Meet the team behind INDEX: Design to Improve Life®




Liza heads strategy and program development at INDEX, and is leading on the establishment of the organisation’s global venture capital fund that will invest solely in ‘design to improve life’ derived from INDEX: Award pipelines.

She leads our ‘Design to Improve Life Investment’ program, an acceleration program that works with design entrepreneurs and impact investors in realizing sustainable solutions to global challenges.

She has developed and coordinated our global partner programs that included cities such as Singapore, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Risør in Norway and Guangzhou in southern China.

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Originally, from London, UK, Liza has a blended background in strategy, project management and implementation, and previously worked on local government projects in London and the Greater Sub-Mekong region with the UN in Bangkok.

Liza’s experience is extensive, gained from private, public and third sectors. She has a BA in Politics from the University of London – School of Oriental and African Studies, and MA in Digital Media: Technology and Cultural Form at Goldsmiths College.

Liza is an active advisor and mentor to individuals and organisations at the early stages of establishing their social businesses. She sits on Ashoka Scandinavia’s Venture Board in Copenhagen.

e: lc@designtoimprovelife.dk

m: +45 42 80 20 84




Together with CEO Liza Chong, Mette heads our strategy and development profile and is responsible for our global partnerships, sales and fundraising.

Mette has been with INDEX since 2007 and has been involved in developing and running all large-scale events including the international touring Design to Improve Life Exhibition.

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Mette holds a Bachelor’s degree in European Ethnology from University of Copenhagen and a Master in Project Management from Copenhagen University College of Engineering. Prior to her work with INDEX, Mette worked with communication and user-driven innovation processes and development of new city spaces.

e: msh@designtoimprovelife.dk

m: +45 26 20 93 95


Head of Future Thinking & Technology

Mariano first arrived at INDEX in 2010 to take over the administration and further development of the organization’s websites and digital content.

Currently, he is looking into the future’s horizon, analyzing how the designs in our pipeline work together, identifying design trends and the drivers of change behind them. With his education as a Systems Analyst and Engineering, a long background as a Developer and a deep love for technology and design, he ensures a professional handling of the organization’s window to the world and a constant scouting for new technology and trends.

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Originally from Argentina, Mariano has recently been working in different IT projects for Latin America, Denmark and the United States. He has been a volunteer at Roksilde Festival since 2009.
Mariano enjoys sailing, writing, and playing video games whenever there is time for it.

e: ma@designtoimprovelife.dk

m: +45 20 10 59 24

Lesley Price

Communication Director

Lesley began working with INDEX in January 2015. As Communication Director, she oversees the development and production of INDEX’s communication, with a specialty in news/feature writing and film post-production.

Lesley is most interested in human-centered design – everything from the very simple to the almost sci-fi. In line with INDEX, her mission is to show how design can be instrumental in establishing a good quality of life for all. Lesley has also sat on the Good Design Award Jury – Australia’s oldest and most prestigious Awards program for design and innovation.

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Originally from Australia, Lesley relocated to Denmark in 2011. Prior to joining INDEX, she worked as a journalist and media analyst for various Copenhagen-based publications. Lesley holds a Bachelor of Journalism and a Masters in Media Studies from the University of Copenhagen.

e: lp@designtoimprovelife.dk

m: +45 61 28 17 77


Art Director

As Art Director, Pernille is in charge of all visual communication, creating creative concepts and designing graphic materials for all INDEX platforms and events.

Pernille holds a master in Visual Culture and Identity from the Royal Danish Academy of Design in Copenhagen and has worked as a freelance designer for many years. Besides her work at INDEX, Pernille enjoys writing and illustrating children’s books.

e: pa@designtoimprovelife.dk

m: +45 27 51 21 10

Vittoria Casanova

Investment Manager

Vittoria has been working at INDEX since 2015 and is responsible for the research and development of all initiatives related to the Design to Improve Life Investment program.

The Investment acceleration program works with design entrepreneurs and impact investors in realizing sustainable solutions to global challenges, through training, accessing capital and broadening networks. Vittoria is the first-point-of entry for all international designers and leads on scouting the newest innovations tackling global challenges. She researches the latest trends and designs and nominates them for each INDEX: Award cycle.

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As a trained designer, Vittoria is best tasked with communicating, coordinating and responding to specific and differing needs of the designers who become a vital part of the INDEX family. She has taken lead on a data analysis project, with Boston Consulting Group, on all past INDEX: Award solutions to determine company valuations and prove that there is value in design companies that are not only making healthy profits, but also making a positive impact in the world.

Originally from Italy, Vittoria holds a BA in Product Design from NABA, Design Academy in Milan, as well as a MA in Design Management at Business School, Il Sole 24 ORE, Milan.

Vittoria has a strong interest in the cross-sections of design, entrepreneurship and social behavior. She believes good ideas have the power to change the world and is curious about exploring different mindsets and cultures through traveling, talking, reading and dining. Her biggest inspiration comes from different personal stories and she is always inspired by how people with scarce resources can achieve amazing outcomes.

e: vc@designtoimprovelife.dk

m: +45 53 51 53 41

Adam Milgrom

Investment Partner

Adam is a commercial strategist with experience across across FMCG, Media, Consumer and Retail. He is an active Impact Investor in Australian and International businesses.

