© 2020 Service Design Academy
Think on this. 2 out of 3 children starting school in 2020 will be in jobs that don’t yet exist. Tech beyond imagination, increased global competition, yo-yo economies and unpredictable employment trends all mean the education sector needs to adapt constantly. The new reality of Covid-19 makes the future of education even more uncertain and complex.
Educators are looking to move from learning models sometimes created back at the time of the Industrial Revolution. There is a thirst to improve teaching, identify efficiencies and deliver value to their students. Educational institutions are becoming more reflective in searching for the best ways to improve student experience in schools and throughout wider communities too.
#SDinED started with the vision of three women. They shared one goal – make the learning journey an enjoyable experience for all. They saw a future where education is co-designed and co-delivered collaboratively by students, staff and wider stakeholder groups.
Co-Founders Jean Mutton (Go Process Design), Radka Newton (University of Lancaster), and Katie Murrie (Service Design Academy)
They found people like them, committed to change education for the better. With this growing network, they co-created their first gathering. A proto-type agenda to make the future of education better was proposed.
The Meeting of Minds
Radka remembers their first face to face meeting “Katie is the tornado that we enjoy swirling around with. Our first meet up gave us loads of energy and tons of confidence that we could pull of something big and significant”
Radka continues, “Those couple of days together in Dundee with a zest to keep going. All of a sudden we felt so much stronger and more confident to let the whole world know about our ideas and our plans for the future.”
By working hard to a build presence on social media, talking about their goals and keeping in constant contact, before they knew it, SDinED had over 100 subscribers globally.
Katie explains, “The most important part of building a network? To keep learning more and more about the education challenges of our new #SDinED friends. These all make us hungry to share our triumphs and failures, so that the network is useful and relevant. This can only make positive change for learners, educators and wider communities”
Jean shares her thoughts on the partnership
“The Service Design Academy is the centre of Katie’s world. And what a world that is. It makes you want to jump, change the world, shout about it and smile. The SDA team are kind and committed. They have provided our network with unconditional support from the start which has been absolutely paramount for our growth.”
The pandemic meant new digital tools were found to deliver major events online for over 100 people. Social distancing created an opportunity to reach out, learn to facilitate and interact with people all over the UK and the world. This growing scope and scale of opportunity made the three warriors realise that they needed support to meet demand.
The Service Design Academy, will take SDinED under its wing to provide more structure and operational support, and a platform that offers potential to keep on growing,
Together, Service Design in Education and the Service Design Academy, feel that we will be able to reach out to more complex levels of the education sector in the UK and globally to make a real impact, to continue to actively improve the world of education for all.
The Learning Team from V&A Dundee, Scotland’s first design museum, was part of the first #SDinED meeting and they’ve been great friend ever since. They encouraged the ambition to run a design weekend in the spirit of, and inspired by, the Global Jams Family. Jams are open, collaborative creative space to explore ways to try out design-based approaches to problem solving and building networks. You can see other Jams in action here
Before the Service Design Academy was established, Dundee & Angus College helped to launch and deliver an explosively creative and influential event for the city, in collaboration with Open Change.
Eighty people with an interest in public services came together at Dundee’s first ever Gov Jam, making it the largest Jam in the world that year with 23 local organisations and authorities, spanning healthcare, education and cultural sectors.
Taking place in Dundee and 20 other cities across the world, between 16-18 May 2017, ‘Jammers’ had ‘48 hours to rock the public sector’. A Jam is simply a group of people getting together who want to change the world over 2 days.
By propelling themselves out of their comfort zones, this a discovery of service design for the Jammers, many of whom we still work closely with today.
What they did
Arriving with a willingness to embrace service design principles and process, our GovJam teams co-created ten meaningful service ideas and prototypes for service improvement. These were then documented, taken back to the office and shared widely. The purpose was making things in the public sector work better and encouraging other colleagues to adopt this hands-on approach to their work.
What they said
During the two day period of fun but intensely productive jamming, participants shared some critical learning points:
“Test your assumptions and learn from failure, instead of trying to hide it!”
“We don’t need to strive for perfection all the time, it’s okay to make mistakes.”
“Creativity, communication and collaboration is key.”
All of these insights proved to be the founding sentiments to something wonderful for the future.
Dundee GovJam has continued in the years since 2017 and you can see some snippets of action unfolding at #DNDGovJam.
