Archive by Author | cechaffi

Young designer from Norway, experiments with using visualization tools and methods from service design thinking, to enhance engagement of previous prisoners and troubled youth

Caroline Chaffin, a Norwegian student who is about to graduate with an MBA degree in Service Innovation and Design, wanted to do something different for her Master thesis. With a previous background from Healthcare and Social entrepreneurship, she wanted to find a case company with a social purpose, which allowed her to work close with the end-users of the service offering. She states that: «When working as a social entrepreneur, nurse or service designer, what I find in common is being an ambassador for the end-users, and having the ability to create real value, for real people. This was a requirement when starting my thesis journey».

Caroline is an active networker and found the case company for her thesis, by attending the Norwegian Social Entrepreneurship conference, in Oslo February 2014. The conference was hosted by one of Norway’s largest investors within the field; FERD, and Monsterbedriften won the title as social entrepreneurs of the year.

Monsterbedriften is a Norwegian social entrepreneur, who wants to help former prisoners and people who have not completed their education, or have trouble getting work. Helping youth who are found among a marginalized group in the society, is an important target group, which has increased in Norway during the last decade.

Caroline used Monsterbedriften as a case company in her thesis, and the focus was on the internal customers. In the case company the internal customers are the staff, and can also be considered as end-users. This is argued by the company’s vision: to help as many people as possible get a new start in life and pay it forward, which emphasize giving staff, a life outside unemployment, drugs and criminality.

Monsterbedriften’s service offering towards internal customers involves work experience, housing, coaching and a family environment. Unlike traditional businesses where the service takes place during a specific time, the service offering in Monsterbedriften often becomes «the staff´s entire world», and they have their own values (Monsterbedriften values).

The title of Caroline’s thesis was: «Enhancing engagement of internal customers in a social business through extensive use of visualization». The purpose of her thesis was to enhance engagement of internal customers in a social business. The aim was to apply service thinking, service design methods and visualization tools for enhancement of customer engagement. The project took place from February-November 2014. An overview can be found in Model 1.

                                                                                  Model 1: Purpose and aim of thesis. 

thesis model .001

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Cross-cultural issues in Service Development

culture2  sami  culture3

Are you interested in different cultures, curios and want to get a deeper understanding of how you can tackle cross-cultural issues within service development? Laurea offers an elective course within this topic, which can be integrated in your MBA in Service Innovation and Design, and I highly recommend it!

The course consists of a group of students small enough to discuss, without the greatness of feeling intimidated. It also brings together people from different backgrounds, both students from different classes and students from different countries from all over the world. This creates a good arena to discuss and get real insight and case examples, which can vary a lot from where you come from.

The aim of this course is described as: “deeply understanding preferences and cultural needs, when offering services to customers and end-users from different cultures. Services are often offered globally, and this kind of understanding is described as “prerequisite” for effective Service Design”. In order to learn this, the study offers a theoretical basis of cultural perspectives, which is taught through assignments (individual and in groups), group discussions and lectures, a lot of them being guest lectures. We even had the opportunity to work on a real case for TAX Finland, which I found very motivating!

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Oslo Sustainability Jam 2013

Ever heard about jamming?  I hadn’t until I joined the Service Design Jam in March 2013 and ended up in the winning team with the idea ”Memorylanes” which we continued to work with for half a year later. This fall they expected 65 Sustainablity jams, on five continents, making this the biggest Global Sustainability Jam ever!

A jam is when people interested in the fields; Service Design, Sustainability, Public sector, etc. meets for an intensive 48-hour workshop to create brilliant ideas related to different “themes”, with people from different backgrounds and nationalities who they never met before! The word “Jam” is even found in the business world. “Innovation Jams” are used to facilitate gathering insight together with internal and external parties. The participants are encouraged to share everything they know and come up with new ideas together! (Doz et. al. 2008).


This year I was part of the brilliant Oslo team hosting this years Sustainability Jam. Oslo Jams took place for the first time in 2011, when Service Designer Ingvild Sundby took this worldwide concept to the capital of Norway. Since then she has been able to influence passionate people with diverse backgrounds that would devote their free time and be able to invite people to this amazing weekend of ideation and creation. Originally the jams was started in Germany by Adam Lawrence and Markus Hormess, which have mobilized a global network of “jammers”, hosts and support network in more than 350 cities, worldwide! You can read more at:

I want to share my experience as an organizer, and hope to influence more people to join this brilliant concept, either as “jammer”, an organizer, coach or even a sponsor! Next jam, is the Service Jam in the “7th of March weekend”, 2014.

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“Doing things differently” or “Doing different things”.

Innovation can either be doing things differently, or doing different things. Within the field of innovation people are now doing a lot of different things, but I would say its only done a little differently when speaking about areas such as “Employee driven innovation, “Service innovation”, “Sustainable innovation”, “Social innovation” and so on. This can be a bit of confusing, but Gijs van Wulfen founder and author of FORTH Innovation method has done a lot of great work on this area, and is telling us both when you should NOT innovate, and how you can use his 5 steps (shown on picture) to create attractive innovative products and services within a multidisciplinary team. On the very first contact session, starting my MBA in Service Innovation Design we did exactly that. Our multidisciplinary class formed teams of 4/5 people, using the FORTH innovation method on the following case: “Create new products or services for your university campus to make it a better place to be, learn and live”. Being an international exchange student, ideas easily popped up in my head!


Together with Gjis, Katja Tschimmel Researcher and Consultant in Creativity led us through the Design Thinking course. Katjas creative approach and her long experience and contribution within the field show clearly. Gjis and Katja met at a creative conference where they decided to team up. Gjis tells that he has a more “innovation and structure” focus, while Katja delivers the design thinking tools. “The best way to learn is not to listen, but to do it” (Gjis). Throughout the Design Thinking Course we did exactly that, we got the perfect combination of theoretically and practical work.

 “Highlights and eyeopeners”



Since this course took place over two days, I will not go in detail of every exercise, but highlight the ones that were new to me or made me think differently – “an eye opener”. We were a few exchange students in my group and therefore focused on “short-term housing options for exchange students”.

Based on working in teams within my previous Social entrepreneurship studies at University of Oslo, and working as a team on a start up I have really seen the importance of creating “good” collaborating teams that communicate well and know each other to a certain degree before starting a collaborating process. I therefore enjoyed Katjas exercises that introduced our multidisciplinary group. The picture to the left shows one of the exercises:

“Who are we”: I had to draw a team member, while another member wrote down interest and information on post-its as she was explaining them. All of these posters are still hanging in our classroom so we can look back at them to refresh our thoughts since we only see each other once a month!

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