European Year for Development

European Year for Development


Progress, not limitation, must save the world

Development, inventions and new design will not hurt, but improve the world. Humanity should think offensively and sustainable, rather than only in constraints to solve the world's global challenges – including when the goal is to improve lives in the developing world.

World struggling with many threatening global problems. And most of them are created of man's way of life. Climate issues, pollution, water shortages, poverty, overpopulation, disease, etc. All have their origins in human behavior on Earth.

Most are of the opinion that the solutions to the problems are political decisions that can limit our polluting and destructive behavior. Sort our waste and throw away less trash. Drive less, use less water, use less heat and less electricity.

But even if the restriction is part of the solution, so is there another way that gets little attention: New design, new sustainable innovations that improve the lives of people is perhaps the most effective and feasible way to save humanity.

See Bill Gates, perhaps the world largest single investor. He has among many other things invested billions in alternative energy and in the development of a battery that can store much more power than is possible today. Almost all his investment goes to design to improve the world.

It is more motivating and optimistic doing new design for the future than control ourselves. New design appeals to the human imagination, creativity and fascination, while restraint begets resignation, pessimism and stinginess. Less self-realization. Reducing the expression of man is not a way forward.

It's actually an old idea that progress and sustainability are not opposites. The Brundtland Report of 1984 was the first time that progress, and especially technological progress was not made as something that is necessarily damaging to our planet. It was the Brundtland Commission, which had an enormous impact on the world's collective mindset that launched the possibility for progress and sustainability to go hand in hand.

INDEX: Design to Improve Life® distributes the world's largest design prize in money terms. And many of our nominated designs becomes big, get an impact and bring the world forward. Look at Tesla, Lifestraw and Skype. It's stories like these that are targeted by INDEX: Design to Improve Life®. The ambition is even more to tap into the potential of design, bring it out into the world, providing investment, so it will have maximum impact. On a sustainable way so we contributes a small bit to make the world a better place to live.

About the partner

INDEX: Design to Improve Life

INDEX: Design to Improve Life® is a Danish NPO with global reach. We Inspire, Educate and Engage in designing sustainable solutions to global challenges. INDEX: Design to Improve Life® hosts the world's biggest design price, INDEX: Award. More...

Even if the restriction is part of the solution, so is there another way that gets little attention: New design.

- Kigge Hvid, CEO at INDEX: Design to Improve Life

INDEX: Design to Improve Life

  • Index: Award is the world's largest and widely recognized as the world's most important design prize.
  • INDEX: Award had 10 years anniversary in 2015. The prize was first awarded in August 2005, where, among other Lifestraw won.
  • Number of candidates for the prize is increasing - in 2015, INDEX received 1,123 proposals from 72 countries
  • Number of candidates from third world countries are increasing. In 2015 there was 34 submitted designs from Africa and 176 from Asia.

Source: INDEX: Design to Improve Life