designers Circle in 2020. Aligned with our mission to design for a better world, and objectives to promote the use of design to help meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), the programme has since connected more than 50 young designers from over 20 different countries.
2021 – The WDO Foundation™ was established as a new expression of the organization’s mission to empower design-led innovation around the world and foster a more connected, sustainable way forward. In November 2021, an in-person launch event was held in Montreal (Canada) to share perspectives and insights around how this new branch of WDO’s vision will impact the future of design internationally.
2022 – On 29 June, WDO celebrated its 65th anniversary. Reflecting on more than six decades of championing design for a better world, WDO celebrated under the theme of leadership, hosting a 24-hour virtual event, let’s talk: leadership, for World Industrial Design Day. Messages of congratulations from designers from around the world, including WDO’s leadership team, also commemorated this important milestone.
WDO inaugurated a second cycle of its World Design Medal to continue its legacy of honouring an individual who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of the industrial design profession. American industrial designer Dr. Patricia Moore was announced as the recipient on 29 June, World Industrial Design Day.