What happened next
Global GovJam grabbed the attention of its hosts at Dundee and Angus College. The College’s senior team had the ambition to take what was a good place to learn and work and make it great. They held a wealth of data on every element of college life from attainment to health and well-being. Priceless diamonds of insight from students and staff were now needed to bring this data to life.
Good to Great
The Service Design Academy was jolted into life at the college to facilitate workshops and projects across its campuses.
Dundee and Angus College’s Good to Great project was about changing the culture, outlook and mindset of the college. Discovery workshops with over 400 staff and students identified key themes – Recruitment, Retention, Digital, Learning and Teaching, and Customer Experience. These themes were underpinned by over 40 projects. You can read more about the projects here.
One of these projects – Campus Help Points – contributes to ongoing improvement in learner retention. In 2019 Help Point staff contacted 338 students who did not return to study from the October break. From this exercise 90% of those learners were supported back into class and 22 of those students are now accessing support services to enhance and back their learning journey.
Dundee and Angus College has become a great college. This transformation powered by data and driven by service design was rewarded in 2018 with the prestigious Campbell Christie Award for Public Service Reform.
Filling the gap
The Good to Great project gave strong evidence on the transformational impact service design mindset and approach can make. The next natural step was to harness the knowledge and skills of the core Service Design Academy team into creating a programme of learning. Service design training and education was nothing new. There were many service design courses out there, ranging from respected but lengthy and expensive Masters level courses to short online introductions.
We saw there was something missing – a course that would give learners the skills and confidence needed to make improvement in their organisations regardless of their role, level or sector. Many organisations saw the need to build service design capacity but didn’t know how to do that with education they could trust?
We practice what we teach
The SDA team worked flat out to develop our Professional Development Award (PDA) course content and delivery methods. Again we worked with Open Change to do this, their experience was vital in bringing together an introductory programme which would fill the gap in the market that so many organisations and individuals needed. Taking the principles of co-design to heart, the learning was tested with a pioneer group to ensure that learning needs were met. And, it was fun to do. It was important that Dundee and Angus College’s teaching values were met, and we ensured that our content and assessment would meet the strict requirements of the Scottish Qualification Authority.
Almost 100 delegates have graduated with our PDA so far. Learners come from all over the UK, overseas, from every sector and a wide range of industries. They return directly to the workplace to drive innovation in live projects. Council colleagues have worked to make digital services more accessible or to understand what the community needs in local hubs. Third sector teams have used their learning to develop new services. Colleagues in law firms have returned to improve customer journeys. Many have also found and secured new career opportunities from the confidence and skills our PDA gives.
Moving into a new era of delivering fully interactive online delivery, more delegates from all over the world will join us. They’ll discover how service design can transform, building their skills and capacity for innovation back in the workplace. And we’ll continue to understand how to improve experience by listening to what they have to say.
You can watch and listen too how they feel about our courses here Delegate diaries
To get to where we are has taken a huge amount of support from delegates, customers and the service design community. We’d like to thank:
Professor of Service Design
Köln International School of Design
Founder The Service Design Show
Adam St John Lawrence
WorkPlayExperience and Founder of GlobalGovJam
Chief Design Officer
The Scottish Government
Professor Jeanette Paul
Deputy Dean & Associate Dean for Learning & Teaching
Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, University of Dundee
Programme Director, Product Design (MSc)
Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, University of Dundee
The V&A Dundee team
Dundee UNESCO City of Design
You can connect and learn with lots of interesting design thinkers on twitter
When the Service Design Academy was awarded full accreditation from the Service Design Network we were thrilled. Months of hard work to meet their demanding criteria had paid off. Then realisation sunk in. Not only had we achieved this accolade, but as the very first organisation in the world to do so. This is something we feel proud of. It’s a defining moment in our history.
It’s so important to us to receive this endorsement because for nearly two decades the Service Design Network has led the field in the development of service design education. They are the Service Design body that drives service design thinking. They inspire thousands of people and organisations to improve services to make lives better.
Our consultants had to complete the SDN’s rigorous assessment process to show that the quality of their service design knowledge and delivery skills is world class.
SDA lead consultant Katie Murrie achieved SDN Master Trainer Accreditation with consultants Chris Muir and Dr Jo McNicoll SDN Trainer Accreditation. They join a select pool of certified trainers equipped to deliver the highest quality of service design training on a global-wide scale. They attend inner circle SDN events and are offered opportunities that allow them to further develop their professional skills.
