Growing a community

One of the things I’ve always loved about Service Design is that it’s not just a profession, it’s a community. Across the globe one can find a network of self-starters promoting Service Design and Design Thinking in all of its human-centered glory. These are the people planning Global Service Jams, conferences, Service Design Network chapters and creative cooperatives. And, these plans are usually just the beginning, mere tools forged by modern-day pioneers to ignite the fire of a new way thinking and a new way of doing.

2016 ushered in a new year of opportunity for service design. Now, in this sixth month as we gear up for summer holidays is a great time to reflect on what we’ve accomplished and look forward to rest of the year to come.

In February, four SID Laurea students representing Spain, Germany, Hungary and America made waves on the Island of Ibiza, Spain by hosting its first ever Global Service Jam. Before the event, 85% of attendees had never worked directly with design thinking and nearly half of those had not even heard of it. After the event, a small but tight-knit community began to form on the island and has begun to meet regularly; a Jam sponsor and attendee is applying Design Thinking to develop a new service for her business; and a consulting team is adapting it’s working style, inspired by the collaborative and Design Thinking based Jam environment.

Since 2014 a small group of design thinkers in Tampere, Finland began meeting over lunch. There wasn’t an official group for Service Designers in the city, we thought there should be! That spark ignited and grew during a series of Service Design Meetups in January, March and May into an SDN Finland – Tampere City Team. The team will pick back up after the holiday season in Finland, sure to welcome new topics, case studies and connections.

Where have you seen our humble community grow in the first half of 2016? And, maybe more importantly, where will you help it grow?

Ann Padley
Service Innovation and Design MBA Student

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