Design Your Climate Action is an international design competition, developed and held by BE OPEN and our partners. It is open to students, graduates and young professionals who specialise in the fields of art, design, architecture and media.

The competition aims to encourage creation of innovative solutions by younger creatives, for the more prosperous and sustainable future.

Its objective is to raise awareness about SDG#13 and the necessity of urgent action among the young and upcoming professionals of creative disciplines, and contribute to its implementation through identifying, showcasing and promoting creative ideas that support global shift to sustainable and efficient future.

Design thinking has a crucial role to play as an instrument or vehicle for the implementation of the UN SDGs. BE OPEN and all of the stakeholders involved in this international competition programme, strongly believe that creativity is integral in the shift to sustainable existence.

Therefore the students of creative disciplines are encouraged to reflect on “What can be done to combat climate change and its effects on all the levels of our lives: from introducing new national policies to adopting new technologies by industries and switching to greener practices at home?”

On June 22, 2023 the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres addressed the Summit for a New Global Financial Pact in Paris, France. In the conclusion of his speech, he said the following words meant specifically for the younger generations:

“My generation has clearly failed in many respects – especially on the climate crisis. I count on your generation to keep turning up the heat on global leaders. Hold the powerful accountable. Sound the alarm. Stand up for each other and our planet, and human rights. And build a better future – rooted in solidarity, equality and sustainability.”

In 2023, the United Nations announced the CLIMATE ACTION programme which encourages governments, businesses, financial institutions, centres of innovation, communities and non-profit organizations like BE OPEN to take a joint action to come up with new technologies and accelerate the shift towards low-carbon energy infrastructure.


In concordance with the tasks and targets set by SDG#13, projects for the competition must relate to one of the following submission categories:

  1. Raising Resilience and Adaptation – develop technologies to strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters.

  2. Energy of Change – offer solutions able to mitigate and reverse climate change caused by burning fossil fuels, promote ways of generating power that emit little to no greenhouse gases or pollutants.

  3. Solutions Offered by Nature – offer projects that involve conserving, restoring, or better managing ecosystems to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

In case participant’s solution fits in more than one category, they should choose the one in which the solution could generate the greatest positive impact.


Participants may enter as individuals or as part of a multidisciplinary team (there is no limit to the number of members in the team). Individuals are invited to submit 1 project. They can also submit 1 team project for a total of 2 projects entered in the competition.


Participants are encouraged to seek academic and professional mentorship/advisement/sponsorship. Any supporting party will be mentioned alongside the project/author if included into publicity materials.


BE OPEN will reward the best work with the following monetary prizes as well as with honorary mentions.

  • First prize — €5,000
  • Second prize — €3,000
  • Third prize — €2,000
  • BE OPEN Founder’s Choice prize — €3,000
  • Public Vote prize — €2,000

The jury will select top 50 honourable mentions, then decide amongst the strongest submissions and name the winners of the First, Second and Third Prizes out of all submissions within the 3 submission categories.

The Founder’s Choice prize is allocated by the Founder of BE OPEN Elena Baturina who will select the awardee out of 50 honourable mentions. The Public Vote prize winner will be decided upon by the majority of votes in an online open vote from 50 honorary mentions.

The Competition partners might decide to reward any submitted project with non-cash prizes.


  • Open for submissions — October 1st, 2023
  • Deadline for submissions — February 29th, 2024
  • Announcement of winners — March to April 2024
  • Celebration of winners at Awards Ceremony — TBC


The winners of the competition will be notified by email of their prize category award and/or honorary mentions. The winner(s) will need to confirm the acceptance of the award. Failing such confirmation within a period of 14 days from BE OPEN making contact, the entrant(s) selected will be considered to have simply relinquished the prize and it may be awarded to another entrant with no reward for those deemed to have relinquished it. The public announcement of the winners will be made through digital channels and will be accompanied by an online exhibition of the winning submissions and honorary mentions.



BE OPEN will undertake to hold an award ceremony in 2024. At least one representative (in case of team submissions) of each prize category shall participate in the award ceremony.


BE OPEN will issue the monetary prize award to the winner(s) by name(s) shortly after the winners are notified. The award is non-transferable. In the case of a team winning, the monetary award is transmitted to the lead submission entrant. He/she will be responsible for any further transactions to disseminate the award to other team members. The award may not be altered, exchanged or reimbursed. The value of the award is determined at the time of writing these rules and it may not be disputed in any way with regard to its valuation or amount. The award may not be the subject of any request for financial compensation not provided for, any exchange or any return for any reason whatsoever.


In case an award ceremony is held, a travel grant will be issued to the winners and the winning teams. The travel grant for an individual winner will amount to EUR 1,000. the case of winning teams, a maximum of EUR 2,500 for the team will be awarded.

Travel grants for the awards ceremony will be processed in 2023. BE OPEN will issue the travel grant to winners in the form of a bank reimbursement. The travel grant recipients are responsible for the delivery of receipts and proofs of payment to BE OPEN if requested and within the deadline that will be indicated. A travel grant issue is not applicable in case of cancelled travels or no show to the awards ceremony.

The travel grant that is given to the winners is intended to partially cover expenses that will be incurred when participating in the conference. The travel grant can be applied to cover transportation (air, train) or/and accommodation/housing during the conference, travel insurance and if needed, a visa. Winners are encouraged to apply for additional travel support from the home university or any other source available to them. Winners are responsible for any taxes that may be associated with their prize award and travel grant, if any. Costs not related to the conference participation, such as any other travel than the route between home institution and conference venue, free-time activities, travel equipment, etc. are not covered nor organized by BE OPEN or Cumulus.

Winners waive any and all claims of liability against BE OPEN, its employees and representatives, for any personal injury or loss which may occur from the conduct of, or participation in, the program, or from the use of the travel grant. No responsibility is assumed by BE OPEN for any injury and/or damage to other persons, property as a matter of liability, negligence, or otherwise recognized reason caused by the participant or the institutions or any third party participating in the program.