RGD partners with Canada's top business school for 2nd annual DesignThinker of the Year Award


The Rotman School of Management will partner with RGD to recognize Canada's DesignThinker of the Year for 2014. 


Launched for the first time last year, the DesignThinker of the Year Award invites designers of all disciplines to submit nominations of Canadian corporate leaders whose recognition of the role of design drives innovation and business success within their organization. 


The inaugural award was presented to David Labistour, Chief Executive Officer of MEC, at RGD’s 14th annual DesignThinkers Conference. David was recognized for his long-standing commitment to design and appreciation for the process of design thinking to fuel innovation as the leader of one of Canada's most beloved brands. As part of the recognition for the award, David is profiled in the April issue of Rotman magazine.


"Design thinking has had a strong influence on how Rotman teaches creativity and innovation,” explains Mark Leung, Director of DesignWorks at Rotman. “Design has evolved beyond just the aesthetic and into a powerful way of working across disciplines.” The DesignThinker of the Year Award shines a spotlight on the role design can play in business success and innovation.


The 2014 ‘DesignThinker of the Year’ will be honoured at this year's DesignThinkers conference, Canada’s largest gathering for visual communicators, taking place November 6 and 7 at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto


Nomination criteria include a response (submitted in either video or written format) to a variety of questions and a selection of examples/images that support the nominee’s effective use of design. The nominator receives 5 free registrations to the conference.


Terms of Participation

  • Nominees must be corporate leaders who work for companies, organizations or institutions based in Canada.
  • Nominations must be submitted by 11:59pm ET on September 19, 2014
  • An independent jury will carefully evaluate submissions based on criteria indicated below. (Jury TBA) 


The following 3 items must be submitted:


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


(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.


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 access the online entry form and submit a nomination for the 2014 DesignThinker of the Year!