Emma Schalkers is a Service Design Consultant at Koos, the Dutch service design agency with the mission to use design to make the world better. With an empathic heart and strategic mind, Emma is committed to helping clients navigate complexity within the healthcare and sustainability industry. She believes that to foster responsible innovation, we shouldn’t think of technology as holding us back but our own resistance to change. Therefore, as a service designer, she likes to tackle the challenge of getting all stakeholders aligned in these complex projects.
In her quest for responsible design, she noticed that there is no change without accountabilities and a shared understanding. We need to have a common understanding of what it is we mean by positive change to be able to design for it. And ask ourselves questions like: “To what or for whom do we want to create a positive impact?” and “When do we know we have reached our goal?” To guide this process, she developed the Positive Impact Framework, a tool to discuss, make and measure positive impact.
Emma graduated from Delft University of Technology with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design Engineering and a Master’s in Strategic Product Design. Her interest in sustainability was mainly sparked during her minor and Honours track, which focused on sustainable product-service systems. In her spare time, she follows evening classes about philosophy and sociology.
'Designing for a better world - the Positive Impact Framework'
In the past decade, service design has proven to be useful in tackling the significant social and environmental challenges we face as humanity. Nowadays, more and more designers and companies are shifting their focus towards generating a positive impact on the world we live in. In doing so, we often face difficult questions when designing for positive change. Who will benefit from this positive change? When is something positive? How do we as designers deal with conflicting interests? Should we design an excellent service for a user that might trigger unhealthy long-term behaviour?... more >