World Design Organization

The World Design Organization (WDO) and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The World Design Organization (WDO) (See:, formerly known as the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid), is an international non-governmental organization founded in 1957 to promote the profession of industrial design, and its ability to generate better products, systems, services, and experiences; better business and industry; and ultimately a better environment and society. It includes over 140 member organizations from 40 nations, engaging them in collaborative efforts and providing them with the opportunity to be heard internationally. There are 13 member organizations from Turkey, which constitutes the largest group in WDO.

WDO renewed its vision and mission in October 2015 along with changing its name to World Design Organization. Its vision is to create a world where design enhances the economic, social, cultural, and environmental quality of life. As the international voice for industrial design, it advocates, promotes, and shares knowledge of industrial design driven innovation that has the power to create a better world. It engages its community in collaborative efforts through its international programming such as World Design Capital (WDC), World Design Talks (WDT), World Industrial Design Day (WIDD) and others.

Within this vision and mission, WDO has the United Nations Special Consultative Status. It has aligned its work to the universally accepted United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) (See: The UN SDGs are a universal set of 17 goals with 169 corresponding targets that were agreed upon by UN member countries to solve some of humanity’s biggest challenges by 2030. They aim to end poverty and hunger, increase access to education, address migration, combat climate change, and reduce inequality. They are increasingly being embraced the world over, not just by governments, but also by civil society, academia, and the private sector, as a way to break down silos and effectively collaborate around a common and universal development agenda. UN SDGs matter to industrial designers in a way that now industrial design prioritizes accessibility, affordability, reliability, sustainability, and respect for the user and the environment more than ever. Design for a better world is the very ethos of the upcoming generation of designers, who are placing human needs first, striking the right balance between people, planet and profit. Accordingly, seven SDGs have been identified by WDO members as particularly relevant to the industrial design community, which are: no.3-Good Health and Well-being, no.6-Clean Water and Sanitation, no.7-Affordable and Clean Energy, no.9-Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, no.11-Sustainable Cities and Communities, no.12-Responsible Consumption and Production, and no.17-Partnership for the Goals.