Service Design Day - Germany

At the SDN, we have a deep and longstanding commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within our community, the business, and in the society. Our aim is to help our community members make substantial, lasting performance improvements not just in their organisations, but also for clients by helping attract, develop, excite, and retain exceptional people.

While DEI may seem at risk while we recover from the pandemic – but, the business case is stronger and is critical for business recovery, resilience, and imagination.

On June 1, the service design community will come together in recognition of Service Design Day, an occasion designed to acknowledge the power of service design and DEI, especially in these challenging times.

Event details:

Date and time: June 1, 2022 , 4 PM - 7:30 PM CET

Hosted by: Dr. Vidya Priya Rao and supported by SDN HQ 



A New Era of Workplace Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (4:00 PM - 4:30 PM)

Historically, many companies have tried to retrofit principles of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) onto their existing processes, policies and norms.

The disruption and trauma of the past year have created a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redesign working models from the ground up—with principles of diversity, equity and inclusion placed at the center from the start.

As we look to the post-pandemic workplace, leaders have an opportunity to redesign their processes, policies and norms with the central principles of diversity, equity and inclusion, including making flexible work core to your working model.

Namitha Anand
Namitha Anand - Head of Customer Experience, Product and Design Service Line for Thoughtworks India

Namitha Anand, has been in the industry for close to 18 years, contributing within the disciplines of Product Delivery and Operations. She believes in two key philosophies: excellence can be achieved with deep expertise in one’s domain and collaboration within the team. Secondly, constraints & challenges lead to true innovation waiting to be adopted. On the personal front, she is based out of Bengaluru, married and blessed with two children. She cares deeply about children & animals and if not for IT, she sees herself in causes associated with these spaces.

Overcoming Bias (4:30 PM - 5:00 PM)

We’re all biased — even nice people like you. It’s how we’re wired. As humans, we have a tendency to prefer some things and people more than others. We use it without thinking when making rapid choices every day.

If unconscious biases aren't kept in check, organizations and the employees that power them might let these biases influence their decisions in a way that holds them back.

Sumit will help us understand how to create the right environment for persons with disability within your company.

Sumit Agarwal
Sumit Agarwal - Founder - PR Signal, Diversity and Inclusion Advisor

Sumit Agarwal is the Founder of PR Signal, and a Diversity and Inclusion Advisor. He helps companies build a business case for diversity, equity, and inclusion and creating the right environment for persons with disability within your company. He is also Ambassador to UN’s sustainable development goals initiative by SDG Choupal, The Asian Network. His life’s goal is to help 1 million persons with disabilities thrive.

Why Design Through A DEI Lens (5:15 PM - 6:00 PM)

Although DE&I is gaining traction rapidly, inclusive practices are still taking root in business culture, and the shift is nowhere near ready. But as organizations come to terms with the fact that diverse teams create more inclusive – and profitable – products and services, the demand for tools that support this development is on the rise as well.

The speaker will walk us though the Inclusion canvas, developed by Futurice and how it helps product and service creation teams consider the needs of more diverse end-user groups in their work that they might otherwise overlook.

Nuksu Aalto
Nuksu Aalto - Senior UX Designer and Accessibility Specialist - Futurice

Nuksu Aalto works as a Senior UX designer and Accessibility specialist at Futurice. He’s passionate about accessibility and DEI matters because of his own life experiences, and holds a CPACC certificate in accessibility. He has a bachelor’s degree in Digital Media.

Panel Discussion: Why DEI Requires A Seat at The Table (6:00 PM - 7:00 PM)

Having a seat at the table is not only important in matters of social justice and equity, but also in business. Research on team dynamics in the workplace has consistently indicated that diversity drives better business outcomes, including increased innovation and better decision making. But representation and having a seat at the table, while an admirable starting point, is not enough. Inclusion begins when we choose to do something with the diversity at our table, and truly value the perspectives around us.

Learn from our eminent panellist with representatives from business, consulting and academia to share their insights.

  • Tina Vinod (she, her), Global Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion - ThoughtWorks
  • Marissa Ellis (she/her), Founder & CEO - Diversily
  • Birgit Mager (she/her), President - Service Design Network; Professor - KISD


Tina Vinod
Tina Vinod - Global Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion - ThoughtWorks

A feminist at heart with a strong belief that an inclusive organizational culture brings about the best in teams and individuals. Tina drives the Diversity Equity & Inclusion charter at ThoughtWorks Global, India with her team. This includes the D&I strategy and goals to enhance our impact as a collective both internally and externally. Areas of focus include Gender Equity, Social Inclusion, Solidarity to the LGBTQ+ community, impact of Inclusive Culture & Belonging, in addition to key programs under the DnI charter for under-represented groups. With a passion for social change, she’s part of the global Social Impact Program team at ThoughtWorks.

Marissa Ellis
Marissa Ellis - Founder - Diversily

Marissa is a strategist, advisor, speaker and best selling author. She is the founder of and the creator of a number of business frameworks, including The Change Canvas, that are gaining widespread adoption and driving positive change around the world. She is a thought leader in ‘inclusive intelligence’ with over 20 years of experience in the tech sector. In 2018 Marissa realised that the way we do business needs to change. So now her focus is on helping leaders to shift mindsets to think inclusively and helping businesses to broaden their horizons to focus on people, impact and purpose - not just profit - in order to drive business success. Marissa is hugely passionate about creating a fairer, more equitable future for us all, where technology can help us solve, not create, some of the world’s greatest challenges. Diversily helps organisations unlock collective brilliance by taking a more human centred, purpose led, collaborative approach to business by transforming leadership, strategy and culture - all with an inclusive lens.

Birgit Mager
Birgit Mager - President - Service Design Network; Professor - KISD

Birgit Mager is co-founder and presidentof the Service Design Network, founder and manager of sedes|research, the center for service design research at the university of applied sciences Cologne. Since 1995 Birgit holds the first European professorship on service design at the university of applied sciences Cologne, Germany and since then has developed the field of service design constantly in theory, methodology and in practice.

Applying Service Design to Co-Design with Visually Impaired People (7:00 PM - 7:30 PM)

The talk promises to cover the journey of VIP World Services. The story started with the question, "How to increase employability for VIP (visually impaired people) in the UK?". Subsequently, we created a community of VIP that co-design solutions to counter accessibility issues during the midst of the pandemic. Lastly, Ishan shares the impact created with VIP World platform and Travel Hands in contributing towards an inclusive world.

Ishan Jha
Ishan Jha - Founder, VIP World Services

Ishan Jha founded VIP World Services in 2019 as an outcome of his thesis for a master's degree in Service Design. He applies strategic design thinking skills to the function and growth of the company. VIP World platform connects corporate with a diverse pool of people with disabilities (on paid basis) to perform user testing, and create disabled-friendly tech solutions. Ishan is a Service Designer with experience in multinational companies, government bodies, and startups, leveraging professional, creative and analytical skills in Service Design, Entrepreneurship, and Engineering.