As individuals, businesses, and governments, it's in our nature to focus on the present. Being in tune with the now keeps us alert and aware of the potential opportunities as well as problems that lie in front of us. However, with so much in flux, we need to look further ahead. Despite the urgency of present actions, we shouldn't lose sight of long-term challenges. It's time to start designing a better future for all.

Designers and other creative thinkers possess a unique mindset and toolkit to empathise, pinpoint pain points, connect the dots, tell the story, visualise future scenarios and contribute to positive transformation by designing valuable products and services for people and the planet.

For the past centuries, organisations have primarily answered to a business model built on the 18th-century productivity canon, giving birth to new consumer behaviours and habits, and altering our relationship with each other and the planet. Still today, many organisations have yet to define holistic, longer-range strategies or continue to take ad-hoc approaches to value creation to fulfil the paradigm of an outdated productivity regime. In this rat race of quick wins and instant results, we tend to forget to carve out time for long-term thinking and value creation.

By looking at the big picture, we can design interventions, make small-step progress, experiment, anticipate and adjust, being patient but confident in the results. Drafting a plan and working towards our desired outcomes while staying true to ourselves and committed for the long haul.

Behavioural economists call it ‘hyperbolic discounting’. We assign almost no value to long-term effects in our decision making. How can we avoid the trap of focusing on short-term gains at the expense of long-term opportunities that positively contribute far beyond our customers? How do we zoom in and out of the current spiral and glimpse at the totality of the journey? How can we oversee long-term processes, think strategically, and prototype? And how do we steer our teams and organisations through the tyranny of the now?

We can be activists, rebels, leaders and dreamers of what the world could be. Let’s replace short-sighted plans with long-term visions. Trade quick profits for long-lasting success. Shift from persisting interactions to behavioural interventions. And act small by envisioning something bigger. The time is now to create value that can make that future happen.

The Service Design Days is a transdisciplinary conference for forward-thinkers and change-makers; strategists and practitioners, entrepreneurs and leaders, influencers and facilitators who are involved in product and service innovation and the (digital) transformation of organisations. The event focuses on human-centred design and connects strategic designers with business strategists and many other problem-solving minds.

SDD2022 will take place in Barcelona on Friday and Saturday, September 16 and 17. The program offers two days of insightful masterclasses and case studies, and new views and knowledge from experienced keynote speakers.

On Thursday, September 15, we will organise Open-door sessions in the city and host our famous welcoming Kick-off party.

Join us and gain new perspectives by meeting, listening, discussing, and learning from researchers, innovators, professors, design leaders, behaviourists, and other creative thinkers. Get inspired by the stories from small start-ups to large corporations. Practice creative and strategic thinking with approaches like design thinking, open innovation and systems thinking. And experience how design can contribute to human-centric problem solving and forward-thinking innovation and transformation.

How does LEGO add playfulness in exploring the future? What can we learn from Red Cross in how to find patterns in crises? What’s the secret of Polestar’s alignment with innovation? More than just stories for inspiration, these are some of the case studies that fill the SDD2022 conference agenda. Below you’ll find a selection of our speakers, lecturers and masterclass leaders. Creative thinkers who love to share their experiences with you.

Their fields of expertise span across the entire range of design disciplines and beyond. Amongst others, we have experts from the following areas: ethnography, anthropology, design thinking, social design, foresight, systems thinking, business design, experience design, and participatory design.

 how the SDD2022 program is taking shape.

Check out the full speaker list.

We are a transdisciplinary conference for change-makers, influencers, and decision-makers of small and large organisations, involved in product and service innovation, organisation transformation, and value creation through design. The conference is part of the Service Design College - a next generation design school that brings together strategic designers from around the globe to contribute towards a sustainable future by learning, sharing and co-creating together, through physical and online peer-to-peer learning activities.

One of the ways to boost transdisciplinary knowledge sharing and bring new insights and meaning to the world of design and beyond is by organising the annual Service Design Days. With our conference, we want to break silo thinking, combine our joint creativity, and contribute to common challenges. Together, we develop and promote design practices that positively contribute to solving 21st-century problems by enabling innovation, transformation, and personal growth.

Would you like to unleash your creativity, and tackle both small challenges and wicked, complex problems? Are you looking for new ideas, best practices and tools on how to innovate and transform in a human-centric, design-driven way? Join us!

Register for the Service Design College Campus and learn from researchers, innovators, professors, service designers, customer experience strategists and others.

Get inspired by stories from small start-ups to large corporates on how to reframe challenges and develop valuable solutions. Practice creative and strategic thinking with approaches such as foresight, open innovation and systems thinking. And experience how design can contribute to human-centric problem solving and forward-thinking innovation.

Together with Philips and in collaboration with IBM, IKEA and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation we organise the annual Student Service Design Challenge. This challenge is a unique and international design competition amongst students, celebrating excellence in service design. It is initiated by Philips Experience Design with the aim to challenge creative minds to envision service design concepts that matter based on an actual, tangible, real-life case they can relate to.

The competition is open to students worldwide who want to design engaging service solutions that are inclusive and sustainable, and address existing and urgent needs. Students are encouraged to work in multidisciplinary teams. The teamwork stimulate their collaborative creativity and excellence for a chance to win a 10-week design-in-residence as well as a monetary reward.

The global design competition is a unique opportunity for students to work with regarded experts in the fields of innovation, design research, social design, ux and service design.

The 2022 edition called student teams to design disruptive service solutions built on a collaborative and sharing model that positively contribute to the planet, its people and its resources.

See the challenge website for winners of the 3rd edition of the Student Service Design Challenge and take a look at the most inspiring service concepts of this and previous year's editions.

The Service Design Days conference has been organised since 2016. Previous editions have focused on how to ‘stay fit for the future’ (2016), ‘deliver value and be valuable’ (2017), ‘adapt to change’ (2018), ‘innovate for sustainable futures’ (2019), ‘a blended tomorrow - expanding design horizons with technology’ (2020), and ’new perspectives - breaking out of the design bubble’ (2021). As people’s needs and demands evolve, it is becoming more difficult for organisations to live up to the expectations of their customers, their employees, and society as a whole. Coping with continuous change, solving problems, and staying valuable are permanent challenges.

A mixed group of international experts has addressed these challenges. Their fields of expertise span across the entire range of disciplines under the Service Design umbrella and far beyond.

Watch a video impression below and read more about the past editions.