INDEX: Design to Improve Life

ADDRESSING THE CHALLENGE OF REFUGEES AND MIGRANTS

The challenge of refugees and migrants is a complex problem that can be viewed from many different perspectives. Some politicians and academics don’t view refugees as a problem, but as a resource for the West. But, surely it’s a problem that millions of people are forced to flee persecution or hopeless conditions in their homelands? And surely …

INDEX: Design to Improve Life

Iterating on a Design to Improve Life Investment Fund

Being witness to great innovations stemming from all corners of the globe for over fourteen years, we’d seen potential to move the world positively through sustainable design – solutions designed and conceived by people for people, communities and the planet. Our narrative until now was a fight to broaden the definition of ‘design’ so that …

INDEX: Design to Improve Life

WE MUST OVERCOME POST-FACTUAL SOCIETY

Six months ago, post-factual society was a mildly interesting side development. Not something that seriously threatened the world’s progress towards increased democracy, growth and sustainability. But after Brexit, Donald Trump and the recent developments in Poland, Russia, Turkey and Hungary – everything has been turned upside down. The post-factual trend has, in record time, grown so powerful …

INDEX: Design to Improve Life

15 YEARS OF DESIGN TO IMPROVE LIFE… WHAT NOW?

Although it may not always feel like it, the world HAS vastly improved since the beginning of the millennium. Thanks to a shared global effort: less people live in poverty, more children are in school, gender equality is improving, child and maternal mortality is declining, cures for many threatening diseases have been found, environmental issues are …

INDEX: Design to Improve Life

WE MUST NURTURE THE TALENT OF TOMORROW

At the World Economic Forums’ Summit in Davos in 2007, Queen Rania talked about the importance of profoundly changing the way we educate our next generations. Not only did she speak on the subject of education in the great Plenary Hall, she made it a central topic in two sessions in the very hall where …

INDEX: Design to Improve Life

THE VALUE OF INSPIRATION

On one run-of-the-mill day in 1940, Helen Barnett Diserens observed the way ink flowed from a ballpoint pen and wondered whether the same would work with other, similar liquids. It did. Helen then invented the roll on deodorant that has since become one of the world’s best-selling hygiene products. Stories like Helen’s are the reason why …

INDEX: Design to Improve Life

What if Planet Earth took some time off to fix itself?

Day in and day out, we are bombarded with statements about what a sorry state our planet is in. Global warming, terrorist attacks, refugees, animal extinction, natural disasters, hunger, disease, you name it. What we’re not told is that all these problems could be addressed – and even fixed – relatively easily. Perhaps by something as simple as taking some time off. It seems as …

INDEX: Design to Improve Life

CHANGING THE PERCEPTION OF DESIGN FOR THE GREATER GOOD

When the Danish Design Centre awarded the 16 prizes for the Danish Design Award last month, half of the winners were previously nominated for INDEX: Award. And, more importantly, all the winning designs focus on improving peoples lives – not a new, fancy pepper grinder in sight! One of our goals at INDEX: Design to …

INDEX: Design to Improve Life

THE BROWN STUFF UNDER OUR FEET IS ALIVE, AND COGNITIVE GREEN THINGS GROW IN IT

The American educator Professor Emeritus Robert Sylwester once said, “plants don’t have a brain because they are not going anywhere.” But, he might be very wrong! In my professional life, I’m engaged in looking for sustainable solutions to large-scale global challenges like water shortage, climate change, ocean pollution, hunger and universal healthcare. And I’m happy to tell you …

INDEX: Design to Improve Life

INFORMATION IS POWER

Established politicians worldwide are concerned about their populations. Or, they’re simply worried about their own future if the population happens to turn on them. Politics has always been an unstable game. But according to a recent Danish study, politicians have never had lower confidence than today – and people in many nations are, in fact, turning away from …

INDEX: Design to Improve Life

IT’S TIME TO INVEST WITH OUR MINDS AND HEARTS

Why is now the time to wholeheartedly invest in solutions that create positive impact? INDEX: Design to Improve Life® CEO, Kigge Hvid, explains why life-improving design is now emerging as one of the most attractive business opportunities. As suggested by the name, Danish Ventures – Investing in Design to Improve Life, the objective of the fund is …

INDEX: Design to Improve Life

VIRTUAL REALITY – IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOREVER

When I ask Mariano Alesandro (our Head of Future Thinking and Tech at INDEX: Design to Improve Life®) what virtual reality (VR) is going to really mean, he says: “Think back to when you first used the Internet. You opened your computer, clicked Explorer and then you opened your browser. What you saw was information simply …

INDEX: Design to Improve Life

DO YOU WANT TO BE A YOUNG CHANGE-MAKER?

In order to determine what it takes to become a change-maker we need to answer three key questions. Why do we need changes? What does it take? And how do we get there? A wise man once said that one of the most difficult things to predict is the future. But what we do know about it …

INDEX: Design to Improve Life

PROGRESS, NOT LIMITATION, WILL SAVE THE WORLD

Design and innovation is the best tool we have to save our world, and in order to undo the damage of the past, we need to push forward. This means humanity must think about sustainability on the offensive, rather than only trying to solve the world’s problems of today. The world is struggling with many global challenges, …

INDEX: Design to Improve Life

WHY EDUCATION SHOULD FOCUS ON MOTIVATION

My daughter was incredibly eager and excited when she started school at age six. To her, homework was a very important sign of being ‘big’. She started out with a lot of energy, doing her very best to please the teacher – as girls often do. But within a few months, she got bored, and before she reached …

INDEX: Design to Improve Life

DREAMS FROM THE FUTURE

A short essay on a possible future scenario, a brief dream from the future.-

INDEX: Design to Improve Life

DESIGN ICONS: STEP UP TO THE SHARING ECONOMY OR PERISH

Can the iconic Danish design companies survive the sharing economy? Timeless design, high quality and long life are the key offerings from the world’s best design companies. In my home country, Denmark, this applies to companies like Louis Poulsen, who produce some of the best lighting in the world, Fritz Hansen, who make some of the …

INDEX: Design to Improve Life

SIZE MATTERS – DOWNSIZE!

Why the companies of the future will be small and agile, and what we can learn from designers? You know it, but it happens quite rarely. Somehow a given is changed and an entirely new scale is introduced. In Denmark, for instance, the metric system was introduces in 1907. An equally large change is happening in …

INDEX: Design to Improve Life

Is organic food actually better for you?

I recently came across an article on FastCompany.com explaining how a Swedish brand agency made a family of five switch from “normal” food to organic food only to see what would happen with their bodies. To see if the (alleged) positive effects were measurable. The agency used a simple show-dont-tell approach and thus had the family …

INDEX: Design to Improve Life

INEQUALITY – THE NEW BLACK FOR DESIGNERS?

Announcing her run for presidency Hillary said it herself: ‘The deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top’. And referring to the present situation in the Mediterranean, where thousands flee from the poorest to the richest parts of the world, the use of the word ‘deck’ receives an entirely different meaning. There …

INDEX: Design to Improve Life

BILL GATES NEEDS HELP!

That’s a new one – normally Bill Gates seems quite capable in quite many fields. However, the fact is that Bill Gates needs help. At a recent TED Talk he said, that our general inability to respond properly to epidemics – which was clearly illustrated by the Ebola out-break – should prompt us to get …