Exploring the nexus of design, technology & social change

with Engineers Without Borders Australia

Link Festival 2016

Link Festival brought together Australia's leading and emerging social innovators to explore how design and technology can create positive change in the real world. With inspiring speakers and a focus on genuine connections, Link Festival highlighted creativity, social entrepreneurship, meaningful career paths, big ideas, cross-sector collaboration and applying cutting edge thinking in design and technology to solve real world challenges.


the Champion

The  Challenge

Engineers Without Borders Australia (EWB) is a not-for-profit organisation that creates systemic change through humanitarian engineering with global reach. In November 2013, the first Link Festival was held at Federation Square. In 2014 they engaged Wildwon to work on the  concept they had held once before but wanted to develop: Link Festival of Design, Technology and Social Change.

Julian O’Shea
Director of Education,
Engineers without Borders

It was a pleasure working with Sally, Yvonne and the Wildwon team in the design, coordination and delivery of Link Festival of Design, Technology and Social Change. We had a vision for an event that would engage a broad cross section of the design community who are committed to creating positive change. The outcome - an immersive two day festival for over 400 leading and emerging professionals - exceeded our expectations and was an immense success. The feedback has been glowing and the team and participants left energised about the future. The production value and event design was the highest of any event we have coordinated and set a new bar for our programs. Wildwon provided important program and event design, drawing from their experiences and networks within the social change and design sectors and were key in securing exceptional leaders in the field. We look forward to working with them in the future.
— Julian O’Shea / Engineers without Borders

What we set out to do

Link Festival aims to become the premier 'design for social change' event in Australia and across the Asia Pacific region. By bringing together emerging and leading change makers, Link looks to explore how design and technology can create change in our backyard and the world.



Connecting and collaborating

Link Festival exists to inspire engineers, architects and designers to become more awesome and use their powers for good, that is to use their skills for social change and social impact. Link Festival was developed to connect and collaborate on innovative approaches to applying design and technology to address social challenges; from poverty alleviation and climate change to behaviour change in our community.

Design principles

Design principles were applied across all components and channels of the event, from how we briefed speakers/volunteers and talked to sponsors, to how we designed the physical and digital collateral. For Link, we focused on five main principles:

  • Be memorable: create a ‘wow’ experience.

  • Things start here: unlock people’s potential to start something big.

  • Solving real world problems: Link is about solving real world problems, not first world problems.

  • We are humans first: We’re a new generation of professionals who want to use our powers for good. Link is for those who already think differently and are ready to act differently.

  • Achieving impact while treading lightly: heavy impact with featherweight footprint.


Hosted at Deakin Edge and the Australian Centre for the Moving at Melbourne’s Federation Square, but reaching an audience of 10,000 email and video subscribers worldwide, Link Festival has become the premier ‘design for change’ event in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Link Festival is now emerging as a professional community of young professionals with technical skills (engineers, architects, designers, industrial engineers, software engineers, programmers) who want to use their skills for positive social change - whether it’s within a large organisation, for a non-profit, or in a startup social enterprise.