To develop, promote, and strengthen the knowledge and practice of Service Design in Chicago through accessible Service Design events. Since 2013, we have worked to grow the Service Design community here in Chicago through free or low cost meetups via Our meetup community has grown to over 500 members in Chicago. Forming an SDN chapter is the next stage in our growth as a Service Design community. 

Working in concert with the low barrier offerings of Service Experience Chicago, we envision SDN as a professional level community. Additionally, SDN members will receive discounted prices to Service Experience Chicago events to improve the value proposition for investing in a Professional SDN membership here in Chicago.


  • Share and grow Service Design through in-person and virtual events in Chicago, the midwest, and beyond.
  • Grow a network of executives, leaders and practitioners focused on Service Design that can sustain the need for talent in our city.
  • Promote community and connectedness through formal and informal gatherings such as panel discussions and workshops through the year.
  • Identify and connect organizations and top teir research institutions to SD leadership where SD can make a difference.


Goals for our first year

  • Hold regular chapter events using a mixture of in-person and remote activities. Building from our monthly meetups and quarterly Service Jams we will add professional workshops in order to grow our community to a more professional level while maintaining the low barrier of entry.
  • Broaden our reach in the Chicago community by reaching out to organizations and institutions to educate and inform them about Service Design through informal networks and our LinkedIn Group and SDN Chapter website.
  • Ensure we sustain a cross-disciplined community and approach to Service Design by inviting and including a variety of related disciplines and expertise in our membership and event content.
  • Connect with colleges and universities to encourage the formation of student members and groups. The goal of this effort is to inform them of the Service Design profession, to mentor their career development, help them engage the local community with Service Design initiatives, and guide them in building leadership skills to be valuable as the next generation of Service Designers.


Rich Ekelman
Rich Ekelman - Co-Founder, The Service Experience Academy

In 2013 I completed an MFA in Service Design at SCAD Motivation: I believe Service Design is a way to transcend design and business. I believe Service Design is uniquely equipped to handle the vast complexities involved with holistic design. The US is in terrible need of Service Design right now.

Pete Wendel
Pete Wendel - Founding Principal, PDW Consulting

Applies SD to behavioral systems design; engaged in both SD theory and practice for intergenerational health. SD is a catalyst for understanding and a key ingredient for changing organizations and systems. We need to empower more people with better ways to simplify complexity and humanize technology not just for a UI, but for the product-service ecosystem.

Ruben Ocampo
Ruben Ocampo - Founder, Conic

Consult in the space of Service Design to large corporations, with an emphasis of using it as a driver of organizational change and business results. In my practice, Service Design has become much more than an object of Design. It has become a way of diagnosing the organization’s relevance in the marketplace and to plot the future of an entire business, not just a few customer-facing functions.

Thomas Brandenburg
Thomas Brandenburg - User Experience Architect and Service Designer

I am always curious about how things come together or function and Service Design is a formalized approach that can be applied to the business world. It is a great mechanism that helps uncover current gaps and future opportunities for businesses while providing valuable insights that can be acted upon to thrive.