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Hacking in the future

I participated for four nights to Digia’s API Hackatemia, the acronym API referring to Application Programming Interface i.e. how you can access either data or system of a company or system. The Hackatemia was a four-day event for technical and business development experts joining forces to learn about APIOps® Cycles, an open source method developed by Digia and in addition to learning, 16 teams were competing in developing products, services and APIs to meet the consumer or society needs.

The ideation phase was like service design, just ideating crazy ideas and then funneling them into a concrete service.  I would argue that with APIs you create services in the way service dominant logic defines a service. The physical object is just a mean to access the service being that formed of data and /or devices. As a matter of fact, the end user does not even need to think what the thinking process has predecessed the end-result.

The logic in API thinking builds naturally on loosely coupled networks. You can call the others as partners, service providers or clients but without ecosystem thinking it would be challenging to utilize or benefit of the APIs.

The API canvas has a lot of similarities with Business model canvas and Service Business Model Canvas. As the logic was easy to capture based on service design thinking it was also easy to start thinking about the business model to be created.

One thing I am missing or which I would like to learn more is how to illustrate or document the revenue stream on one-slider or as a picture. Of course, one can create an own picture, but a template would help. I would like to see this also on service business model canvas as that is needed to have a go.

Most of the solutions used artificial intelligence and varied from follow-up systems to elderly to remote health control and health personnel appointment. Our solution was called Google Fridge addressing climate change by diminishing food waste. By scanning the batch codes from the product, the fridge warns the consumer two days before the expiry date and proposes recipes to utilize the ingredient. The software does in addition the shopping and compares the shopping basket prices so that the consumer gets the best bargain.

Hackathon

I truly had fun during these four nights. I do not ‘speak’ the languages the coders do as I always thought that a python is a snake, but Java Python is hot in artificial intelligence scene.

To sum up the event a key learning is that you need a diverse set of people to work on APIs. The business developers need to be there to design the business model and the tech people to make it all happen. Diversity is truly a beauty.

 

 

Showcasing Nordic Service Design – Collaboration and Empathy as Strengths

How is Nordic Service Design different from other Service Design? This was a question that was answered at the premiere of the Nordic Service Design documentary hosted by OP, a Finnish banking and insurance company.

In addition to the documentary there were several presentations from leading Finnish Service Design firms. Tim Hall from Fjord brought in an outsider’s perspective and explained how he thought Nordic Service Design differed from that done in other countries.

Native of the UK, Hall had experienced the UK as the center of the world. After arriving in Finland he realized that the difference was that the Nordics were smaller countries with smaller populations that were eager to co-operate with each other and others. The command of English also comes to play.

Hall told that Fjord often gets asked for a Nordic Service Designer for projects. He said it’s not really about nationality but about perspective. There is more empathy in the Nordics.

According to Hall, at the moment people are starting to get the need for Service Design, because companies are struggling to connect with customers. Service Design has risen from the micro level to macro level – designing business.

Threats are the push for speed and the proliferation of Service Design.

“The less educated have a design thinking workshop and they think that’s the design done. That’s wrong”, Hall said.

Proliferation of Service Design is a threat because it might become a management fad.  Therefore we need to fight for craft.

“Underlying need and curiosity will prevail. We are bridging the gap of the digital and the physical world.”

For more about Nordic Service Design, watch the documentary below. The documentary was made by the Nordic chapter of the Service Design Network.

The author Noora Penttinen is a journalist and a recent Service Design student who believes in creative chaos and thinks that best ideas appear at four in the morning.

Service is the new value. Most interesting case studies from SDN conference (2017)

Service design is creating a new mindset. After SDN Global Conference in Madrid and case studies of new services we can acknowledge that this specific approach to build organisations and their DNA and offer for customers is spreading the word. In this post I want to show most interesting cases from SDN conference to memorise this time and SDN awards winners and those honourable mentioned.

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10 years of service design (in the eyes of Service Design Network conference, 2017)

Creating a common language, implementation as the key action, service design as a internal capacity and scaling the service design – these are 4 most important directions for the service design for the future after summary of 10 years at Service Design Global Conference which happened this week at Madrid.

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Scaling service design

Day one of 10th global service design networks conference kicked off today  by a presentation how to scale service design in government and was ended by the afternoon´s breakout sessions concentrated in social innovation and people power. Louise Downe started by going through themes emerged inside the last 10 years in the field of service design (SD).  Focus has moved from the legitimacy of service design and how to define, what service design is all about, into scaling service design. But still, even today, legitimacy of SD is still recognized as a common problem organizations face, when they start applying service design. Free tip Louise gave- don´t waste your time on this, focus on doing it.  kuva sdn

Louise  and other keynote speakers made really good points by highlighting that the fast pace of technology development has outstripped the speed of design. Design can´t keep in the pace of technology development. It´s not about designer´s ability to design services, but about the ability to scale the design as the transformation is never done. Therefore it´s critical to understand, there are no big fixes, but many little things to be combined. When you scale SD, all the little things become bigger and ultimately the end result and experience can go completely wrong. Continue reading

 

A story about Swiss Mountains, Children and the Need for Design Thinking in Education

I would like to tell you a story about my younger son. He just turned five years old a week ago and has an older broder who will turn seven at the end of this month. From time to time during summer time I just so sleep outside in a tent with them. Because of the summer sun, the tent sometimes heats up to more than 35 degrees Celsius. Stepping into the tent in the evening my younger son realized that it is much warmer in the upper part of the tent then in the lower part. IMG_0052Telling me about his recognition I proudly explained the physical law about warm air going up and cold air remaining low to my five year old. So far so good, I felt good being able to teach my son such a fundamental physical law at the age of five. Some weeks later, I went on a three day hiking tour with my sons in the Swiss mountains and we hiked up to 2`800 meters above the sea. There we found ourselves in the middle of snow and ice and my sons were glad I had some warm jackets for them in my backpack. Three months later by chance my son asked me: “Mom, why is it colder up in the mountain even we come closer to the sun by going up? And anyway, you told me that warm air is going up!” I now skip my no so well prepared answer…

And how is this story related to Design Thinking?

I am sure by now you wonder why I am telling this storyIMG_0053.PNG and how it is related to design thinking. It`s simple, imaging my son would have packed his backpack by himself with the knowledge he had due to the tent experience and the physical law I taught him. He might have ended up on top of the mountain as an icicle in his bathers!

I am afraid to say, that according to the book of Idris Mootee “Design Thinking for strategic innovation” (2013) that’s exactly where (big) companies are heading to because of their leading managers. Idris Mootee does not say that they will be hiking in the mountain but she points out that they will get stuck and frozen and will not be able to keep up with this fast changing world, which is throwing many wicked problems into their face. “Given the speed of change today, extrapolating from the past could lead companies down a dangerous path,” says Idris Mootee (2013; 54) – because “new challenges have no history” she adds.

The Need for Design Thinking in Education

In her book, Idris Mootee states that future IMG_0054.PNGmanagers should focus on value creation more then on value capture. She explains that until now management education theories and tools focus on value-capturing efforts and reveals in an impressive way why design thinking is exactly what future managers should learn so they can lead companies into the future in a new and creative manner so they can face the wicked problems coming.

Good news! I am happy to tell you that several Design Thinking researchers have already started to think about how Design Thinking could be integrated into education:

So let’s do it!!

The author Mirjam Pfenninger is a SID student & Research Associate at Zurich University of Applied Sciences – Institute of Facility Mangement. She is strongly convinced that Design Thinking should be applied to teaching at ZHAW and all over the world.

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