What we do
Here at The Index Project, we're all about design and innovation for a better future, what we call Design to Improve Life.
Design to improve life is about solving real-world problems; simple and complex, systemic and emerging — a mission that’s essential to achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, and building a sustainable and equitable future.
We achieve this mission through three strategic pillars: award, teach and invest.
We award the best cases of design to improve life through our international biennale, The Index Award — often referred to as the ‘Nobel Prize of Design’. By platforming the world’s most impactful and iconic designs, we celebrate diversity, inspire hope and act as a catalyst for groundbreaking innovation.
We teach design to improve life to empower companies and institutions with the knowledge and tools for sustainable innovation. Our education methodology has engaged more than 5,000 educators and 10,000 students, globally. We continue to grow this impact within communities through our partnerships with businesses, academia and nonprofit sectors.
We invest in ground-breaking designs to help them scale and deliver genuine and lasting impact. To date, the Design to Improve Life Funds (I & II) have directly invested in 18 purpose-driven companies from all over the world. With each award cycle, a new fund is established to ensure more companies, showcased through The Index Award, reach their full potential.
Design helps us, as humans, understand, engage with and shape the world around us. To date, it has birthed some of our most impactful products, services, symbols and movements, from prosthetics that complete the human body to the pride flag, a celebration of freedom and diversity.
We've seen rockets take us to the moon, virtual telephones enable worldwide connectivity, and drones bring hope rather than destruction. The Tesla Roadster took electric vehicles mainstream, borderless currency Bitcoin burst the banking world wide-open, and the Apple iPhone became a permanent fixture in the palms of more than a billion people.
These advancements have given new meaning to the word 'disruption' — nudging, tripping and even derailing industries to offer alternative and better ways of living.
But design isn't just about aiding technological progress; it's a tool for the people. As creative problem solving combined with a human-centred mindset, design thinking is the go-to practice for innovation and transformation. And time has shown these techniques lead to better solutions, from simplifying complex business processes to designing products for the harshest and most remote locations on Earth.
Design thinking empowers, giving those who aren't trained as designers the creative tools to actively shape an equitable and sustainable future worth living in. As we know, design is far too important to be left just to the designers.
The Index Project is a call to action. Are you in?