What Design Can Do (WDCD) is a design conference with a difference. Alongside talks, workshops and breakout sessions. the event also hosts what's described as an 'activist' dimension that makes it one of the most timely design events on offer. On the back of a strong international design identity – think Bertjan PotMarcel Wanders and Maarten Baas – and a number of successful design events including Dutch Design Week, in 2011 a group of local designers launched WDCD, a multidisciplinary event where some of the big questions could be put on the table for designers to contribute to.

Mexican artist Pedro Reyes, Indian designer Kiran Sethi, design head of Twitter Mike Kruzeniski and editor-in-chief of Wired magazine (Italy) Carlo Antonelli are just some of the speakers taking part during the 2013 conference. Here, Domus magazine's Vera Sacchetti interviews event organiser Richard van der Laken about WDCD's beginnings and how its energy, discussions and new collaborations can contribute to change.