In today's world of immediate results and quick gains, senior executives' attention spans can be quite short. It's therefore challenging for design leaders to address this short-termism by questioning the status quo, instilling new strategic thinking, and envisioning a different path to cocreate long-term value. Much needs and can be done to improve upon and overcome today's key challenges and anticipate future ones.

After a successful inaugural edition in 2023, the Service Design College is organising a new edition of the Creative leadership summit in Barcelona on September 19-21 for and by design leaders from around the world to converse about these pressing topics.

Dedicated to unlocking servant leadership and translating ideas into impact, the leadership summit convenes creative leaders to connect, learn, build, discuss, share learnings and challenge the status quo

Leadership is a dynamic and complex process that requires those who lead to navigate ever-changing landscapes and design for the future. To be effective, you must be resilient, adaptable, and capable of embracing uncertainty. Anticipating change, staying ahead of the curve, and working collaboratively with diverse teams are essential qualities for leaders to possess in today's fast-paced world. Now more than ever, it's time to stand up, take action, and lead purposefully. 

Learn from peers and engage in conversations with academics and other experts in systemic design, change management, strategic foresight, and resilient, servant leadership, as well as design leaders who were or still are involved in leading change for good at renowned organisations around the globe. Find out more about these bold visionaries and download the syllabus on the Service Design College website. Register on time as seats are limited!

In 2023 we continued focusing on 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. We should feel a responsibility to restore and regenerate, to change our game, and contribute to a more promising tomorrow. It’s time for us, designers, to act and get out of our comfort zones; the future really needs us now.

We want to keep the spotlight on this topic, as we believe much needs and can be done to improve upon this urgent issue. And the best way to do so, with as many perspectives as possible, is by letting the discussion take place both online and physically on all continents. Today it's all about putting ideas into action. We cannot sit still anymore. We can dream about what the world could be, but we need to be activists and enablers of what the world should be.

To push ourselves beyond our limits and explore new possibilities, we are bringing this important topic to diverse communities. We hope to spark new perspectives and fresh ideas that will enrich our collective understanding of the challenges and opportunities we can create.

The 2023 host cities were: Milan, Buenos Aires, Singapore, Cardiff, Eindhoven and Nairobi. Read more here.

By hosting events in different parts of the world, we can learn from a wider range of experts and gain insights on how service design can be applied in different contexts for the long run. This will enrich the discussion and bring new views and insights to the table, ultimately leading to a powerful action plan on how to design for a better future. The 2024 host cities are: Nairobi (July 19), Buenos Aires (October 19), Singapore, Barcelona and Eindhoven. Keep an eye on this website or subscribe to our newsletter for dates and registration!

SDD conferences are transdisciplinary gatherings for by and with changemakers, influencers, and decision-makers of small and large organisations, involved in product and service innovation, organisation transformation, and value creation through design. They are 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.

The way to boost transdisciplinary knowledge sharing and bring new insights and meaning to the world of design and beyond is by organising the Service Design Days Satellite events. With these events, 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 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. Practise 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, IBM, ISDIN, Laerdal, 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 aims to challenge young 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. Teamwork stimulates collaborative creativity and excellence for a chance to win Design Incubator Prizes, service design support programs to receive guidance from the Challenge Partners and other experts who can help the winning team further prototype and optimise their concept along the route to success.

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 current 5th edition of the Student Service Design Challenge focuses on designing services that turn the tide for good. The global competition is open to design students enrolled in an accredited design school or university.

Visit the challenge website to view the winners of the previous editions.

The Service Design Days conferences have 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), ’new perspectives - breaking out of the design bubble’ (2021) and 'shifting the paradigm - tackle short-termism and create value for the long run’ (2022 and 2023). 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.