Meet the Global Chapter Team - Taro Akabane

Taro Akabane has been a member of the SDN Japan Chapter since the beginning and now steps in as the successor to Atsushi Hase in the Global Chapter Team.

Taro currently works at Concent, the first design agency in Japan. The firm, which prides itself in having an expert team of service design professionals in its employ, began work in the field in 2012. As a service designer, he is in charge of a variety of projects, including the improvement of the service experience and service workflow, introducing design thinking into both public and private organisations and designing services for a new market, all while serving as the manager of a 20-member team of service designers

His work has also included the translation and publication of several service design books for a number of Japanese service design researchers and practitioners including, "Service Design From Insight to Implementation" (Andy Polaine, Ben Reason & Lavrans Løvlie: published by Rosenfeld Media) and "Designing for Service" (Daniela Sangiorgi, Alison Prendiville published by Bloomsbury). Regarding the latter, Taro was also instrumental in helping to source funds for its release via a crowdfunding project that resulted in the successful raising of¥4,500,000(€36,500/USD41,500) in funds.

In addition to work with Concent and SDN, Taro also manages a private study group to help connect service designers and other industry professionals. The group's name is Service Experience GsK (Gasshuku). GsK means "camp together" in Japanese. Past attendees have included individuals such as a Buddhist priest, a fisherman, filmmaker, bookstore owner, orchestra conductor, editor, manga-creator, startup founder and more.

As a side note, Taro's first time experience at the Service Design Global Conference was Paris in 2012. This was followed by Cardiff, Stockholm, NewYork, and Madrid. While last year's Dublin event did not materialise for him, he looks forward to seeing everyone during SDGC19 in Toronto.

 -- Taro Akabane
Taro Akabane

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