David Worthington may seem an unlikely champion of design. His quiet, self-effacing manner isn’t what you’d expect of a creative activist. But over the past few years he has done more than most to further the design cause, working tirelessly to boost skills and overall awareness.

Worthington’s day job is as chairman of Media Square’s Lloyd Northover Group, which underwent a restructure last year, integrating digital stablemate Twentysix London into the main business. He is also curator of the London Transport Museum’s design heritage gallery.

But it is his work on skills, now as chairman of the UK Design Alliance, that has earned Worthington a place in this year’s Hot 50. He has battled on for years to promote professional skills within design.

The mission of the UK Design Alliance, which is backed by the Design Council, is to link regional design networks. It is working on three projects relating to schools, universities and the design industry.

This joined-up approach promises to deliver a viable framework to an industry that has fragmented in recent years.

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