what happens when good design is made accessible to everyone instead of just a few?


after the success of the past editions, IKEA is partnering again with DESIGNBOOM to offer design professionals and enthusiasts around the world the opportunity to watch LIVE the IKEA DEMOCRATIC DESIGN DAY 2019 BASEL keynote event. taking place in switzerland on september 27th, 2019, at 10:00am local time, the event — like always — will host an impressive line-up of speakers who will reflect on the following theme: design for purpose.


‘while awareness of global challenges such as the climate crisis is growing, designers are also putting themselves at the service of the most important questions of our time and presenting their solutions.


the UN’s sustainable development goals offer a clear approach to the most pressing challenges facing the global community. we ask ourselves where the SDG is already entering the design and what needs to happen beyond, and we present designers who are pioneering in their field.’



registration for the IKEA DEMOCRATIC DESIGN DAY 2019 in basel  is now closed but you can join designboom LIVE throughout our social media channels where we will livestream the event!





IKEA believes that diversity is enrichment and leads to better ideas — that’s why they make sure to have representatives from different countries and from both genres. but this year, for the first time, the IKEA DEMOCRATIC DESIGN DAY will have more women as speakers that men.


‘we would be proud if this would set a precedent and give more talented women the opportunity to present their work and ideas at numerous other conferences.’


IKEA democratic design day 2019 basel keynote event




development economics ETH
executive director ETH4D
CO-founder & CEO policy analytics


adina rom is the founder and CEO of policy analytics, executive director of the ETH initiative ETH for development (ETH4D) and serves as a board member of tamtam- together against malaria. she has a PhD in development economics from ETH zurich and a master of public administration in international development from the harvard kennedy school. she was previously responsible for the implementation of numerous impact measures with innovations for poverty action in kenya as well as the center for effective global action (CEGA) at the university of california, berkeley. she has been a consultant for various NGOs and social enterprises as well as the swiss agency for development and cooperation (SDC) and the international committee of the red cross. in addition, she has held training courses on assessments and impact measurement for the world Bank, the poverty action lab at MIT and ETH zurich.

IKEA democratic design day 2019 basel keynote event





grace jun focuses on diversity and inclusion. she creates educational programs, investigates applied technology for wearable integration undertakes research and is able to develop this work at open style lab (OSL).


OSL was founded in 2014 as a public service project, implementing an interdisciplinary collaboration model that engages with local disabled people to co-design stylish yet functional clothing and accessories. grace increased awareness on how accessible clothing leverages social integration for people with disabilities through events and educational programs.


grace’s own design work can be seen in several early feature phones, smartphones and wearable watches launched through verizon or t-mobile by samsung electronics. with a BFA from the rhode island school of design and MFA from parsons school of design, grace’s latest design was an adaptive jacket with motion tracking sensors to monitor client arm movements for physical therapists. she is currently teaching at parsons Sshool of design in new york.

IKEA democratic design day 2019 basel keynote event





founder greenpact


leroy mwasaru is a 21-year-old renewable energy social entrepreneur and sustainable design thinking prodigy. he founded greenpact, a consciously social enterprise that began as a high school project providing alternative renewable energy to local communities and institutions in kenya. greenpact obtains bio-gas from both agricultural and human waste and works with communities to redefine renewable energy as a sustainable and necessary part of everyday energy needs.


for leroy, design is an inseparable part of his professional, social and personal life.

IKEA democratic design day 2019 basel keynote event





design researcher fjord
managing director accenture


martha cotton is a managing director at accenture and leads design research for fjord, accenture’s digital design agency. she has over 20 years of consulting experience, working as an applied ethnographer across many industries and collaborating with designers, engineers, business analysts, marcomms and brand strategists. prior to joining fjord, she was a partner at gravitytank. she also held leadership roles at HLB, hall & partners and sapient. martha is on the faculty of northwestern university’s MMM program – the kellogg school of management’s marquee design thinking degree, where she developed and now teaches the design research curriculum.


martha has spent her career studying how people engage with products, services and brands, helping her clients work differently and with a human-centred lens. she has conducted in-depth ethnographic research around the globe and across every industry from automotive to zippers. as she helps her clients succeed with their innovation portfolios, much of her work also includes a focus on corporate cultural change and helping organizations learn how to achieve their innovation and sustainability goals.

LIVE from basel at the IKEA democratic design day 2019 keynote event - WATCH NOW!





co-founder & CEO OLIO


tessa clarke is co-founder & CEO of OLIO, an app tackling the problem of food waste by connecting users who have food they don’t want or need, with neighbors living nearby who would like it. the inspiration for OLIO came four years ago when tessa was moving country and found herself with some food that she couldn’t take with her, but that she didn’t want to throw away.


since its launch, over one million people have joined OLIO and together shared almost two million portions of food. OLIO also publishes, a website and newsletter that aggregates all the best zero waste news from around the world. prior to founding OLIO, tessa spent 10 years as a digital managing director in the media, retail and financial services sectors, and gained her MBA from Stanford. tessa is passionate about the sharing economy as a solution for a sustainable world.


LIVE from basel at the IKEA democratic design day 2019 keynote event - WATCH NOW!






akanksha deo, born in 1991 in new delhi, started working at IKEA as an in-house designer in 2017. a fashion designer by qualification and a visual artist, she specializes in textiles and handicraft techniques like block printing or indigo dyeing. the idea of home and its opposite is a question she addresses across genres and continents. in her designs, she strives towards striking a balance between handicraft and mass production. she is located in delhi, being the only IKEA designer based in india.


in her most recent project, akanksha teamed up with levi’s to customize a pair of denims. she has also collaborated with several fashion brands like 11.11 by CellDSGN and Lovebirds, and has exhibited her art as part of a group show in norway, titled AOTANOTA. akanksha has been listed under vogue india’s ‘people under 26 you need to know about’ back in 2017.




LIVE from basel at the IKEA democratic design day 2019 keynote event - WATCH NOW!


after zurich, lausanne and lugano, it’s basel’s turn this year. on 27 september 2019, the IKEA DEMOCRATIC DESIGN DAY will be hosted at the volkshaus in basel.