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Adam is committed to making a positive impact on the world and has combined his interest in technology with the desire to work on projects which accelerate us towards a better future with a particular focus on Health, Education, Equality, Energy and Waste.

Adam is Venture Partner of Giant Leap Venture Capital Fund, an Investment Partner of the Design to Improve Life Fund and Investment Committee member of the Besen Family Foundation.

e: am@designtoimprovelife.dk

m: (+61) 402 111 603

Jana Rudnik

Global Strategy Lead

Jana is responsible for implementing the global strategy for INDEX: Award and developing our education program.

Jana joined INDEX in May 2016. Previously, she worked with UNEP, UNDP, IUCN and the Siemens Foundation on furthering social entrepreneurship for sustainable development in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. Joining us from Germany, the Slovak-Brit relocated to Copenhagen, Denmark to explore the role of sustainable design in creating positive social and environmental change.

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Jana holds a Magister Artium degree in political science, business studies and public international law from Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany.

e: jr@designtoimprovelife.dk

m: +45 50 10 22 78

Charlotte Høeg Andersen

Education Director

Charlotte is our Education Director and is responsible for all initiatives concerning the INDEX education programmes for teachers, company leaders, startups and decision makers.

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Charlotte has been working within the design industry for more than 15 years, managing design processes and developing design strategies for both companies, project organisations and public agencies.

She is passionate about design thinking and innovation tools, including the Design to Improve Life Compass, and has many years of experience with leading people through design and innovation processes.

In addition, Charlotte has a Masters of Visual Culture from the University of Copenhagen and a Diploma in Design-based Facilitation from KADK.

e: cha@designtoimprovelife.dk

m: (+45) 29466094


Research & Development Director

Simone engages in R&D processes across the organizations entities with a primary focus on award, digital products and knowledge related activities.

Previously she was involved in programmatic areas such as the Design to Improve Life Challenges and the INDEX: Award working with stakeholders, concept development and communication.

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As part of the team at INDEX, she is especially passionate about the aspect of ‘design to improve life’ that has democratizing potential. Be it a life-saving design that everyone can afford or a design process within which people learn how to take action locally.

Simone joined the team in 2012. Prior to working at INDEX she was part of establishing the first DANSIC (Danish Social Innovation Club) conference about social innovation.

She holds a master’s degree in Business Administration & Psychology.

e: ssj@designtoimprovelife.dk

m: +45 26 18 76 41

Travis Vermilye

Member of the Design to Improve Life Education Academy

Travis Vermilye is an Associate Professor in the Digital Design Area at the University of Colorado Denver in the Department of Visual Arts, College of Arts & Media. Focusing on Visual Health Communication, specifically in the areas of patient education and public health education, Travis creates 3D animated short films and digital artwork designed to evoke deep thought, understanding and self-reflection in regard to human health and quality of life.

Michelle Bauer Carpenter

Member of the Design to Improve Life Education Academy

Michelle Bauer Carpenter is an Associate Professor of Digital Design in the College of Arts & Media at the University of Colorado Denver. Carpenter has produced, directed and edited award-winning experimental and documentary films. Her films have screened in numerous international and national film festivals, art galleries and on broadcast television. Michelle’s prior non-profit work experience with Free Speech TV includes collaboration with larger institutions including the Getty Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Roosevelt Institute, Human Rights Watch International, among others.

Scottie Burgess

Member of the Design to Improve Life Education Academy

Scottie Burgess is an interdisciplinary maker and designer with an interest in exploring the correlations between fine art and design, testing the utility of art as a change agent while employing ethical sustainable solutions. Be it social, political, or cultural, he revolves around participatory designs and creative activism as design praxis to facilitate progressive change, tuning efforts towards work that is socially conscious and purposeful.

Peter Stumpp

Member of the Design to Improve Life Education Academy

Peter Stumpp is a professional packaging and brand designer with over twenty years experience working in agencies and in-house design departments. His work for national and international brands has earned him recognition by his peers and brands as an outstanding designer. After receiving his Masters in Design Innovation and Strategy, he began teaching digital design courses at the University of Colorado Denver and communication design courses at Metropolitan State University. Peter also works as a freelance package designer for U.S. and international clients.

Brian DeLevie

Member of the Design to Improve Life Education Academy

Brian DeLevie is a digital artist, designer, author, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Colorado Denver. He also serves as the Co-Director of the Comcast Media and Technology Center. His body of artistic works variously investigates themes of technology, memory, history and Holocaust issues. He has published papers examining the confluence of design, society, culture, and education. In 2004, he received a Fulbright Fellowship to study the influences of Film, Television and the Internet on German culture.

Howard Cook

Member of the Design to Improve Life Education Academy

Howard Cook is a member of the faculty and former Director of the University of Colorado’s Digital Animation Center.  Having earned an MFA in Digital Cinematography from National University, an MFA in Painting (abt) and a BFA in Printmaking from Auburn University, Howard has worked in a variety of creative industries since 1982. Howard cook is a photorealist painter and is one of the country’s leading space/aerospace artist. Working directly with the crews of 12 shuttle missions, Howard helped to develop some of the first educational/public outreach programs for the NASA Shuttle program.