To me, design means to create something with an intention.
I lead a group of 120 creative people – most of them designers, some developers, but also other creative professionals. Design is part of everything we do, from the way we work with innovation to the way we have designed our own culture and our workspaces.
For me, design has been the missing piece in making technology generate value for people, businesses and, ultimately, for the planet. On a daily basis I get fascinated by the empathy of designers, their ability to tackle complexity, to visualize, and to create something out of nothing. Today, I would be really nervous if I had to start or lead a new business where there were no designers on the team.
I think that design will mean much more to Denmark now and in the future than it has done before, and it will play a more strategic role. Denmark has enormous possibilities to create even better businesses within for example technology, circular economy and digital transformation if designers are involved. We have a solid design tradition, but that can sometimes prevent people from seeing what a great power there is in designers’ ability to create change – not just in the form of new products, but also when it comes to new business models, holistic services for citizens and effective partnerships.
Design always makes a difference to people who get in contact with a well-designed service or product. Apart from that, involving designers in projects will most often result in a more holistic solution, where all stakeholders, and their needs, are considered.
All businesses are going through transformations, whether they like it or not. We’re driven by technology, digitalization, globalisation, environmental concerns and by demands from employees and clients to think differently from before. Designers can – and should – play a crucial part in this transformation. Today, most organisations don’t know what the next five years will bring, or what problems they will have to solve in the future. The solutions of tomorrow will demand creativity, cross-competences and the ability to stand in uncertainty. This is where the designer’s toolbox and skills come in handy. However, we shouldn’t forget about design as a craft. Our solutions should be differentiated in that sense; talented designers are not only design thinkers, but design doers. Good quality in products and services also means long-lasting, and sustainable ones.