Part one

The start of the programme.

21 November 2023

written by Bernhard Lenger

What is Collaborations for Future all about?

Collaborations for Future is a program in which 10 designers and 10 scientists get the opportunity to collaborate 1-on-1 in an open-ended manner for a period of 9 months. No goal has been set, no outcome has been defined, no problem has been put up to be solved by them. The question is what would they choose to work on? How would they organise themselves to do it? What roles and agencies will they find? And what can we learn from having 10 of these collaborative experiments running in parallel? 


A New Laboratory for Innovative Design
Collaborations with Climate Scientists

In order to take action on the climate challenges we face, the creative sector needs to collaborate more closely with climate researchers. For Foundation We Are this is not about what scientists and designers can work on, but how they can collaborate more effectively. How can we imagine, develop, test and support collaboration forms that can enable this?

Foundation We Are, NIOZ, KNMI, PBL, Social Design Showdown, University Utrecht, TU/e and Pakhuis de Zwijger are proud to announce the launch of Collaborations for Future – a new incubator programme bringing together design and climate science. The aim of the program is to create innovative commissioning models, methodologies, tools, and structures that enable creative professionals to collaborate effectively with climate scientists, ultimately addressing the urgent challenges of climate change.

In July 2023 Foundation We Are will announce an open call for designers to participate in the incubator of Collaborations for Future. Ten Designers will be selected to work together with ten climate scientists from the collaborating research institutes. Together, they will develop methods, experiments, campaigns, or other creative outcomes that can address different climate challenges. Complementary to the incubator, Foundation We Are will set up a research track to develop insights and tools that can be implemented by climate institutes, ministries and other institutes to involve the creative sector within tackling societal challenges.



Collaborations for Future is an innovative journey, leveraging on the expertise of its diverse consortium partners and the incubator format of Foundation We Are to create new models for collaboration between the creative sector and climate scientists. Through research, experimentation, and cross-disciplinary exchange, Collaborations for Future aims to drive positive change and foster innovation to reimagine and change how we work on the pressing climate challenges of our time.

Collaborations for Future is one of the 16 projects made possible in part by the Innovation Labs programme, which gives an impulse to new resilience in the cultural and creative sector. This program is carried out by the Creative Industries Fund NL and CLICKNL on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.