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What We Do

Worldwide there are 2 billion children of school going age. How can we prepare them to prosper in a rapidly changing, increasingly technological and complex world? How can they learn to design a better world for themselves and the planet?
Armed with these urgent questions, 15 years experience in designing education programs in widely diverse contexts from Afghanistan to the Netherlands, plus a belief that all children can contribute to designing a better world, we at Designathon Works are working to meet this challenge by developing and spreading our method and way of thinking in
schools, through hosting bespoke designathon events for companies & organizations, and through our own Global Children's Designathon held around the globe annually.

School Programs

School Programs

New world for a new generation.

Current educational systems focus on knowledge transfer for a bygone age and lack the know-how to cultivate technological literacy & creativity. This is where Designathon Works steps in to fill the gap with Designathon method which develops all competency-skills and character quality skills for children called by the OECD: 21st century competencies.

The Designathon method combines aspects of
Design Thinking and Maker Education, both approaches which are gaining ground in education systems around the world. It has an underlying pedagogical model inspired by Reggio Emilia, John Dewey’s Child and Curriculum and Seymour Papert’s Learning theory Constructionism.
designathon is a structured workshop in which children (ages 4 - 12 years) invent, build and present their self-devised solutions to a social or environmental issue around the Sustainable Development Goals. A workshop lasts four to six hours and is facilitated by education professionals. The experience helps children become future ready through learning to design and use technology such as mini-motors and sensors. The method was first developed in the Netherlands and tested during the first Global Children’s Designathon in November 2014. More info here…

We’ve worked with children from different cultural and educational backgrounds, reaching children in Singapore, Europe, rural India and the slums of Nairobi.
So far 60+ Dutch schools have done our school programs, we’ve trained 300+ teachers and worked with over 3300 Dutch school children.
Designathon School Program is available in English, Dutch, German, French and Arabic.

If you are interested in introducing the method to schools or after-school programs in your region, please contact us.

Dutch school website:

Watch the video made during the designathon lesson:

Tailor-made designathon events for your company or organisation

Designathon Events

Creativity is one of the key factors in driving civilization forward.

With the Designathon method we approach the child as a complete human being endowed with great creative capacity. Through Designathon Events, we enable you to tap into the natural space of play within a child and among children, to stimulate their creativity, engagement in social issues, and from there, challenge them to design solutions for your theme or issues, aided by the use of modern technology.

To accommodate the needs of different types of customers we offer the following:

Full Designathon or Mini-Designathon event. During which children invent, build and present their self-devised solutions to the theme or issue of your choice. It is facilitated by Designathon Works, with the possibility to engage your crew as well.
Micro-Designathon workshop, during which you and your crew invent, build and present their self-devised solutions to the theme or issue of your choice. It is facilitated by Designathon Works. More info here…

So far Designathon Events have been held in The Netherlands, Germany, Philippines, Ireland, Croatia, Uganda and Bangladesh for organizations such as ActionAid, Patagonia, Circle Economy, The Royal Netherlands Air Force, Municipality of Amsterdam, Waternet and SingularityU.

Themes include: The Future Of Work, Circular Economy, Environmentally Friendly Transport, Clean Water, City Of the Future, etc.

Each designathon event is sold under Designation Works license.

In the spotlight, Clean Water Designathon:

Waternet and AIWW challenged children to think beyond borders concerning international solutions to local issues, and to design smart solutions to improve water quality all over the world.
Based on the children’s prototypes, artist
Pavél van Houten built a prototype of The Minoct: a cleaning machine fitted with the most extraordinary techniques. The filters in The Minoct’s tentacles separate microplastics, hazardous bacteria and other dirt from the water. The remnants of the dirt serve as fuel for The Minoct. This way it is self-sufficient and can quickly whizz on to another polluted location.
The Minoct was first presented at the AIWW where 20.000 visitors had chance to see it. One of the guests was
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte:

Contact us, if you are interested in a designathon for your theme or context. You'd be surprised how relevant children's imaginations are!

Global Children's Designathon


A day dedicated to celebrating what the world could be like when children design better futures using new technologies.

Our efforts culminate in the annual Global Children’s Designathon. During this one day event, children in the cities around the world come together to work in parallel and design & develop innovative concepts and build prototypes for one of the Sustainable Development Goals. During the day children have contact with each other through a live connection. They present their ideas to each other, and at the end of the day to a panel of experts, and a public audience.
With this project we are highlighting the ability of the children to imagine and
design a better future and simultaneously we are calling for changemaker education, globally.

Global Children's Designathon has already had three editions: in 2014, 2016 and 2017. Growing from 5 to 18 cities in only three years time.

In 2017, 600 children participated in 18 cities around the globe: Amsterdam (the Netherlands), Chennai & Panjim (India), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Dubai (UAE), Dublin (Ireland), Duisburg (Germany), Johannesburg (South Africa), Clearwater (FL, USA), London (UK), Milan (Italy), Montreal & Vancouver (Canada), Nairobi (Kenya), Singapore, Tel Aviv (Israel), Tunis (Tunisia), and Zagreb (Croatia). The theme was Clean Water.

You can find the impressions of the day, video reports and selected media coverage at the bottom of this page!

Global hosts in 2017:

Global Childen's Designathon 2017 was also the backbone of our Report: Global Voices of the New Generation on: Water.

We managed to gather an impressive range of insight into what the next generation has to say about the water issues. Additionally, this report shows that children care for our planet, are aware of water-related issues, believe these issues are pressing and offer concrete solutions to solve them:

Next Global Children's Designathon will be held on November 3rd 2018 with 800 children in 25 cities worldwide participating in the event.

The theme children will tackle this year will be Life on Land (SDG 15), with sub-themes such as: how we grow food, the needs of wildlife, deforestation, desertification and biodiversity.

Interested in supporting the Global Children's Designathon 2018? Contact Ina.

Want to have more information about the Global Children's Designathon 2018?

1 day, 18 cities, 600 children

Global voices of the next generation on water issue


Pia (9), Tessa (10) and Kiera (12) talking about their inventions and creativity

GCD 2017 in Zagreb

GCD 2017 in Tunis

GCD 2017 in Chennai

GCD 2017 in Milan

GCD 2017 in Singapore

GCD 2017 in Duisburg


Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs at the Kingdom of NL

Wietse van der Werf, Executive Director of Sea Ranger Service

Carel Neuberg, Co-founder and Managing Director of Marie-Stella-Maris

Interview with Pia (9) in the local children's weekly

If you have any questions

or want to send us some love:


contact Ina

Host's blog

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