Keynote speakers



Bo Stjerne Thomsen

Bo Stjerne wide

Bo Stjerne Thomsen is the Head of the Centre for Creativity, Play and Learning at the LEGO Foundation with the aim of supporting the long-term impact of learning through play on children’s creativity, engagement and lifelong learning. Bo Stjerne is part of the LEGO Foundation Leadership Team and responsible for the Foundation’s research and innovation agenda supporting research partnerships, centers and labs in places like USA, China, Denmark, Bangladesh, Italy and UK. Bo Stjerne has published international reports on the ‘Future of Learning’, ‘Cultures of Creativity’ and ‘Global Research and Innovation Networks’ ( to understand play and learning from across disciplines like psychology, technology, education and neuroscience to support creative communities. Originally an architect and designer by training with projects in USA, Mexico, China and Denmark; a PhD in Performative Learning Environments and visiting scholar at the MIT Media Lab in Boston.

How do we design for a future that involves a rapid shift in the future of jobs with the influence of emerging technologies and cultural change? Designing for play not only includes the ability to design the environments and systems around us, but also embodies a playful and iterative approach to how we learn and create our own lives. We need a different mindset and new language of playing and designing, which can revitalize all of our work, communities, business and life. When pursuing these questions, children are amazing role models.

View Stjerne Thomsen’s keynote talk at the REDO Conference

Rachel Cooper


Rachel Cooper OBE is Distinguished Professor of Design Management and Policy at Lancaster University. She was founding Director of ImaginationLancaster, an open and exploratory design-led research centre conducting applied and theoretical research into people, products, places and their interactions.  Professor Cooper’s research interests cover: design thinking; design management; design policy; and across all sectors of industry, a specific interest in design for wellbeing and socially responsible design. She has attracted research funding of over 20 pounds She has published extensively on these topics, including books ‘ The Handbook of Design Management’, ‘Designing Sustainable Cities’ and ‘The Handbook of Wellbeing and the Environment’. She is also series editor of the Routledge series Design for Social Responsibility covering topics such as designing for sustainability, inclusivity, service design, sport, health, transport and policy.She was founding editor of The Design Journal and also founding President of the European Academy of Design.  She is advisor to a number of government and non-government initiatives, she was a Lead Expert for the UK Government Foresight programme on the Future of Cities, the Blackett Review of the Internet of Things  and  the Academy of Medical Sciences Working group addressing ‘the health of the public 2040’. She  is now on the Expert Steering Group for the UK Partnership for Prevention Research and a UK representative on the ICSU Scientific Committee for Health and Wellbeing in the Changing Urban Environment.

Rachel Cooper will give a keynote ‘REDO Education REDO Design Education’ based on her research looking at the Value of Design to academics and practitioners, her work with doctoral students in industry and also recent reports by the UK Design Council and other bodies in relation to the value of design to industrial strategy.

View Cooper’s keynote talk at the REDO Conference


Christian Bason


Christian Bason is CEO of the Danish Design Centre, former Director of the innovation team MindLab, and author of seven books on design, leadership and innovation – most recently “Leading Public Design: Discovering Human Centred Govern­ance”. Christian is a member of the Danish government’s new Challenge Panel for reform of the public sector.

Christian Bason will suggest that the design field has now been established firmly as a contributor to social and government innovation on a global scale, with Denmark as one of the frontrunners – at least until now. We have for more than a decade witnessed the rise of design for social and public sector innovation to a point where it is at the heart of several national reform processes. However, what has been the Danish experience and trajectory of design as catalyst of more inclusive and human-centred innovation? What has characterized the key projects and results? Where is the design ecosystem heading, what are the pitfalls we are facing, and what might be learnings for other societies?

View Bason’s keynote talk at the REDO Conference

Tuuli Mattelmäki


Tuuli Mattelmäki is a Associate Professor at Aalto University Department of Design. She specialises in product and service systems. Her starting point for research is in empathic design and explorative methods in user-centred design, design probes in particular. Her research concerns creative co-design methods in design for services, as well as the new application contexts of designerly approaches.

In design, we seek novel points of view. We are sensitive to details and make sense of the whole, and, often through various practical means, we explore how they are, or might be, in relation with each other. The methods that were developed in and for design, and that we teach, offer a useful repertoire for approaching novel design challenges and societal concerns. This talk addresses empathic and co-creative practices where changing perspectives is the key to make a difference. Illustrated with examples from recent student and research projects with societal impact, it focuses on individuals and systems and the connections between the two.

