GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS

INDEX: Design to Improve Life®’s vision is to develop and expand a network of Global Partners and Global Partner Cities spread across continents. We do this by sharing our large-scale public events, education programs, investment initiatives, network, and communication infrastructure with our partners around the world. This creates a union of cities and partners that aims to work closely together to promote, celebrate, apply, and actively invest in Design to Improve Life – thus raising awareness of design as a significant way to create promising solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

Singapore, 2008-2009 and 2011-2012

GLOBAL PARTNER

The Government of the Republic of Singapore, Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts, DesignSingapore Council, Keppel Corporation

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Singapore is widely known and respected for its innovative and vibrant design communities. As part of the partnership, the INDEX: Award Exhibition - celebrating the best examples of Design to Improve Life - visited Singapore in 2009, where the exhibition was a key event in the Singapore Design Festival, and again in 2012.
A wide variety of talks, lectures, seminars, and conferences with numerous stakeholders were additional cornerstones in the partnership programs. One example of this was in 2012 where approximately 300 companies attended the Design for Enterprises (DFE) Forum, “The Business of Designing to Improve Life”, where companies learned how design can accelerate innovation, identify new markets, and achieve new business breakthroughs - while addressing the challenges of local and global societies at the same time. Another was the “Design to Improve Life Student Forum” in 2012: An interactive dialogue to engage approximately 200 thirteen to eighteen-year-old students in understanding how design is no longer just an aesthetic function, but a key catalyst to resolve global issues.

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Copenhagen, 2011-2012

GLOBAL PARTNER

The City of Copenhagen

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INDEX: Design to Improve Life®’s birthplace – Danish capital Copenhagen – signed a two year partnership from 2011 to 2013, making the “bicycle capital of the world” a part of the Design to Improve Life City network. The partnership was part of the municipality’s “Green Growth” strategy actively branding Copenhagen as a green, international and innovative city. The partnership included showcasing the INDEX: Award Exhibition in central Copenhagen from August to November 2011, as well as access to international branding and network, education conferences and seminars.

Risør, Norway, 2012-2013

GLOBAL PARTNER

Beyond Risør and Risør Municipality

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BeyondRisør, established by the municipality of Risør and supported by the Norwegian government, started in 2005 as a Norwegian design event with national and international outreach. The Beyond Risør Biennale from June 20-22nd 2012, and the main program of Beyond Risør Biennale embodied the Design to Improve Life concept, and featured several internationally recognized INDEX: Award jury members including Ravi Naidoo and Hella Jongerius.

As part of the partnership, the INDEX: Award 2013 Exhibition was on display at the scenic Risør waterfront in the summer of 2012 followed by a full program of business seminars, design labs, education sessions, talks and lectures. As one result of the partnership, we were fortunate to be able to welcome Norwegian award winning designer Katinka Von Der Lippe into the INDEX: Award Jury. Also, Risør became one of several cities to adopt the South African concept “Your Street”, transforming the city’s public space through crowdsourced creativity.

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Helsinki, 2012

GLOBAL PARTNER

World Design Capital Helsinki 2012

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Via the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 program, the whole Finnish metropolitan region was committed to design-led development as the source of wellbeing and competitiveness. For World Design Capital Helsinki 2012, the Design to Improve Life Partner City Network was an excellent platform for learning and sharing from other cities and individuals. During all of 2012, a number of Design to Improve Life educational seminars and programs were conducted aimed towards teaching creative design thinking to high-school students.
Furthermore, the INDEX: Award 2011 Exhibition was showcased in central Helsinki in the spring of 2012 and the partnership also involved the “INDEX: Design Lab Helsinki” focusing on challenges put forth by cities to be discussed by leading experts, as well as Winners Talk, international network and branding.

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Guangzhou, China, 2012-2013

GLOBAL PARTNER

City of Guangzhou and the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City

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The vision of Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City is to be a vibrant and sustainable city, highly attractive to talent, skilled manpower and knowledge-based industries. The INDEX: Design to Improve Life® organization was carefully selected to work with the Guangdong capital and the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City (SSGKC) in China, on the basis of our focus on humanism, social understanding, sustainable approaches to design, worldwide recognition and network, as well as large knowledge bases on sustainable design. As part of the partnership, we brought a wide range of our Design to Improve Life programs to our first ever Chinese partner, including education programs, lectures and talks, student exchange programs, global network and branding.
With a new knowledge city of 123 km2 as the driver, the new partnership aimed to ensure the formation of a sustainable design based development in the area widely known as “the factory of the world”. We also facilitated a Danish delegation consisting of Copenhagen Cleantech Cluster, Rambøll and Gehl Architects to Guangzhou in December 2013, showcasing brilliant examples of Danish best practice in this area.

