Service Design Global Conference is coming to Amsterdam this year

Service Design Global Conference Amsterdam

Service Design Global Conference is coming to Amsterdam this year

The 9th edition of the Service Design Global Conference (SDGC) will take place on 27 and 28 October 2016 in the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam. With more than 600 guests, four keynote speakers and a network from 42 countries, the two-day conference is a leading annual event for the global service design community. The SDGC is organized by the Service Design Network and took place in 2008 in Amsterdam for the first time. Since then, the conference has taken place in other design cities such as San Francisco, Stockholm, New York and Paris.

Service Design Global Conference

The SDGC is a premier annual international service design conference; a design discipline concerned with shaping services. Returning to Amsterdam after eight years, the conference consists of two vibrant days of inspiring lectures and intense break-out sessions under the title 'Business as Unusual'. SDGC participants gain direct access to a global network of professionals and researchers who are leaders in service design. The conference, which welcomes both novice and experienced service designers as well as professionals from other disciplines, will present examples of the most successful international projects and offer hands-on workshops on service design implementation in various sectors. Two of the keynote speakers are:

  • BMW's Head of User Experience Holger Hampf will talk about how the digital world is increasingly merging with the automotive world and how it represents one of the biggest opportunities for the automotive industry.
  • Renowned service design manager Paula Bello from Livework will talk about developing in-house service design competencies in large companies. She will discuss a successful case she realized when she was the first service design manager at Kone, the world leader in the elevator and escalator industry.

Participants receive a program with more than 22 hours of presentations and workshops from both the Dutch and the international service design community. The full program and list of speakers will be announced in September.

Westergasfabriek SDGC16 venue

Service Design Professor of the International School of Design in Cologne and Chair of SDN Birgit Mager: “In the past year, the service design field has made a huge leap and international companies have experienced the added value of service design. The amount of in-house departments is growing significantly and organizations are reaping the benefits of applying service design at a strategic level. The Netherlands has an active and innovative service design community with advanced service design. There are groundbreaking educational programs at, for example, Maastricht University, TU Delft and numerous internationally recognized organizations, making it an obvious choice for the conference to take place in Amsterdam this year.

Service Design Award

In addition to the program of speakers and workshops, SDGC will host the Service Design Award, announcing winners from three categories. The finalists' entries will be presented in an on-site exhibition, providing insight into the most successful service design projects completed in the past year. Previous winners include Designit from the 'Non-Profit/Public' category. They realized a project for Oslo University Hospital that reduced the waiting time for breast cancer patients with 90%. More information about previous winners can be found at

General information

The ticket sale for SDGC on October 27 & 28 is started. SDN is a community created to advance the practice of service design. It also organizes two pre-program events on October 26: a Young Talent Day and an SDN Members Day. More information about SDN membership and the conference pre-program is available on the site.

About Service Design Network

The Service Design Network is recognized as the global leader in advancing the practice of service design. Through events, knowledge sharing, news, case studies, publications, trend reports, an Award program and local 'Chapters' hubs, the organization strives to both support service design professionals and create awareness about the field. The SDN community represents professionals and students and is augmented by a significant online community of over 30,000 people. SDN currently has 18 'Chapters' around the world.

About Service Design

Service design is a design discipline that deals with the design of services. From a customer-oriented vision, service designers work on improving services with the aim of increasing value for both the customer and the service provider. Service design is a relatively young discipline that originated about 20 years ago. With the current exponential growth of complex, often digitally managed services in combination with the recognition of the customer experience as a positive differentiator, service design is growing and evolving at a rapid pace.

Service design can be applied by small and large organizations; in government, healthcare and the wider public sector. Initially, service design was applied in agency-client environments, but nowadays service design activities are increasingly carried out in-house. Companies recognize the ability of service design as an accelerator for innovation and as a tool for adopting an 'outside-in' mindset. Service design shares the same customer focus of related disciplines, such as User Experience design (UX) and customer experience (CX) and therefore reaches many facets of an organization; from marketing and strategy to IT and innovation.

SDN Board Member Jesse Grimes: “The impact of service design is greater than ever. Service designers bear more responsibilities, because they not only shape the customer experience, but also work on the employee experience and the strategy of the organization as a whole. Service design contributes to increasing and transformational change within government, public sector, non-governmental organizations, healthcare, education and much more. Furthermore, service design techniques are applied in a wide range of activities from policy making to enterprise design strategy and from innovation to the world of startups.”



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