Celebrating Service Design Day 2021

SDN Finland celebrated the special day June 1st big this year.

SDN Finland celebrated the special day June 1st big this year. The day was kicked off with an Instagram take over. Four service designers shared their stories of their workdays on the chapter Instagram: Harri Nieminen from Holiday Club Resorts, Anna Palokangas from Lab University of Applied Sciences, Salla Kuuluvainen from Laurea UAS, and Miikka Paakkinen from Wunder described what they were about to design on that day or what kind of role service design plays in their work roles. This provided an interesting peek into our members’ work days!


Panelist discussing SD history, education, strategy and customer experience

The celebration continued in the evening with a webinar, hitting our online event record with close to 200 participants. The event was bilingual, serving both our Finnish and English speaking members and followers. We started off with a panel discussing the panelists’ history with SD but mostly contemplating the current issues in service design in Finland. The three renowned panelist Satu Miettinen (Author, Dean, Professor of Service Design, University of Lapland), Mikko Koivisto (Author and Head of Customer Experience & Service Design at Helen) and Juha Tuulaniemi (Author and Senior Service Designer at Gofore) shared their perspectives on SD topics in their work environments.


A highly interesting discussion evolved around the current need for SD competence. Organizations are constantly in lack of well educated service designers, and both tactical and strategic level competence is in great need. The panelist concluded that different educational solutions should be developed such as specialization studies for experts from other fields. Most importantly, the quality of education should be in focus, and co-operation between service organizations and educational institutions is essential in order to recognize and cater for the actual competence needs in the field.

We learned that even for the top level service designers, everyday design work is most of all about human-to-human work: co-operating with clients, customers, colleagues and other stakeholder, planning,analyzing and reflecting on ideas, re-developing and selling them. It is also about incorporating CX in the strategic planning and enabling it to direct all organizational functions.


SD education has gotten a strong foothold in many universities, with many doctoral candidates currently in the pipeline. This is good news as the research-based evolution of the field will provide a more robust knowledge base for practitioners as well.

The pleasant and conversational panel was followed by inspirational lightning talks of four diverse SD experts.


Liisa Poussa, Foresight Specialist at Sitra, challenged our mental models and encouraged service designers to unlearn cultural thinking that benefits only few. Service designers can do good in building bridges between silos, people and experiences. With the human-centric, empathic mindset we all can build inclusive futures.


A design veteran Anton Schubert, Good Growth Founder and Design Lead at Gofore, shared his future for design with three words: Sustainability, Responsibility, Collaboration. These leading concepts help designers to open their eyes and look beyond the screens to benefit not only the user and the business but also the planet.


Our long term chapter activist Jane Vita, Design Lead at VVT, raised up the importance of professional communities.  With communities like SDN we make sure to be up to date with latest developments and futures to be evolved. In engaging design communities we support each other, we discuss, we learn, we share. We sponsor events. We volunteer and get and give back from our networks. Our communities make us all feel that we matter.


The final lightning talk was given by Sonja Nielsen, Strategic Designer and Sustainability Expert at Hellon. She made us face again the complex and wicked challenges threatening our planet.  Yet, service design has a great potential in facilitating a transformation in our societies. We easily end up designing for privileged few.  As a pathway to a better future, she encouraged service designers to visualize the future to guide our actions, build trust and bridges between different stakeholders and engage people in participating in the needed change.


After the great SDD we felt empowered to do good with service design. A warm thank you for all participants!
SDN Finland Core Team/Tarja Chydenius


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