Touchpoint Vol. 14 No. 2 Call for Papers | Redefining Value Creation

Touchpoint – The Journal of Service Design provides a window into the discussion of service design, facilitating a forum to debate, share and advance the field and its practices. In addition, it aims at engaging clients to listen in on the discussion, learn about the field, and become involved in the development and implementation of service design for their organisations.

The three key audiences of the publication are:

  • Service design practitioners
  • Client organisations including businesses, non-profits, and public sector/government
  • Academia

Due to the commercial contexts in which service design is largely practised, it often fits into and supports a familiar economic model. Efficient and effective (and happy!) employees rely on sensibly-designed systems to provide meaningful and valuable service to end customers. Not for altruistic reasons, but for profitability and the ‘bottom line’. Things such as profit and shareholder value are the fundamental driving forces to which our practice is ultimately held to account.

Seeing the need for substantial change as well as a planet-centred approach, we would like to trigger the conversation about alternative economic models and their relevance for and impact on service design.  In this upcoming issue of Touchpoint, we would like to look for novel contexts in which service design is practised, and how new models of value exchange are embedded in projects

Today, companies who look beyond profit as a sole driver and instead consider social and environmental performance are recognised with a ‘B Corporation’ certification. In 2012, the concept of a ‘doughnut’ economical model was put forward, which lays out a societal framework which balances social needs with sustainability. And the concepts of a circular economy have led directly to fundamentally new and exciting services.

We want to hear from service designers working in these spaces, where it’s not just the accumulation of profit that drives their work, but loftier goals. These could be in the public sector, in non-governmental organisations, but also in ‘enlightened’ commercial organisations too. In the broader sense, what does this new, sustainable and ethical approach to service design look like?

We recognise that most service designers may not be in the position to fundamentally drive organisations in these new directions, but we’d also like to know how we can achieve more of a mandate to do so and how to take leadership for substantial changes that need to happen.

We are looking for contributions that:

  • Demonstrate the successes (and challenges) of service design being applied in fundamentally unique contexts, where concepts such as sustainability, societal equality, etc. are driving concerns
  • Help inspire service designers to push for positive change where they work, based on the achievements shared by others
  • Share tools, techniques and (visual) models that we can apply and refer to when designing services with the above mentioned considerations in mind

We welcome contributions from throughout the service design community, as well as those with knowledge and experience in this theme, to contribute to this issue. By doing so, you will be helping service designers make the next step towards an even more mature practice of our discipline.

Regular sections

Besides handing in articles related to this issue’s feature, you are also invited to hand in content for the other regular sections of Touchpoint, which are not related to the theme of the issue:

  • Cross-Discipline: Highlighting the connection between service design and other disciplines
  • Tools and Methods: Introduction and evaluation of techniques and activities for service design projects
  • Education and Research: Insights from academia and research. 

Abstract submission

At the bottom of this page, you find the 'submit an abstract' button. By clicking the button, the abstract submission form will be shown. On the submission form, you will need to fill in, besides your contact information, the following information:

  • Category: Please arrange your submission in one of the Touchpoint sections (Feature, Cross-Discipline, Tools and Methods, Education and Research).
  • Scope of your contribution: Please indicate the proposed length of the article you would like to write if your abstract is selected. Short article:  700 – 800 words (2 pages in Touchpoint) / Medium article:  1100 – 1400 words (4 pages in Touchpoint) / Long article:  1900 – 2200 words (6 pages in Touchpoint).
  • Title: the proposed title of your article with 5-8 words.
  • Abstract: the abstract (max. 2000 characters) should outline the objective, the structure and the benefit (three key learnings) of your article for the readers. Please also indicate what existing data or evidence you will refer to or what research will be carried out to support your article.
  • Relevance to service design: Brief description (max. 300 characters) on why your article is interesting to service designers and what new knowledge it will bring to the service design discipline.
  • Biography: short biography (max. 300 characters) of the author(s) including background, key activities and projects. 

After filling in the form, click on 'Submit'. You should receive a confirmation email with the copy of your abstract in case of a successful submission (please check your spam folder as well).

In case you experience any problem submitting your abstract via the system or don't receive the confirmation email, please send us via email your abstract submission in a Word file following the required fields on the abstract submission form. We will confirm the receipt of your submission per email within a week. 


Abstract submission:

Read more and submit your abstracts via the online form until 18 August 2023 (23:59 CET).

We are looking forward to many inspiring contributions! 


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