The City of Elsinore, 2015-2017

GLOBAL PARTNER

The City of Elsinore

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With a donation of $2 million from the ‘A.P. Møller og Hustru Chastine Mc-Kinney Møllers Fond til Almene Formaal’ foundation, our global partner, Danish city Elsinore, can now launch what is possibly the biggest project about innovative education processes in the history of Danish public schools. The project involves all 8,000 people in the municipality’s education system - from kindergarten to city council - and concretizes the Danish public school reform‘s intention of integrating sustainable innovation in and across all subjects. The project builds on the 'Design to Improve Life Education' concept that has been tested on more than 10,000 students and 1,000 teachers in Denmark and Sweden and continues to be used successfully in the schools that participated as well as globally.

Gwangju Design Biennale, 2007

EXHIBITION PARTNER

The INDEX: Award 2007 Exhibition was showcased at the KIM Daejung Convention Centre in Gwangju Metropolitan City in Korea from October 5th to November 3rd 2007. The exhibition was part of the Gwangju Design Biennale 2007 and was seen by more than 245.000 people.

The National Design Center in Melbourne, 2008

EXHIBITION PARTNER

In July 2008, the full scale INDEX: Award 2007 Exhibition was displayed for several weeks on Federation Square in central Melbourne, Australia, with more than 250.000 people visiting the exhibition.

The City of Seoul, 2009

EXHIBITION PARTNER

On its first world-tour stop after its inauguration in Copenhagen in August 2009, the INDEX: Award 2009 Exhibition broke all visitor records in Seoul, Korea: Close to three million people visited the exhibition during its three-week feature! The exhibition was located in a huge inflatable tent in the center of one of Seoul’s architectural landmarks, the Jamsil Stadium, home to the 1988 Summer Olympics. Seoul’s presentation of the exhibition was part of the city’s second annual Seoul Design Olympiad.

Luxembourg City, Musée D’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean & The Danish Embassy in Luxembourg, 2012

EXHIBITION PARTNER

As part of Luxembourg’s ‘Design City 2012’, the INDEX: Award 2011 Exhibition was displayed on the beautiful Le Place d’Armes in Luxembourg’s capital city from April 12th to May 13th 2012.

Estonian Association of Designers & Tallinn Design Festival, 2012

EXHIBITION PARTNER

In September 2012, the INDEX: Award 2011 Exhibition was put on show in the Rotermann Quarter in Tallin as part of the VII Design festival DESIGN NIGHT – an yearly event activation the Estonian design community.

Business of Design Week (BODW) Hong Kong, 2012

EXHIBITION PARTNER

INDEX: Award 2011 Exhibition was officially opened in TST Centenary Garden, Hong Kong, under attendance by Their Royal Highnesses The Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark. The exhibition was on display and open to the public from December 7th to December 16th 2012. The opening of the exhibition was followed by a massive week for Danish design in Hong Kong, where Denmark served as partner country for Business of Design Week (BODW) 2012.

School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), 2013

EXHIBITION PARTNER

As part of the Social Innovation Festival taking place in Hong Kong from September 27th to October 6th 2013, the INDEX: Design to Improve Life® organization was invited by The Jockey Club Design Institute for Social Innovation to showcase the INDEX: Award 2013 Pop-Up Exhibition.

Design Indaba, 2014

EXHIBITION PARTNER

As part of the official 2014 Design Indaba conference program in South Africa, the INDEX: Award 2013 exhibition was showcased and the INDEX: Design to improve Life® organization was invited to deliver a keynote at the conference’s ‘Educators Indaba’ sessions about the methods and tools of our Design to Improve Life initiative.

Nordic City of Living and Learning (NIMI) – IBOX project, 2014

EXHIBITION PARTNER

NIMI is a comprehensive project designed to be a combination of international business education, knowledge-intensive industry clusters and ecological residence. NIMI together with the Jinjiang Government have designed the design cluster project IBOX in the very center of Chengdu, China.

The project officially opened in October 2014 at the same time as the launch of the first ever Chengdu Design Week in which the INDEX: Design to Improve Life® organization was a main exhibition partner.

DOGA (Oslo Design- og Arkitektursenter), 2015

EXHIBITION PARTNER

DOGA’s vision is to address real life challenges,  insisting that architects and designers skill sets can be a powering tool in that process. As part of demonstrating how designers actual work to improve people’s lives through design, the INDEX: Award 2013 Exhibition, showcasing 59 examples of Design to Improve Life, has been exhibited in the beautiful DOGA museum in Oslo, Norway, under the headline “En bedre fremtid. Nå.”

