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Danish Design Center: Vorby – a future where young people thrive

November 20, 2023

Imagine this: our youth is thriving. That is precisely the mission at DDC – Danish Design Center - to design a future where young people thrive. DDC does that by rethinking our social structures and the framework within which we create solutions. With 150+ actors from the child and youth sector, DDC already launched Vorby – a future city and free design resource that sets a direction for how to get there.

Vorby – a future where young people thrive

Using futures- and scenario design, DDC co-created Vorby, a tactile and sensorial manifestation of what a city in which young people thrive could look like in 2050. When DDC designs future scenarios, they use our collective imagination to place ourselves somewhere else entirely – for instance, in a future where society's systems and structures actively create thriving and where young people thrive. The method stretches our imagination of what that future could be, and it becomes clearer what we need to do here and now to actively work towards that future.

Through six different workshops in 2022 using futures and scenario design, they activated the current knowledge about mental health to develop substantial alternatives to the current system. The tangible nature of the scenarios allows people to understand which changes we need to push for and which ones we should build together.

After creating Vorby, DDC have used the resource in a series of workshops in different partnerships and programs to stretch people's imagination, challenge the linear way of thinking, and help people realize that we can and need to do something different. They have used Vorby with Vejle Municipality, Aarhus Municipality, several foreign delegations, KaosPiloterne, and more. Several actors have also used it independently, like Rønde Højskole and The Danish Red Cross Youth.

DDC wants to challenge the narrative about young people in distress and create a new, unifying, visionary narrative where young people thrive - Vorby is a step on the way. The 150+ stakeholders reimagined the problem and set a new direction together.

“The idea is that we set people free to work towards the mission of creating a future for a thriving youth in their way. We’re in this for the long haul. We will very likely never have a Vorby 1:1. For us at DDC, the goal is to build the capacity for the system to act independently towards a better future – with a range of new partners.”

Sara Gry Striegler, Director of Social Transition at Danish Design Center.
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About Danish Design Center

DDC is a non-profit foundation that works to build capacity for innovation and sustainable growth by design. They’ve been in business for over 40 years – a period of major societal transitions. DDC use design-driven missions to achieve these complex and long-term transitions. When put into play with design, missions can help set a clear direction in uncertain times and provide a framework for direct participation and learning through experimentation. Using design as a method and mindset, DDC work with companies and organizations to focus their innovation efforts by enabling them to do what designers do best: expand their perspectives and zoom in on the needs of humans, societies, and our planet.