About us

INDEX: Design to Improve Life® is a Danish NPO with global reach. We Inspire, Educate and Engage in designing sustainable solutions to global challenges.

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We Inspire by showing people how their personal lives and the lives of people around them can be improved by Design to Improve Life. We do this through INDEX: Award, the biggest design award in the world, worth €500.000 and widely recognized as the most important design award in the world. INDEX: Award showcases the positive outcome and effect of the world’s best examples of Design to Improve Life addressing important issues such as clean water, education, energy production, overpopulation, elderly care, etc.

We Educate by using real-life challenges as learning resources in schools and the talents of school as a resource for society. We do this through Design to Improve Life Education, where we put structured creativity on the learning agenda and educate students, teachers, educators and decision makers to create sustainable solutions through a certified education curriculum and design competitions.

We Engage by using our Design to Improve Life Investment program, working as a connector between designers and investors – helping them realize sustainable design with the potential to solve global challenges. Our aim with the program is to bring as many Design to Improve Life solutions as possible to their full potential, in order to foster positive impact in the world.

Created by Denmark in 2002, the INDEX: Design to Improve Life® organization is in sync with the values and principles that made Danish design widely renowned in the last century, focusing on humanism, social understanding and democratic thinking.

We thus promote the application of design and design processes to improve vital areas of people’s lives worldwide, and to us, the best definition of design has been expressed by our jury member, the late great Professor John Heskett, who said:

“Design is the human capacity to shape and make our environments in ways that satisfy our needs and give meaning to our lives.”

Our vision
A world of far better solutions designed to improve life for people.

Our mission
By means of INDEX: Award – the biggest design award in the world – INDEX: Award Exhibitions, Design to Improve Life Education, Design to Improve Life Investment and Design to Improve Life Partnerships, we Inspire, Educate and Engage in designing sustainable solutions to global challenges.


Get to know the team behind INDEX: Design to Improve Life®

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The INDEX: Design to Improve Life® board is responsible for overseeing the overall strategic development and running of INDEX: Design to Improve Life®. The board comprises leading public figures from Denmark who share between them essential experience in, and understanding of, running complex and growing organizations.

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INDEX: Design to Improve Life® is proud and honored to be under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.

In past biennials - from 2005 to 2015 - our organization was under the patronage of HRH The Crown Prince of Denmark.

No more white tea cups!

INDEX: Award was conceived in 2002 as a world event for design and was awarded for the first time in 2005. The word “INDEX” was an abbreviation of INternationalDEsign eXhibition and when the organization was founded, the goal was to brand Denmark by the use of a large-scale, traditional design award – hoping to attract attention, tourists and investments to Denmark.

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