Design For Life Awards - The RSA - RSA

Design for Life Awards

Design for Life Awards

Fostering regenerative learning and enterprise

Introducing the Design for Life Awards

The Design for Life Awards build on our 270-year legacy of inspiring innovation. In 2024, we are transforming our Student Design AwardsPupil Design Awards and Catalyst Awards to create one unified and enhanced offer.

The change we want to see

Our Design for Life mission informs everything about these awards. By 2030, our impact through the mission will ensure:

  • CAPABILITIES: Equip over 20,000 life-long innovators with capabilities for life.
  • CONNECTIONS: Every innovator will make valuable social connections.
  • ACTION: Create, seed or scale over 1,500 impact ideas and enterprises.
Design for Life Awards collaborative learning

Launching in September 2024, the Design for Life Awards will move away from competition to collaboration and learning. The new awards offer pupils, students and entrepreneurs mission-led learning, innovation, connection and funding opportunities to grow ideas and businesses for a future-focused regenerative world.

There are multiple ways to get involved – whether you’re an organisation looking for impact partnerships, a learning provider looking to give your students access to life-changing experiences, or you would like to participate in the awards yourself, get involved today.

Why get involved

Education and enterprise models have long been unfit to meet the needs of the 21st Century. Our revised approach to the Design for Life Awards is committed to improving the ‘why’, ‘what’, ‘how’ and ‘who’ of learning and innovation, enhancing involvement and engagement across the globe.

We are reimagining the approach to ‘why’ we learn and innovate as we enter current and future crises. Globally, we are facing the threat of economic, social and environmental collapse, and we need different capabilities and ideas to respond to these interrelated challenges.

We are reimagining ‘what’ and ‘how’ we learn to innovate. We are living longer lives in which we changing careers and experience great technological acceleration. We need to invest in a different set of future-proof capabilities and build these through action-based learning.

We are reimagining the approach to ‘who’ learns and innovates. Our systems rely on a one-size-fits-all model that fails to unlock the full potential of learners and entrepreneurs across demographic and psychographic diversity.

How you can get involved


We welcome pupils from across the globe aged 11-18, students 18-100+ and entrepreneurs of all ages – the only essential requirement is being passionate about driving regenerative change for people, places and planet. RSA Fellows are also welcome.

Learn essential innovation and capabilities for life through personalised, digitally enabled learning journeys that include on-demand resources, interactive workshops and digital badges.

Innovate by applying your creativity to real-world missions co-designed with industry partners. You will encourage enterprises and businesses to reimagine their approach to regenerating people, places and planet.

Connect with inspirational mentors and collaborators from the RSA’s global network of Fellows, who are immersed in regenerative impact. 

Secure funding for regenerative projects and enterprises through stipends, seed or scaling grants to grow your impact.

The fact that big companies and business owners are willing to get involved in these particular issues, gives you the motivation and confidence that so many people are willing to get involved in things we care about.

2023 participant Jai Mistry

Learning partners

We welcome anyone delivering learning programmes within a school, university, adult learning or enterprise support setting. We are especially looking to support partners who work with excluded learners and entrepreneurs, and who are passionate about inspiring the next generation to lead initiatives that put people, places and planet at the heart of regenerative change.

Unleash your learners’ creativity on real-world missions, co-designed with purpose-driven industry partners.

Springboard your cohort’s talent and ideas by connecting them to jobs, funding opportunities, and mentorship from the RSA’s 31,000+ global Fellowship.

Develop your skills through continuing professional development opportunities and join our engaged global community, collaborating with peers and being inspired by regenerative teaching and learning experts.

Enhance your programme by accessing 8-, 12- and 24-week learning journeys for your pupils, students and cohort that can be easily integrated into your curriculums and that grow capabilities for life.

Strategic partners

For our Design for Life Awards, we are looking to partner with purpose-led organisations who are committed to social and environmental impact and those who put people, places and planet at the heart of their mission. Your brief will be central to our campaign:

Source creative ideas that are aligned with your organisational purpose. We work with you to co-design a mission-led brief around your R&D, ESG or EDI objectives, and open it up to creative responses from learners and entrepreneurs globally.

Invest in future talent as participants grow innovative capabilities for life, essential for the success of regenerative businesses.   

Engage your employees, customers and stakeholders meaningfully via mentoring, workshops and learning sessions.

Platform your brand and align your organisation with other purpose-driven organisations seeking to contribute to a more regenerative world.

The collaboration between Kew Gardens and the RSA offers students the unique opportunity to combine their creativity with wider real-world challenges and think holistically about the social need and the environmental impact of their designs. It also allows Kew and the RSA to nurture the next generation of designers and environmental stewards who will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of our planet.

Head of Programmes and Exhibitions, Kew Gardens Paul Denton

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