Changing the World by Design

A global competition challenging young designers to change the world has been launched at the University of Dundee.

The competition was announced at the 13th International Conference of the European Academy of Design (EAD), which has been hosted by the University over the past three days. The EAD is collaborating with Design Indaba to set the challenge to designers around the world to creatively engage with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

EAD and Design Indaba will award £5,000 to a group submission that proposes ambitiously creative ways of addressing the challenges.

This new initiative marks the first of what is intended to be an ongoing collaboration between Design Indaba, the largest design conference in the world with a programme of over 1,100 exhibitions this year, and EAD, one of the leading international platforms for design research. The challenge is supported by investment from entrepreneurial platform Elevator Dundee.

Professor Louise Valentine, Vice President of EAD and Chair of Design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, said, “Legacy is at the heart of this superb new partnership project because the world that our children and their children inherit from us will be very different from today.

“Our legacy can be one of waste, destruction, and inequality or we can change our collective thinking and actively make a better future. For this reason, EAD and Design Indaba are working together to promote local actions that have global consequences.”

The announcement was made by Ravi Naidoo, founder of Design Indaba, during his keynote speech at the EAD conference. The internationally renowned entrepreneur, commercial activist and design educator, said, If we are to find new solutions to the development goals set out by the United Nations, we need to put design and design thinking processes at the centre and tap into our collective creative conscious to resolve the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The submission process will be articulated on the websites of EAD and Design Indaba and shared widely through social media via @ead2019Dundee and @designindaba.

The EAD conference has seen Dundee, the UK’s only UNESCO City of Design, welcome 300 delegates from 39 countries. It has been hosted by the University’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design and co-chaired with Imagination Lancaster at Lancaster University.

The University of Dundee was last week placed 20th in the world in the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings, which measure the global higher education sector’s success in delivering the Sustainable Development Goals.



Design Indaba

Known for hosting the best creative conference in the world, Design Indaba is an annual celebration of design and creativity, showcasing the hottest and most relevant talents across the creative sectors. Conference and Festival attendees are privy to the absolute vanguard of the industry, experiencing the work, ideas, thought leadership and design thinking that permeates a cross-section of current creativity. It's all about how creativity is creating a better world and we bring to the stage the best of the best who are doing just that. The programme also includes a curated line-up of music – including international acts and a foray into African music of the now.


The European Academy of Design (EAD) is a voluntary community of academics and practitioners committed to fostering new and existing relationships, in an effort to increase knowledge of the discipline and deepen understanding of how design contributes to improving the quality of life.

Established in 1994, its core principles are to grow an appreciation of the complexity of design and design research, its human centred nature, and its rich diversity of subject, form and context. It is to be of value and service to local and international communities of practice, within design and across other fields of endeavour, such as health, ecology, science, humanities, and medicine.


Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design:

  • Based in the UK’s only UNESCO City of Design, and boasts an international reputation for quality teaching and research
  • Number 1 in Scotland for Art & Design (Complete University Guide 2019)
  • Ranked Top 10 in the UK for Art & Design (Times / Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019)

For media enquiries contact:
Grant Hill
Press Officer
University of Dundee
Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4HN
Tel: +44 (0)1382 384768
Mobile: 07854 953277