(Photo credits: Aalto University, Terhi Korhonen)

View Mattelmäki’s keynote talk at the REDO Conference


Kigge Hvid

Portrætter af juryen til INDEX:Awards 2013, København 6. juni 2013.

Founding CEO of INDEX: Design to Improve Life – a Danish non-profit with global reach. The organization works with design as a crucial element in any sustainable solution to global chal­lenges, through its extensive award, education and investment programmes.

Design as a crucial element in solving global challenges

Over the course of the past 15 years, the global design communities have moved from being primarily focused on product design and aesthetic to understanding the crucial role design plays in the development of any tangible or intangible sustainable solution to global challenges.
Through examples, data and trend analysis, the lecture will focus on clarifying the present and future role of design, design education and investment in design that will ensure environmental, social and economic prosperity.

View Hvid’s keynote talk at the REDO Conference

Mathilda Tham

Mathilda Tham

Mathilda Tham’s work sits in a creative, positive and activist space between design, futures studies and sustainability. Her work is informed by the notion of metadesign, design that supports complex collaborations and design for change. Mathilda Tham is Professor in Design at Linnaeus University, Sweden, where she leads the development of a new research platform, Curious Design Change.

How can designers free design?

The sustainability imperative requires that we REDO the products, systems and paradigms we are part of. Yet, our entangled habits and fear can stop us from engaging in profound processes of change. In this talk, I will creatively and critically explore the man-madeness of the systems we live by, and design’s agile dance with them. I will draw on experiences from education, research and play to discuss both the promise and responsibility of freeing design.

View Tham’s keynote talk at the REDO Conference

Margrethe Vestager

Margrethe Vestager , Radikale venstre

Margrethe Vestager is a Danish politician, who is currently serving as the European Commissioner for Competition. She served as a Member of Parliament (Folketing) from 20 November 2001 until 2 September 2014, representing the Danish Social Liberal Party (Radikale Venstre). She was the political leader of her party from 2007 to 2014, and served as Minister of Economic Affairs and the Interior from 2011 to 2014.

Margrethe Vestager will speak about the democratic challenges facing the European Community and the world.
Drivers towards a more coherent society might be:

  • Mobilising competition policy tools and market expertise to contribute, where appropriate, to creating jobs and promoting growth.
  • Developing the economic and legal approach of assessing competition issues and monitoring the market.
  • Effectively enforcing competition rules in the areas of antitrust, cartels, mergers and state aid.
  • Strengthening the Commission’s reputation worldwide and promoting international cooperation in competition issues.

View Vestager’s keynote talk at the REDO Conference

Ezio Manzini


He is Honorary Professor at the Politecnico di Milano, Italy. His interests focus on social innovation and in particular on design for social innovation. He started DESIS: an international network of schools of design specifically active in the field of design for social innovation and sustainability (

Stand Up for Democracy is an international initiative motivated by the concern for the attack to democracy we are witnessing in several countries in the world. Its first aim is to be a strong political statement of the Design Community against these on-going highly concerning trends. But, facing this crisis, Stand Up for Democracy presents also a constructive side: it aims to create and multiply arenas of conversations and experimentations on how to conceive, develop and connect new possibilities for democracy.
This initiative has been started in March 2017 by an Open Letter sent by Ezio Manzini and Victor Margolin to the Design Community. Now it is autonomously moving on and spreading internationally.

View Manzini’s keynote talk at the REDO Conference


Mads Nipper


Mads Nipper is Group President, CEO at Grundfos. With over 16 000 employees and annual production of more than 16 million pump units a year, Grundfos is one of the world’s leading pump manufacturers and with an ambition to promote sustainability in all forms – among the company, its customers and business partners.
Before joining Grundfos in 2014, Mads Nipper worked for LEGO Company for several years (1991-2014) latest as a member of the Management Board as Chief Marketing Officer.

Apart from providing a personal perspective on Grundfos and sustainability, I will to the best of my ability, illustrate the true potential of design in the world. How design is critical to addressing the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, how design is fundamental to businesses embracing the digital revolution, and how design can play a pivotal role in shaping and creating a new understanding of what value creation means. Or in short, how REDO’ing design has a unique potential to re-shape leadership and pave the way for bridging “doing well” and “doing good”. In terms of the last subject I am going to pass on some of my experiences with how you implement a good idea and sustain its implementation. In other words, I hope to be able to provide you with some ideas for your homework following this conference, which is to implement your personal plan for achieving more impact.

View Nipper’s keynote talk at the REDO Conference