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SDA Insights Vol 7 focuses on the Service Design Global Conference which took place on Thursday 21 & Friday 22 October. The newest member of our team, Robbie Beautyman, was a SDGC Conference newbie. We asked him about his favourite talks, key takeaways, and personal impressions of this year’s event.
I found the SDN Global Conference to be an amazing experience on many different levels. It was great to be surrounded by hundreds of like-minded individuals – albeit virtually. You could feel a sense of camaraderie in the air between the speakers, MC’s and attendees in the chat function which is no mean feat to achieve online.”
Cat Drew, Chief Design Officer at Design Council kicked off the event. Cat’s role brings together architecture and the built environment, public sector design and business innovation to support people live healthier, happier lives.
Cat’s keynote was a real highlight for me. It set the tone for the rest of the conference. I particularly enjoyed the section around using trees as infrastructure, including them as main stakeholders within cities alongside humans, especially her example of Melbourne giving 70,000 trees identification numbers to enable citizens to email them (and receive replies!).”
Cat insisted that service design can have a positive impact on the planet if we start to bring the planet to the table as a main stakeholder. The numerous examples, data and insights from across the world included in Cat’s talk was phenomenal! From the caulibox takeaway containers to recycled industry material slow fashion bags.
“If you aren’t designing for the planet, what planet are you on?”
I tuned in to Florie Remond’s talk – Planet Centred Service Design. Florie works to raise awareness of eco-design in the field of services and helps companies to align their strategy and their services with their values and those of their customers.
Next up I joined Zeynep Falay von Flittner’s workshop. Zeynep discussed changes organisations need to make when transforming towards sustainability, arguing that organisations can no longer rely on good customer experience, now it’s more than that, sustainability is important, and we must stop thinking about the planet as an external factor and start thinking about the human/planet relationship.
I first thought 20-minute talks would be the perfect length; enough time to get the speaker’s point across but not too long to lose attention. The latter was true, but this top-level approach often left me hanging, wishing there was more in-depth information about the speaker’s research. The fact that I was left wanting more meant I was then inclined to go away and do my own research on the topic, so in this respect, these ‘taster sessions’ into each topic served their purpose very well.
The conference was very well facilitated on Brella. As an attendee, I found it very easy to navigate and thought the chat and poll functions were very useful. The ability to upvote other attendee’s questions during Q&A sessions was a great feature too. Since there were people with such a wide variety of experience streaming the conference, they often asked questions I would not have thought of personally but was still interested to hear the answer to.”
Design Council: Design for Plant, 10th & 11th November 2021
A landmark festival to galvanise and support the UK’s design industry t commit to a sustainable, climate-first future. This 2-day event will give a platform for visionaries across the sector who are leading the way in sustainability and climate action and will support others in the industry to prioritise the welfare of our plant in their work.
SDA’s Professional Development Award in Service Design
Applications are open for our PDA in Service Design starting in January 2022. We’re created a short overview video that talks you through. If you’d like to talk to one of our Consultants about any aspect of the study, use our Contact Form or call us on 01382 448868. Delegates from a huge range of backgrounds have successfully completed the Award.