The Make It Circular Challenge calls on designers, creative entrepreneurs and startups from around the world to envision and build a circular society from now until 11 January 2023.

Who can apply?

The Make It Circular Challenge is for ambitious, design-led initiatives and startups that reduce carbon emissions by cutting waste and rewriting the relationship between people, the planet and all the species who call it home. At the end of the open call, an international jury will review the best and brightest proposals according to the following criteria:

1. Impact – Make It Count!

What can you say about the (potential) impact of your idea or initiative? Here, you can help the jury understand the difference you are trying to make by offering some quantitative and/or qualitative data to back it up.

  • Environmental impacts. Are you able to estimate the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that is produced (or prevented) by your initiative? Can you demonstrate the amount of  resources and/or waste that it saves? If applicable, can you tell us about how your initiative regenerates — rather than depletes or pollutes — our natural ecosystems?
  • Cultural impacts. Does your initiative have the potential to influence policies about sustainable production and consumption? How do you imagine it will shift people’s habits and/or attitudes? Can you describe the impact it might have on the way society values things like novelty, growth, and throwaway culture?
  • Social impacts. Are you able to demonstrate how your initiative impacts the people that make up its supply chain — and beyond? How do you advocate for diversity and inclusion in your organisation? Does your design account for ideas and experiences outside the dominant Western narrative?

2. Design & Creativity – Make It Awesome!

What makes your design exciting and extraordinary. Is the idea fresh and innovative? If it builds on an existing solution in any way? Do you have good visuals to make your story more tangible and engaging? How do you track or measure the impact of your design along its entire value chain. What improvements in resource extraction, production, distribution, consumption and waste handling can you attribute to the design of your project?

3. Feasibility – Make It Real!

The best solutions are rooted in real challenges and opportunities. What can you say about the specific context of your initiative? What kind of research have you done into the communities or economies you are working with? Have you consulted experts to ensure your proposal is feasible: technically, economically, politically and socially?

4. Scalability – Make It Big!

This criteria is all about how your initiative and its impact might evolve in the future. Maybe your initiative is small and developed for a specific location or community, but does it have the potential to be scaled up to benefit many? Do you have a long-term vision for your initiative?

5. Teamwork – Make It Together!

Lastly, the challenge is looking for initiatives that invest in collaborative relationships and networks. You may have started your project alone, but have you surrounded yourself with the right people to make it happen? Are you part of a team or in the process of assembling a team that is up to the job?


  • Access to a six-month-long development programme.
  • Prize fund of €10, 000.
  • Valuable press and publicity.

Click here to apply for the Make It Circular Challenge.