We proudly present you the team behind INDEX: Design to Improve Life®




Kigge has led the development and growth of INDEX: Design to Improve Life® since her appointment as founding CEO 14 years ago in 2002. New concepts –developing them, testing them and implementing them– are the hallmarks of her acclaimed work in leadership roles both in business and organizational settings. In leading the Danish government’s mandate to advance the humanist tenets of Danish design, Kigge has been a frequent panelist and theme-setter at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, and served as member of the Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Design.

Read more

From her many years of experience, Kigge has acquired an expert knowledge base of design, global challenges, new business understanding and social entrepreneurship. She has been recognized as one of the world’s leading advocates for ‘design to improve life’ and was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2006 by the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

In 2009, Kigge was awarded the Design Leadership Award by the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau of the Hong Kong SAR Government, and the Hong Kong Design Centre. One year later in 2010, she joined the board of Danish shipping foundation Lauritzen Fonden, as well as the international advisory board of the Hong Kong Design Centre. Kigge also sits on the board of Sport Event Denmark, an organization that attracts major sports events to Denmark.

In 2012, Kigge was named Chairwoman of Jockey Club Design Institute for Social Innovation (J.C.DISI). The institute, established by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and supported by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, acts as a support platform for design and designers addressing the world’s social challenges.




On Paternity Leave

Adam joined INDEX: Design to Improve Life® in 2005 and has become a mainstay of the organization. He works within the organization’s communication department managing the ever increasing design to improve life media landscape, from social media campaigns to large-scale partnerships. Furthermore, Adam serves as the organization’s personal link to the international INDEX: Award Jury.

Read more

A graduate of the Graphic Arts Institute of Denmark, Adam not only holds a diploma in Creative Basics but has also studied journalism at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense. Adam wrote and translated for the influential magazine Golf Digest DK for two years and interprets the wisdom of those pages with impressive skill on the fairways.


m: +45 26 13 21 22


Head of Future Thinking & Technology

Mariano first arrived at INDEX: Design to Improve Life® 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.

Read more

Originally from Argentina, Mariano has recently been working in different IT projects for Latin America, Denmark and the United States. He is also one of the responsible volunteers for the Roskilde Festival IT group.
Mariano enjoys sailing, writing, and playing video games whenever there is time for it.


m: +45 20 10 59 24

Lesley Price


Lesley began working with INDEX: Design to Improve Life® in 2015. As Editor, she is responsible for the concept development and production of INDEX’s external media, 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.

Read more

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.


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 and is a volunteer for the Red Cross.


m: +45 28 97 34 12



Strategy & Program Director

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

She leads INDEX:’s ‘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 INDEX’s global partner programs that included cities such as Singapore, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Risør in Norway and Guangzhou in southern China.

Read more

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.


m: +45 42 80 20 84



Strategy & Partnerships Director

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

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

Read more

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: Design Improve Life®, Mette worked with communication and user-driven innovation processes and development of new city spaces.


m: +45 26 20 93 95

Vittoria Casanova

Investment Manager

Vittoria has been working at INDEX: Design to Improve Life® 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.

Read more

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.


m: +45 53 51 53 41

Jana Rudnik

Project Manager

Jana joined INDEX: Design to Improve Life® in May 2016 and has been responsible for mapping our impact. Assisting the team in strategy and program development, she contributes her experience in global development and social entrepreneurship.

Read more

Previously, Jana has 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 has relocated to Copenhagen, Denmark to explore the role of sustainable design in creating positive social and environmental change. Jana holds a Magister Artium degree in political science, business studies and public international law from Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany.


m: +45 50 10 22 78


Education Director

Lotte is Education Director at INDEX: Design to Improve Life® and is responsible for all initiatives concerning the post education of teachers, challenges for school children and consultancy tasks within the entire school systems in Denmark and abroad.

Read more

Lotte is both a law and music science graduate and has been working in the field of education since 1995. Additionally, she is a trained process consultant.

Lotte has a great passion for quality of education and the tools for teachers that enable them to facilitate highly structured innovative processes. She believes these tools play a key role in supporting our youth to become responsible, engaged and creative members of society.


m: +45 30 74 71 25


Education Project Lead, Design to Improve Life Challenge

Simone project manages the Design to Improve Life Challenge initiative. She oversees the daily operations of the projects within the initiative securing development and delivery of content, events and communication. Simone joined INDEX: Design to Improve Life® in August 2012 as an intern at Design to Improve Life Education. After ending the internship she paused studies and engaged full-time at INDEX: Design to Improve Life® by taking a job as part-time PA to CEO Kigge Hvid, part-time coordinator of marketing activities. Since October 2013 she project managed the final phases of the pilot project, Denmark’s Design to Improve Life Challenge.

Read more

Prior to working for INDEX: Design to Improve Life®, Simone was involved in the establishment of the first DANSIC (Danish Social Innovation Club) Conference in 2012, handling the panel of ‘Welfare in Change’. She holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology and Business Administration from Copenhagen Business School and did her thesis on discursive constructions of the design concept in the municipal context.


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.