Qi Global CEO, On Design, Innovation and Creating Good

The sprightly, bright-eyed Founder and CEO of Qi Global, Mette Kristine Outstrup— Kristine to those who know her—believes that design and innovation is moving towards a new direction. Traditionally, design and innovation have had a single purpose: to increase consumption amongst the growing wealthy classes. On the other hand, the non-profit sector was solely engaged in creating good for the have-nots. Kristine founded Qi Global wanting to discover what would happen if the two worlds collided to enable the toolboxes of design and innovation to create consumption and good in harmony with nature.

This yin and yang marriage would benefit a range of parties: for one, company employees would be imbued with a greater sense of pride in their work, turning employee smiles into happier management. Higher satisfaction would also translate to higher productivity, gaining more charming returns for shareholders. And the benefits do not end there.

The output of creations would go on to benefit our society as a whole. Kristine explains that Qi Global has created social impact projects in-house under the Qi umbrella. Through direct trade instead of more artificial market concepts like carbon credits, Qi’s projects aim to connect the top 10% of global consumers to the bottom 10% of producers, incorporating the notion of doing good into luxury goods and services.

Based in Singapore and connecting social innovators from Asia and the rest of the world, Qi’s endeavours have unleashed opportunities for Asia to leap frog on sustainable development, allowing governments and corporations to realise their abilities to be global leaders in the field.

Kristine says that Asia urgently needs to embrace sustainable development as the preferred path to develop her economies, or face more of what challenges the Western economy and current global political and social security.

Her vision: that the word sustainability will no longer be used because it has become ingrained as the norm. Design, innovation and development should not be an ‘either/or’ choice, but rather a collaborative journey that starts with one step towards a whole new system. A system dispensing with the tags of ‘kampong’, ‘hippie’ or ‘consumerist’; towards a new dimension that is Qi.