Open Design Afrika - small is MASSIVE!

Open Design Africa

The 8th Open Design Afrika and 1st  totally virtual ODA festival has the theme “Rise Afrika Rise”. 

'Please also note why we spell Afrika with a “K” and not with a “C” - in more than 2000 Afrikan languages everyone writes Afrika with a K'. Afrika with a K (Open Design Afrika) is making a strong statement that we as Afrikans are taking ownerships of our destiny and our futures. Writing Afrika with a “C” is an outside world view of our continent. With a “K” is an inside out view of our continent.'

Open Design Afrika calls on Afrikans and the world to action small seeds of change everywhere!

In a world characterised by transition, change and adaptation, the role of design should never be understated. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and vast changes in everyday life, Open Design Afrika (ODA) is stepping up to the challenge through presenting its 8th annual, and first fully virtual festival.

Recommitting to its mission to focus on humanity and celebrate the power of design and creativity that effect systemic change, increase Afrikan value and pride and ignite and unlock new Afrikan ideas and solutions. Built on the axes of thriving and resilient communities, relevant education and appropriate innovation & technology that adds significance and true meaning, the 2020 festival programme is a diverse mix of Afrikan and global stories, networking, interactive sessions and workshops.

ODA has a collaborative and holistic ethos, and a free-to-access model

Driven by a collaborative and holistic ethos, and a free-to-access model, the festival promises an open and inclusive environment to showcase and celebrate Design champions, unsung heroes, changemakers and the power and potential of Afrika through creativity and design-led innovation that improves lives and our environments.

Despite being a digital offering, the ODA 2020 programme will be as robust as in previous years. The
5-day festival includes activities focused on key themed days, namely: Afrika is Rising Day, Global
Inspiration Day, Future-ready Skills with Heads, Hands and Hearts Day, Afrika Stories Open Day and Family Makers Day.

27 Oct: Afrika is Rising Day: Reserve Ticket HERE

  • 28 Oct: Global Inspiration Day: Reserve Ticket HERE 
  • 29 Oct: Future Ready Skills Day with Heads, Hands and Hearts: Reserve Ticket HERE
  • 30 Oct: Afrikan Stories Day: For this day people will be able to access our virtual platform and browse through a selection of Afrikan stories and watch in their own time. This will include animation for children, teens or adults. 
  • 31 Oct: Family Makers Day: See all workshops for children and adults listed HERE
  • 31 Oct: Focus on the environment - to inspire the young and youth: Workshops to take note of are:

Captain Fanplastic - virtual but also hosted at Workshop17 at the V&A for children to attend . Reservations
Sustainable Making - Electronic waste. Reservations
• Space Exploration with Space Holograms in the palm of your hand.  Reservations

• Also a talk on 31 Oct by Peter Vesterbacka - Mentioned by Time Magazine as one of 100 most influential people on the planet - see his details HERE  This is all about inspiring social entrepreneurship - to develop purpose driven businesses that can add value and significance and meaning to people, environment and circular economies. Driving the UNSDG’s

The series of dialogues, workshops and virtual coffee networking sessions will bring together a global audience with inspirators and creatives from across the Afrikan continent and the world. The festival program is geared towards ODA’s “pledge to design a better world” and promise participants critical and insightful discussions and take-aways about the present, the future, and the disruption, hacking, skills and resources required to bridge them.

Open Design Afrika

ODA - Designing a thriving future world for all

Since 2013, Founder and Executive Director of Open Design Afrika, Suné Stassen, has driven the programme with an optimistic, mindful, solutions-driven an inclusive approach. As the visionary behind the new-established virtual platform, she explains the ODA value in the following way:

“We have for years succeeded in engineering an unjust and often destructive world for living in. We believe that in solidarity we have the capacity and the ability to design the exact opposite but then we have to shift our priorities to develop relevant future skills and creative intelligence. We must invest wisely in appropriate human capital that's underpinned by empathy and emotional intelligence, agility, resourcefulness, holistic and critical thinking, future skills that's optimised and underpinned by creativity. To succeed in the future, it will be imperative to invest equally in humanity and technology. This balance will be crucial for humanity, our planet and circular economies to flourish in. The time is now to write the most important design brief since our existence: we need to design and develop new world orders and strategies for inclusive and appropriate education, systems, services, flourishing environments, prosperous circular economies and human cities so that ”we can collectively design our preferred futures and deliver on the demands of the future with purpose and agility. If we collectively action small seeds of change everywhere then small suddenly becomes MASSIVE! 

Free and inclusive access for all

Sponsored by National Department of Sports, Arts and Culture and the V&A Waterfront, purpose and agility sit at the heart of this year’s festival. “The V&A Waterfront's aim is to provide a platform that can facilitate and champion art and design, support entrepreneurship and innovation, lead the charge of sustainability and drive social and economic change. Companies who work with and engage with communities and respect the environment are more productive while remaining humane. We are proud of our association with Open Design Afrika. The partnership allows us to equip future problem-solvers and change-makers with the skills they need to become tomorrow's business leaders.”- says CEO of the V&A Waterfront, David Green

According to The Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, the Open Design Afrika festival is one that drives the promise of critical change. “We see this as an important, indeed urgent intervention into our world. The Department of Sports, Arts and Culture is fully aware of the challenges of our current world and equally the potential that can be unlocked through collaborative platforms such as these. We are encouraged to see that Open Design Afrika is taking a hands-on approach to building a South Africa we can all be proud of.”

While the Open Design Afrika Virtual Festival will be livestreamed from the V&A Waterfront in Cape
Town, access for a global and local audience will be entirely virtual.

In addition to adhering to COVID19 safety protocols and to still create accessibility also to marginalized communities who have always been a vital audience to include, ODA has negotiated with a few partners like TooMuchWifi, Stellenbosch Academy in Cape Town and KNUST in Ghana as well as a few others in Afrika, to set up strong Wi-Fi locations in different communities.

In line with a focus on a multi-level, truly convivial programme, these measures aim to ensure that a number of people from marginalized communities can still be fully integrated and engaged in the discussions and workshops.

This is a small but important start to help democratize participation, knowledge sharing, networking and collaboration, which is a significant move away from global trends which alienate poorer communities from design and design events especially for those who under current circumstances can’t afford mobile data or Wi-Fi.

What’s on offer: Thinking, designing, touching lives, sharing, action!

WHEN: 27 – 31 October 2020
WHERE: Wherever you are in the world

INFO:  Website  I  Facebook: @OpenDesignAfrika  I  Instagram: @opendesignafrika  I  Twitter: @opendesignaf  I  YouTube: Open Design Afrika

See also MapMyWay