Learn how to solve real-world challenges with design thinking

How can you make people better at problem-solving? You put Design to Improve Life (DtIL) on the agenda. We work with businesses, universities, municipalities and non-governmental institutions to equip them with sustainable innovation and creative problem-solving skills. It’s all about giving people the knowledge and tools to create meaningful change and deliver real and lasting positive impact.

Facilitated by our DtIL experts, we offer programme tracks for educators and business professionals, both on- and offline. Whether you’re looking for a quick sparring session or a deep dive into design thinking, we’ve got you covered. Check out our range of services, browse through our cases, or simply reach out if you’re interested to learn more.

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The Design to Improve Life Compass

The Compass is the backbone of all our learning and business development initiatives. It's a problem-solving tool that integrates the three fundamental competencies of didactics, process facilitation and Design to Improve Life. Whatever the challenge, the Compass can help you get from A to B with concrete actions, methods and techniques.

The Compass has four phases that guide users through the design process: Prepare, perceive, prototype and produce. Each phase comprises a series of techniques to help you focus and navigate the design process while encouraging curiosity, creativity and innovative thinking.

The Prepare phase is about finding the exact problem you’re trying to solve. It’s about exploring the overall challenge you’re designing for, pinpointing the exact problem and then clearly defining it.

Next, in the Perceive phase, we identify the knowledge we have about the problem and the knowledge we need to have about the problem. Here, we break down assumptions about the challenge and really get to know our users.

Then, in the Prototype phase, it’s all about idea generation. We let our creativity loose and generate as many ideas as possible on how to solve the problem. Here, we’ll also prototype some solutions and then choose the design we’d like to explore further.

Finally, the Produce phase is where we finalise, present our design solutions and evaluate our design process. We share our work with our teammates, colleagues or users to determine how to further the solutions.

Curious to learn more? Contact us


The holy grail of our education programme providing a full overview of how to design sustainable, change-making solutions from start to finish.
Our Picture Card deck for Design to Improve Life Education techniques
Explore our ever-growing data archive of Index Award solutions
Great stories, carefully curated by The Index Project team, that dive into the various themes at the nexus of business and impact
From our archive of more than 8,000 projects, we've picked out key cases that offer extraordinary insights into the challenges, discoveries and lessons from starting and running a life-improving business.