We live in a world characterized by unprecedented population growth, decreasing natural resources and rapid technological change. In this context, there is an imperative for the World Design Organization (WDO) to play a leadership role in addressing some of our planet’s biggest economic, social and environmental challenges from a design perspective.

Together, with our member organizations from around the world, we have embraced the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework for action that has the potential to simultaneously offer positive social and environmental impact as well as financial return and brand value.

We aim to leverage our United Nations Consultative Status to access the international community, help advance the international development agenda and set our profession firmly and securely on a sustainable design path using the SDGs as our common language.

The WDO’s World Design Agenda is a plan of action that aims to inspire, mobilize, and activate our community to deliver design-led solutions that contribute to the achievement of the SDGs by 2030. It is a living document that also outlines key recommendations for our community for the upcoming 2017-2019 term.


We, the members of the World Design Organization (WDO), hereby declare our resolve to contribute to the achievement of the objectives outlined in the United Nation’s 2030 development agenda.

We agree to set ambitious goals and to communicate the progress we make using WDO’s UN Consultative Status.

We do so in an open, transparent and collaborative way so that we may be a strong, global voice for change, united in our mission to Design a better world.

We commit to advocate, promote and share knowledge of design driven innovation that address the following UN SDGs identified by WDO members as particularly relevant to the industrial design community. They are SDGs 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, and 17.

Promote design-led innovation to help reduce illness and strengthen health and well-being

Strengthen quality industrial design education that emphasizes sustainability, social responsibility, context, and systems thinking, and that mentors and nurtures the next generation of sustainable design leaders

Improve access to safe water and strengthen hygiene and sanitation services

Increase our use of clean energy and improve energy efficiency in our operations, products and supply chains to help tackle climate change

Promote inclusive and sustainable infrastructure, industrialization and innovation with a focus on user affordability and accessibility

Champion design as a fundamental tool for making cities and human settlements more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Encourage the efficient use of resources, sustainable alternatives and more responsible consumption and production

Foster strong and inclusive public, private and civil society partnerships, that share knowledge and build on experiences and resourcing strategies, to support the achievement of the SDGs in all countries, in particular developing countries

Recommendations for the 2017-2019 Term

Hold SDG-specific World Design Talks to advance the conversation from a design perspective.