What’s more, as an international educational provider of service design content, we’re now part of the SDN Academy . An educational initiative introduced by SDN and executed in tandem with the global community of SDN-Accredited Trainers and Master Trainers. In the years to come thought leaders and delegates will come from all over the world to our centre of excellence in Dundee. They’ll offer a series of continuing education courses for seasoned practitioners and service design newbies alike.
SDN and SDA are committed to advancing practitioner knowledge. Together we’ll share insights on the latest tools, methods and techniques to shape the future of our industry.
Our courses have undergone extensive audit to ensure that they follow state of the art learning in service design. This includes the latest knowledge in both theory and practice. We provide regular reactions from delegates to SDN. Our curriculum is frequently reviewed and improved based on feedback and developments within the field.
We believe that listening to our customers and learning from industry experts is the only way for us to make the best possible impact. SDN president and chair Birgit Mager has been our critical friend, offering guidance, encouragement and inspiration.
From meeting us in Amsterdam Birgit was convinced that SDA had the potential to lead in the global service design education community. We were determined to do this by focusing on:
Through working to these goals in SDN’s Organisational Accreditation initiative, the SDN has acknowledged that we’ve reached a leading level of knowledge and quality in education in the service design community.
We’ve come this far in a relatively short time. Our growth has come from not forgetting our service design principles and values. We’ll also be reminded of them as we continue to facilitate change and innovation.
The impact that we make for organisations and our world first SDN full accreditation is validation for the effort we have made to offer quality and unique learning experiences. We are proud of how we have grown, and also incredibly grateful for the support and learning we have been given from our friends across the Service Design community. We couldn’t have done it without you.
We are particularly grateful to all our delegates and the organisations we have worked with. We look forward to many more inspiring collaborations in the future.
Our thanks go to the accreditation committee for all their guidance and support:
The Service Design Academy is no different from any organisation having to make rapid change in the past few months.
We lost our way during the crisis. We’ll hold our hands up – ashamedly we forgot our service design roots.
We were reacting. We were making assumptions. We were in very real danger of delivering fast solutions, but not great solutions.
There was only one impressive development – Chris’s lockdown moustache which entertained us no end during daily Teams Meetups!
We drew breath, we sat back and put our foot on the brake
Back to the drawing board
We got back on track by doing User Research. We reached out to our networks. We surveyed future learners. We listened to critical friends.
Like many others remote learning, or rather remote facilitation, wasn’t at the top of our skill set. We learned the hard way. We joined workshops from a variety of providers. Some gave us hope, while others made us feel doubtful/less inspired. Where trainers had simply moved their face to face format online, we quickly got bored, stiff and sore. Let’s face it, no matter how engaging the topic 6 hours in front of a laptop does not make for a good learning experience! We didn’t want to deliver this lacklustre experience. Service Design is such a hands-on, learn by doing exercise, we fretted over how to make this work remotely.
One of our partners we turned to was Andy de Vale. Andy’s company Workvisible has been delivering remote workshops for up to 400 people for some time. He’s an expert in his field. Andy was also creating a Remote Facilitation Workshop, so we jumped at the chance to Beta Test his model. Andy taught us so much over two weeks. How to really engage remote learners. The preparation that must go into online workshops. The value of a buddy when you’re learning remotely. How bringing an element of competition engages everyone and builds you a toolkit at the same time! And most importantly, we learned a lot about how to use online collaboration tools well.
The journey with Andy was insightful and rewarding. Andy’s visual facilitation skills give a deeper level of understanding than the written word. It’s a joy to watch him at work.
We took the unusual step of bringing clients and other educators, from Dundee & Angus College where we are based, into our learning. This allowed us to upskill and gauge reactions from people we’d worked with in the past, hear their views and get their feedback on what our new learning should look like.
Andy’s learning, like ours, is a ‘learn by doing’ approach and as part of his course we designed, developed and tested online workshops. We delivered around 20 workshops and networking events to test various tools and techniques.
With people logging on from all over the globe, you tap into endless possibilities for bringing together diverse people, cultures, communities, and cities that expand the learning opportunities based on unique experiences and perspectives.
And finally, we’re taking our learning to the test track. We’ve recruited a group of individuals with varying knowledge and skills willing to test the learning before we go live. Our curriculum will be improved based on that feedback and, as always, on developments within the field of service design.
We’re in a strong position now to take our foot off the brake by welcoming our first online PDA cohort in September. We’ll continue to listen to our customers and learn from industry experts. It’s the only way for us to make the best possible impact and deliver the best possible learning experience.