Design Leader of the Year Awards

Let’s reward our design leaders who are working to tackle the problems of both today and tomorrrow!

2021 Winner Announcement:

Cultural Transformation

Sebastien Malo, CN

Young Design Leader

Jessica Williams,Lamasa Tech

Design Inclusion Leader

Benjamin Evans, Airbnb

Design For Good Initiative

John Leighton, Royal Mint

Women Lead Initiative

Susannah Drake, DLAND

Brand Transformation

Bittor Sanchez-Monasterio and Eve Burguignon, Accor

What is the aim of the Change by Design conference?

To recognize the capacity for human-centered design to tackle the principle challenges facing both businesses and society today.

Why have we created the Design Leader Of The Year Awards?

These awards allow us to acknowledge exceptional cases of design-led evolution and to reward the gifted individuals using human-centred design to transform how businesses operate, no matter their size or stance.

Our judges #DLParis

Ivy Ross

VP of hardware design


Pernilla Johansson

Chief Design Officer

Electrolux Group

Nicholas Skytland

Deputy CTO Exploration


Nicolas Petitjean

Group SVP Design


Dan Makoski

Chief Design Officer

Lloyds Bank Group

Gianluca Brugnoli

Chief Design Officer


Milka Eskola

VP Art & Design

Legrand Group

Donn Ogilvie

VP Art & Design

Legrand Group

Seiya Ohta

Design Director


Anne Marie Serguil


Institut du Design

Dji-Ming Luk

Senior Designer

Wilmotte & Industrie

Hillel Cooperman

SVP, UX Design


Who is eligible ?

While we welcome nominations for CEOs and other high-profile executives, we encourage you to nominate anyone using forward-thinking design and leadership skills to aid the success of their company. We want to hear about your candidate regardless of their title – whether they’re an associate, senior manager, director or business leader. We also invite candidates to nominate themselves.

Entry Criteria:

  • Nominees must be employed by their company at the time of application
  • Nominees must have experience in a role demonstrating the qualities of design leadership described
  • All nominees must be informed prior to nomination and have given their clear consent

The Nominations Process

Nominations for The Design Leader Of The Year award will be accepted between July 1st, 2020, and December 2nd, 2020.

You can nominate a company, an individual, a project, a product, a service, a technology, or an initiative to be recognized by The Design Leader of the Year Awards using the link above.


This process begins only after nominations have closed, and consists of a panel of independent experts examining all nominations and organizing entries per category.

Members of this panel are neither associated with nor linked to any companies or projects nominated. The shortlist will be announced online in January 2021.

The Final Decisions

The panel of judges is made of design directors and carefully selected industry influencers 

All judges sign a confidentiality agreement, protecting the privacy of all applicant data throughout the processEach entry is judged based on category-specific criteria, as well as a demonstrated awareness of the impact of human-centred design.

Key Dates:

  • Entry deadline: 02/12/2020
  • Finalists announcement: 15/01/2020
  • Awards Ceremony: 02/02/2021

Onsite at the Change by Design Conference

Why sponsor a category?

Choosing to sponsor a category at the Design Leader Of The Year Awards can provide endless opportunities for your company. Sponsorship will be a key aspect of our branding and networking, from the months of promotion before the event to the day of the ceremony itself.

About the Media Partners

Maddyness is the reference magazine for startups in France, a must for financial, media, new technologies and innovation players in France. Each month, more than 500,000 readers come to seek inspiration and advice, to drink news and discover the latest news found by the editorial staff.


Changing the World through Design. DesignWanted is the primary resource for creatives, executives, entrepreneurs and corporations which want to do it. Born in 2015, DesignWanted is a digital media today recognised as one of the most influent voices in the Design sector, on a global scale. An integrated communication and interaction platform that celebrates the best projects of product, tech, interior and architecture design, while supporting professionals and companies to grow their design business. 

EuraTechnologies, 1er incubateur & accélérateur en France, est un pôle d’excellence et d’innovation implanté à Lille sur 80 000 m². EuraTechnologies accompagne le développement de tous les entrepreneurs du numérique grâce à une méthodologie et un savoir-faire unique dans le soutien aux entreprises, de leur amorçage à leur déploiement international.



L’Institut Français du Design (IFD), créé en 1951 par Jacques Viénot et présidé par Anne-Marie Sargeuil, sélectionne les réalisations remarquables en matière de design. En tant que centre d’expertise, l’IFD oeuvre pour promouvoir l’éthique professionnelle dans une économie de marché.





3 – 5 Fevrier 2021, Paris