SDN Global Café - Ireland

Next edition of SDN Global Café will take place on May 14, 2024. Join us and find out more about Design of Public Services in Ireland.

Dear SDN Members,

You are all invited to join our next SDN Global Café event on March 14, 2024!

A virtual series aims to connect our beloved SDN members, provide more networking opportunities, and tackle relevant Service Design topics.

In this upcoming session, we will welcome Julianne Coughlin, Trevor Vaugh, and John Lynch who will share more about the design of public services in Ireland.

Theme: Design of Public Services in Ireland


Join us as we delve into Ireland's ambitious journey to create a design-led public sector, marking a significant shift in how services are conceived and delivered. Ireland embarked on this transformative path with the introduction of foundational government design principles in 2022. The momentum continued with the launch of the National Design Action Plan in 2023. This plan is dedicated to demonstrating a commitment to public service improvement by design, fostering a design culture, and building design capabilities across the public sector.

The Principles and the Action Plan provide a solid base which is now supporting the hugely ambitious whole-of-government  ‘Life Events Programme’  and a number of important pathfinder projects, created to demonstrate the value and impact of design. Together, these efforts demonstrate a firm commitment to embedding design at the heart of public service delivery. To date, there have been encouraging signs that government departments are not only ready but also eager to adopt a design approach. This readiness signals a promising shift towards more innovative, user-centred public services in Ireland.

Our guests in our next Global Café are three members of the working group that formulated the foundational design principles. Join Trevor Vaugh, Julianne Coughlin and John Lynch as they share their experience working with government, exploring the strategic vision behind these initiatives, the progress made so far, and the exciting potential for future developments.

✅ Sounds interesting?
So grab your coffee and sit with us on May14, 2024.  Register now via the zoom link, which is available on your Member Dashboard under Discounts section.

❤️ Want to be a member? Join us!

Julianne Coughlin, Trevor Vaugh, and John Lynch


Birgit Mager, President, SDN
Brian Gillespie, Leadership Team, SDN

Date and Time:

Thursday, May 14, 2024
04:00-05:00 PM CET (03:00 PM GMT/11:00 AM EDT)


  • 04:00-04:10 Welcome and SDN Update
  • 04:10-04:30 Guest Presentation
  • 04:30-04:40 Member Q and A
  • 04:40-04:55 Member Networking
  • 04:55-05:00 What’s Next?
Julianne Coughlan
Julianne Coughlan - Service Experience Designer at Fáilte Ireland

Julianne was also a member of the working group that developed the Government Design Principles and the Action Plan for their delivery. Prior to this current role, Julianne worked as Service Design Manager in Cork County Council. She led the established Service rePublic unit in Corporate Services at Cork County Council where people-centred design and digital transformation are coming together to change how services are designed with and delivered to citizens, and to improve service delivery outcomes for everyone. She holds an MSc in Landscape Ecology from University College Cork, a Diploma in the Management of Modern Public Service Delivery from University College Dublin and a Certificate in Designing Innovative Services from Cork Institute of Technology. Over the last 10 years she has worked in the area of business process improvement and service design for Cork County Council and has delivered a number of key digital transformation projects including the implementation of digital transformation through the Council’s customer experience platform and development of a design thinking model for the delivery of the Council's Corporate Strategy.

Trevor Vaugh
Trevor Vaugh - Public Service Design Lead

As the Public Service Design Lead in the Irish Government’s Department of Expenditure, NDP Delivery & Reform, Trevor Vaugh is responsible for embedding design across national government programmes. In this role, he leads the strategic design of the whole-of-government ‘Life Events’ programme and the development and delivery of the recently launched National Design Action Plan. Trevor is currently on secondment as an assistant professor of strategic design at Maynooth University where, in addition to teaching, publishing widely and securing significant research funding, he was founder of Mi:Lab—a government-funded, design-led innovation lab for the Higher Education sector. Trevor chairs the ‘Design in Government’ expert working group and was a member of Ireland’s public service innovation advisory board. Trevor is a published author and a noted media contributor, with appearances on RTÉ’s critically acclaimed television series ‘The Big Life Fix’ and presenting Science Foundation Ireland’s ‘Science to the Rescue’ documentary. In 2021, his co-authored book, ‘ARRIVE: A Design Innovation Framework to Deliver Breakthrough Services, Products, and Experiences’, was published by Routledge. His work co-creating the AI voice technology for veteran journalist Charlie Bird received widespread media coverage and acclaim. Prior to entering academia, Trevor developed a number of disruptive healthcare innovations, accumulating a portfolio of over 50 patents and winning numerous innovation awards, including a place in the prestigious Cleveland Clinic's top 10 innovations of 2009 for his work on LESS surgery for Olympus. Across all of his work, Trevor merges the theory and practice of Design, Anthropology, and Strategy, helping organisations navigate uncertainty, innovate, and grow through human insight, creative thinking, experimentation. And perhaps most importantly, he helps organisations find that often supressed spark of optimism, hope, and humanity.

John Lynch
John Lynch - Director at Context Studio

John is founder and director at Context Studio, a dedicated service design studio in Dublin. Starting out as a software developer, he studied people-centred Interaction Design at CIID in Copenhagen in 2011. Since then, John has tirelessly advocated for a design approach, particularly in public services. John brings experience from Denmark (CIID Consulting), the UK (Future Cities Catapult, and from Fjord at Accenture (The Dock) in Dublin. At Context Studio his work has included service and strategic design for Department of Justice, Dublin City Council, Cork County Council, and the UK Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office. John is a board director with the Institute of Designers in Ireland, and a member of the working group on service design in government at the Irish Department of Public Expenditure & Reform.