In line with the last year’s conference theme, we will continue 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 4 different continents. What’s more, this year is 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 host cities are: Milan (April 19, 2023), Buenos Aires (July 15, 2023), Singapore (September 27, 2023), Eindhoven (October 28, 2023) and Nairobi (TBD).

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. Keep an eye on this website or subscribe to our newsletter for the latest information on the SDD Satellites and how to participate!

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.

This counts even more for design leaders. Effective creative leadership means always thinking about what's next and having a keen sense of what the organisation needs to thrive in the long run while bearing in mind social and environmental responsibilities.

To achieve these goals, you must take risks and engage in partnerships for change that can help drive innovation and create positive impact. This requires a deep understanding of the ecosystem in which the organisation operates and a willingness to challenge assumptions, embrace new perspectives, and pivot as circumstances dictate.

This can be a challenging task when you are the only person in your organisation with this level of expertise. Design leaders often find themselves feeling lonely and disconnected from their peers, with no one to turn to for a simple chat, advice or support. Although it’s great that design is getting a strategic seat at the table and has a say on how to tackle complex, interconnected challenges, being the voice of people - let alone the planet - isn’t always appreciated and often considered too activist.

However now, more than ever, it's time to stand up, take action, and make change happen. That is why this year we are organising a special Service Design Days edition for creative leaders on September 15 and 16. Not online, but physically in Barcelona, to have as many inspiring encounters as possible.

Have look at the program and growing line-up and take advantage of the Early Bird sales period we have set up.

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 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 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 and aims 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. Teamwork stimulates collaborative creativity and excellence for a chance to win a Design Incubator Prize, a 10-week service design support program to receive guidance from the Challenge Dragons 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.

Visit the challenge website to view the winners of the 3rd edition who were called to design disruptive service solutions built on collaborative and sharing models that positively contributed to people, planet and its resources.

The 4th edition of the Student Service Design Challenge is already underway, focusing on designing services that build resilience, safeguard and improve individual and social wellbeing. The competition is open to design students currently enrolled in an accredited design school or university.

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