Chapter events - United States

Rich Ekelman will discuss the core flexibilities required to practice Service Design, and ways to start making your transition into Service Design from the skills and abilities you currently possess.

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM CDT

Rich Ekelman will discuss how Service Design has evolved out of a need for a competitive advantage, the core flexibilities required to practice Service Design, and ways to start making your transition into Service Design from the skills and abilities you currently possess. The discussion about the differences between Service Design and fields such as UX/CX/IxD/Product Design, Anthropology, Marketing, Business Analysis, etc. misses the whole point. Service Design encompasses these fields and extends their reach into new opportunities, offering the flexibility needed to solve complex problems by using fitting methods and approaches.


Richard Ekelman is the Founder of The Service Experience Academy. His passion is to grow Service Design in Chicago through accessible education. In 2014, he co-founded Service Experience Chicago, a 501(c)3 charity dedicated to this cause. Rich has worked this with individuals (patients, physicians) and organizations (technology companies, health providers, and communities) to co-create holistic services and systems. Before founding the Service Experience Academy, Rich was a service design consultant for major brands such as Verizon, ATT, International Hotels Group, United Healthcare International, Synchrony Bank, American Express. He has also been a service designer on internal teams at Walgreens and bswift, an Aetna company.


Rich holds an MFA in Service Design from the Savannah College of Art & Design in Savannah, GA as well as a BA in Psychology from Montclair State University in Montclair, NJ. From 2004 to 2008 he served honorably in the US Navy.