Help us with the 1000×1000 Design Challenge
6. October 2016
How might we bring design methods to 1000 SMEs in 1000 days? Strategic use of design leads to stronger business growth, so the Danish Design Centre aims to bring design methods to 1000 small and medium sized enterprises within a maximum 1000 days - and we are open to ideas.
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Foto: Agnete Schlichtkrull CC BY Non-Commercial

The Danish Design Centre (DDC) works to leverage designers and design competencies to drive innovation in products, services and business models in private firms across Denmark.

Although it is well documented that strategic use of design leads to stronger business growth, around 40 percent of Danish enterprises do not use design methods systematically. Most government programmes that aim to change this have been too small, only reaching a few companies, and not having any lasting impact.

The DDC has therefore decided to create a new programme to reach 1000 small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s, which are defined by having 10-250 employees) within maximum 1000 days. By “reach” we mean that they have actively tried to use design methods in practice within their organisation. The intensity and quality of the intervention(s) should be enough to catalyze some level of change, and we should be able to measure their experiences through a quantitative survey tool.

So we are asking:

How might we bring design methods to 1000 SMEs in 1000 days?

In doing so, as a point of departure, we only have funding for a small team of around three people full-time over the period. Any additional funding would have to be raised. We are hoping you might help us create a programme (or set of programmes) to address this challenge in two ways:

  1. Do you know of relevant evidence from other organisations, in the business innovation space, who have carried out similar efforts to scale a method or approach to a large number of businesses?
  2. Do you have ideas, based on your own expertise and methods, about how we could do this, perhaps through digital tools and/or via networks?

We really appreciate any suggestions, ideas or links you might be able to share with us!

Contact: CEO Christian Bason,