DesignThinker of the Year Award: Call for Nominations Extended!
DesignThinker of the Year
RGD, in partnership with Rotman School of Management, is honouring a corporate leader who has used outstanding, sustained design thinking to problem solve, communicate and ultimately drive innovation and business success. Nominate a client or employer to be named DesignThinker of the Year at the 2013 DesignThinkers Conference.



We invite designers of all disciplines from across Canada to submit nominations of client or employer representatives, describing their contribution to excellence in design and design thinking. This is your chance to honour an individual in a leadership position who recognizes, effectively utilizes and champions design and innovation.


The DesignThinker of the Year title will be awarded and the nominator recognized on November 7 at DesignThinkers 2013, taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The nominator will receive 5 free registrations to the conference. The award recipient will also be profiled in Rotman magazine, distributed to 13,000, including 1,000 business journalists.

Terms of Participation

  • Nominees must be corporate leaders who work for companies, organizations or institutions based in Canada.
  • Deadline for nominations has been extended to Friday, October 4, 2013 at 11:59pm EST.
  • An independent jury will carefully evaluate submissions based on criteria indicated below.


The following 3 items must be submitted:


(1) Answer to the question: "Why do you think the nominee deserves this prize?"


(2) Answer(s) to one or more of the following questions:

  • How are the nominee’s practices exemplary, and what does he/she do to ensure respect for the role of designers and innovators within his/her organization?
  • How does the nominee’s organization demonstrate a sustained and consistent commitment to design and innovation?
  • How has the nominee solved challenges within his/her organization through the use of design and innovation?
  • What impact has the use of design and innovation in the organization had on customers and the organization overall?

***Answers to Questions 1 & 2 may be submitted as a video (uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo, with a link provided as part of the online entry form) or a written submission as part of the online entry form.***

(3) Submit a high-res PDF file with a selection of examples/images that illustrate and support the nominee's effective use of design. Indicate the nominee’s contributions in this process.


Click HERE to access the online entry form and submit a nomination for the 2013 DesignThinker of the Year!



Alan Dye | Executive Creative Director | Apple

Alan began his career working for various advertising and design agencies, including Landor Associates and Ogilvy’s Brand Integration Group, where he developed a passion for developing creative work that touched every aspect of the customer journey. In 2007 Alan signed on as Executive Creative Director at Apple, where he is responsible for looking after every detail of every piece of Apple marketing, globally, and working in an environment where no detail has been too small to obsess over and design is considered critical to business success. Alan is a regular contributor to the New York Times, WIRED and more.

Mark Leung | Director, DesignWorks | Rotman School of Management Business Design Studio
Mark teaches business students how to innovate using design thinking. Through his work he seeks to strengthen the connection between the customer experience and the design of business strategy. Over the past 14 years Mark has worked with companies such as P&G, GE, Medtronic and University Health Network – "bringing a customer, technology and business lens to help solve wicked business problems."

Bruce Nussbaum | Author | Creative Intelligence: Harnessing the Power to Create, Connect and Inspire
Bruce blogs, tweets and writes on innovation, design thinking and creativity. The former assistant managing editor for Business Week is a Professor of Innovation and Design at Parsons New School of Design. In his new book, Creative Intelligence: Harnessing the Power to Create, Connect, and Inspire, Bruce explores what he calls a “new type of literacy,” in which creativity is the key to success in nearly any field.


Criteria of Evaluation

Quality/Relevance: Client influence on the quality and coherence of submitted work

Commitment: Sustained commitment to and regular client of design

Respect: Client respect and confidence in the work of designers

Strategy: Client use of design to drive innovation


Click HERE to submit a nomination for the 2013 DesignThinker of the Year!