ServDes Day #1

I'm currently at ServDes 2016, the Service Design and Innovation Conference, and there is just so much going through my mind. To alleviate this and make sure I can follow up on at least some of these ideas, I'll present a disconnected series of paragraphs summarizing my day. If one of them caught your interest, please send a comment or an email and I'll be happy to elaborate!

The conference is organized around a nifty set of graphical elements signifying the centres, tectonics, fringes, paths, transformations, and private and public spaces. Especially interesting was the idea that the core topics of the field seem to be "Service Innovation", "Design thinking" and "Service-Dominant Logic". The division feels intuitive: creating new services and ways to provide service, inspiring creative and divergent approaches that focus on creating solutions, and applying a service-oriented way of seeing things in the larger context.

However, this didn't capture the great opening keynote by Chistian Boson about service design in the public sector. The keynote started with the question "Why doesn't the better solution always disrupt the older ways of working?" Christian shared that the public sector seemed to be good at running service design experiments and even projects, but that governments are facing huge difficulties in enacting change in the large scale way of working. The challenges he elaborated on captured the huge challenges of changing organizations and ways of working service design is only recently starting to tackle. Maybe this will spin off and area such as strategic design further away form service design, or maybe the field will transform itself. 

Christian Boson also described a dichotomy of management vs. design. Whereas management is about finding the optimal decision, design is about creating the best possible solution. This actually made me connect design thinking with systems thinking as the empathic/analytical sides of the same coin.