It was over half a century ago that the world celebrated the greatest feat known to humankind. We designed, tested and built machines to explore outer space, opening up our imagination and empowering every dreamer to believe in the human ability.
The accomplishment of bringing people from planet earth to the moon, made the impossible very possible. It showed that human progress could turn our world upside down. This determination has not only taught us a lot about the undiscovered world but, empowered us to design, create, solve problems and enhance our way of living.
Fives decades later, we're now faced with a very different reality. Solving some problems and enhancing our lives has revealed new ones and the consequences matter to each and everyone of us today. We moved too fast, grew too quickly and broke our nature.
As the late economic historian Nathan Rosenberg said: "The only thing certain about the future is that it is uncertain".
What's certain about this uncertainty is that, right now, we have a past to learn from – a stark reality-check and the will and the power to create and shape a more just future for all.
How, do we imagine this future?
It’s clear that we need creativity and selflessness if we are to design the pathway to reach this imagined future for the next generations.
The Index Project is a non-profit organisation that was created here in Denmark, by Denmark for the world, resting on the strong design heritage that made this country so well-respected globally.
"We moved too fast, grew too quickly and broke our nature."
Values of inclusiveness and coexistence, balanced with a deep respect for nature has created an expression that can be easily identifiable and truly aspirational. Part of the Danish design language is timelessness – things or objects made to be enjoyed by the generations to come afterwards. That language can move people towards a philosophy for living ―prioritising what really matters― to people, culture, business and society.
Livability and improving life-quality are things that Danes truly cherish.
The purpose of The Index Project is to highlight solutions for how quality of life can be improved by design, and we do this through The Index Award. Our organisation promotes design to improve life, which isn't just a motto or a catchy tagline – it's a call to action, a necessary call to action. A daily reminder that the inequalities are stark and those struggles are very real.
We tell stories to inspire people about how designers globally are making a positive impact. We invest into the founders of tomorrow who are scaling solutions where mission-for-impact is embedded into their DNA. And, we educate the next generation where sustainability and design are a fundamental part of their tool box.
Our imagined future won’t happen by itself. And, if we want that imagined future, we're responsible for building it. The change starts with us.
Tonight, we celebrate our purpose-driven designers answering that call to action. We celebrate 42 examples of ingenuity that offer optimism and hope, despite current challenges. And we applaud them for leaning in and dedicating themselves to solving complex problems.
The act of fixing the broken is embedded in our code. We've seen simple innovations that can support the re-greening and re-wilding of vast landscapes to small devices using light technology to preserve marine life, and interventions that empower and enable all manners of inclusion in everyday life by, quite literally, giving a vocal identity to the unheard.
"Design to improve life isn't just a motto or a catchy tagline – it's a call to action, a necessary call to action."
We can only be impressed and excited about how scientific exploration, once again, challenges our imagination of what is possible by human capability. These designers are making the change now and work towards that imagined future – and they enchant, empower and grow our wisdom.
The Index Project is a global project, our common project, a solutions-focused way to show how the power of design can enhance quality of life. Not just preferences but based on real needs.
By sourcing nominations worldwide, we can show the differences, as collectively, diversity is our strength. Diversity in the problems, in the solutions and diversity in how our minds and hearts can be challenged.
I'd like to thank our finalists and winners of Index Award 2019 for not only giving us hope but inspiring and daring us to imagine creative and new ways to work, live and play in our communities.
This project doesn't happen without people who believe in our mission, the tireless effort of the team, our Board of Directors, our Jury, partners, donors and investors. And, most importantly, you THE community who have travelled from far and wide.
We’ve reflected on our past, we’re awaken to the present and now it’s our obligation to make the change for our future. As our most seasoned jury member and wisest friends Arnold Wasserman puts it: "there is no bigger design project than creating world 2.0".