World Economic Forum & AIGA, 2008-2009

EDUCATION PARTNER

In May 2008, the INDEX: Design to Improve Life® organization and AIGA, USA, posed a challenge to students around the world, asking them to address the world’s water crisis. The idea came from a session at World Economic Forum in January 2008, where Collins Design and Circle of Blue presented water related issues from both the developing and the developed world. More than 700 students from 28 countries answered the challenge, and in March 2009 seven finalists were chosen by an international jury. The 7 finalists met in Aspen, Colorado on June 23rd to 25th 2009 to work on their projects and develop business plans. On August 25th to 26th they met again in Copenhagen for a workshop with social investors, venture capital and business leaders to seek implementation of their projects.

UNICEF, 2010

EDUCATION PARTNER

The INDEX: Design Challenge was a unique design competition focused on using design processes as a means to promote change; using real challenges and activating real solutions. Following the huge success of the INDEX: Design Challenge in 2009, the INDEX: Design to Improve Life® organization in close collaboration with UNICEF framed the 2010 challenge. The 2010 theme was ‘education in developing countries’.

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Education is the second of the UN’s eight 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) whose aim is to ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere - boys and girls alike - are able to complete a full course of primary schooling. More than 1300 students from over 90 universities in 35 countries rose to the challenge and created more than 100 unique solutions.

YIDSS, Yonsei University, 2011

EDUCATION PARTNER

Yonsei INDEX: Design Summer School (YIDSS) was a unique partnership between Yonsei University, a critical landmark for higher education in Korea, and the INDEX: Design to Improve Life® organization. YIDSS set out to educate students from all over the world to become members of the next generation of global citizens and leaders in an experience-oriented, cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural, international and integrated learning environment. YIDSS offered a month-long Design to Improve Life Legacy Course at Yonsei University and various elective courses all related to the Design to Improve Life concept.

Huddersfield University, 2012

EDUCATION PARTNER

As the first university in the world and the first venue in the UK, Huddersfield University hosted the INDEX: Award 2011 Exhibition in the plaza outside the Creative Arts Building, home to the School of Art, Design and Architecture, giving free access to the university’s 22,000 students and everyone else passing by. Accompanying the exhibition, a student challenge was posed – the theme of the challenge was ‘Design to Improve Life’. The student teams had to come up with solutions to global everyday problems that would literally ‘improve life’ and Liza Chong, our Strategy and Program Director chose the winning design alongside other professionals in the industry accompanying her in the judging panel.

Orissa, 2014

EDUCATION PARTNER

As part of the Design to Improve Life Education initiative, our education team went to Orissa, India, to take part in DesignLAB where 36 young people, youth workers and educators from Estonia, Denmark, India, and Nepal were taken through an intense 2½ week education boot camp. The goal was to initiate change in local Indian communities by applying ‘Design to Improve Life’ processes. The DesignLAB Orissa workshop focused on the Indian capital of Odisha, Bhubaneswar, where the local organization Bakul Foundation works. The participants worked in cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural teams doing fieldwork and cooperating with the local communities to identify their challenges and to ultimately try and develop solutions to make life better. Overall themes defined were: Waste, Sanitation and Education and all together six fantastic projects came out of the workshop.

Read more about these projects here.

Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), 2014

EDUCATION PARTNER

On November 14th 2013 a delegation from the Ministry of Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), Taiwan, visited the INDEX: Design to Improve Life® offices in Copenhagen in search of inspiration for developing a better sustainable society and education system in their home country. The Taiwanese delegation, led by Deputy Minister Shin-Cheng Yeh, visited our organization as part of an inspiration trip, where they – among other things – were looking to import new knowledge about how to activate global challenges as learning resources in schools through innovative teaching methods.

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Following the visit in November 2013, our education team went to Taipei in May 2014 to conduct workshops, followed by an official visit in December 2014 where INDEX: Design to Improve Life® CEO Kigge Hvid met with Minister Kuo-Yen Wei from the EPA to discuss further cooperation regarding education activities in Taiwan.

Aarhus Kulturby 2020, 2015-2017

EDUCATION PARTNER

Once again, the INDEX: Design to Improve Life® organization is cooperating with cities and towns in Denmark to educate children about design and innovation. As an educational initiative for Aarhus 2017, the Design to Improve Life Challenge will allow students to play a role in designing their own solutions to a number of local challenges. Covering the entire mid-Jutland region, approximately 1,000 children from 40 school classes will over the next three years participate in the program involving a number of challenges. The first challenge is ‘Climate Adaptation – with focus on water’ and the results of this first challenge will commence in September 2015. In 2017, the final event will take place and for this occasion, schools will group together to build a massive scale model of their ideal city.