What is it like to volunteer for SDN Finland and how can you become a volunteer?

Written by Lyydia Pertovaara, SDN Finland Chapter Volunteer and Concept Designer at Lindström Group

Becoming a Volunteer

The path to becoming a Service Design Network Finland Chapter volunteer is different for everyone. For instance, my journey as a volunteer began last September when I took part in the Service Design Network Book Club. I really enjoyed the event and it was there that I was asked to host the next one, a challenge I happily accepted. This was my catalyst to becoming a volunteer as suddenly I found myself taking part in volunteer meet-ups, helping out at other events and planning for next ones. Of course, there are other ways to join too. Some of my fellow volunteers have written an email directly to Service Design Network Finland Chapter expressing their interest to volunteer, others have joined by hearing about it from a friend or another volunteer. The best way to see if volunteering is your cup of tea, is to join one of the bi-weekly volunteer coffee meet-ups or coming to talk to us at one of the events.


My SDN volunteer journey began when I was asked to host the next book club. (Picture credit: Tarja Chydenius) --
My SDN volunteer journey began when I was asked to host the next book club. (Picture credit: Tarja Chydenius)

What are the Requirements to Become a Volunteer?

The only requirement is that you are interested in Service Design. I know... what an obvious answer, but yet so true. Case in point, our volunteers have a variety of backgrounds, some of us work in the service design field as consultants, in-house designers or teachers, some of us are students who want to work in the service design field, and some of us just simply are curious about service design. In short, there is no cookie cutter mold you have to fit to become a volunteer, so just come as you are.


What Do Volunteers Do?

This can be anything between the moon and back. It really depends on the volunteer’s interests and how much time they have on their hands. We recognize that this is a volunteering job on top of studies or work (or perhaps even both), so it is important to take part in any way that strikes your interest the most. We also understand that life happens and there are times when you can contribute more and then there are times when you simply have to take a step back for a bit. But to speak in more practical terms, volunteering can be anything from writing a blog post, helping to plan and organize an event e.g. scouting for a possible host, advertising the event, helping with setup to even hosting the event yourself, just to name a few. To do this, we have regular face to face coffee meet-ups and monthly online meetings to plan and discuss upcoming events and other plans. We also use Trello, Slack and Google Drive to keep everything nice and organized because as the saying goes “Well begun is half done.”


At events you will recognize us volunteers from the SDN badges. (Picture credit: Lotta Salminen) --
At events you will recognize us volunteers from the SDN badges. (Picture credit: Lotta Salminen)

Benefits of Being a Volunteer

There are tons of benefits in being a volunteer. Not only is it a great way to meet like-minded service design enthusiasts, you also get to learn new skills and keep yourself up-to-date on all things related to service design. Volunteering is a low-threshold way to meet Finland’s service design players from newcomers to more experienced professionals and anything between. So next time you come to a Service Design Network Finland Chapter event, don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation with one of us. We’d be happy to tell you more about volunteering or just chat about service design in general. You will recognize us from our lovely Service Design Network badges.


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