International conference explores thinking, trends and innovations in service design

The New School's Parsons School of Design, a Leader in Service Design Education, Hosts the Service Design Network Global Conference

Friday and Saturday, Oct. 2 and 3 in New York City

Service Design Network Conference

Participants at the 7th Service Design Network Global Conference in 2014.

New York, NY (September 17, 2015)Parsons School of Design at The New School and the Service Design Network present the 8th Service Design Network Global Conference, a forum for sharing the latest thinking, trends and innovations in the emerging field of service design.

The conference takes place Friday and Saturday, Oct. 2 and 3 (including a Members and Student Day on Thursday, Oct. 1) at The New School’s University Center, 63 Fifth Avenue, and other locations in Manhattan.

Sponsored by Citi Community Development, Wipro, Designit and Hellon, the conference—the largest and most influential event of its kind—features more than 40 speakers, case study sessions and workshops focusing on a range of industries, from insurance, retail and telecommunications, to finance, health care and hospitality. In addition, attendees can participate in a design challenge sponsored by Desigit and Wipro.

Service design is an emerging field of design that deals with the activity of planning and organizing people, infrastructure, communication and material components of a service to innovate and improve its quality and the interaction between service provider and customers. Examples of service design include improved patient care experiences in hospitals, more accessible and effective programs for expanding financial inclusion, and streamlined airline check-ins.

This is the first year the conference is being hosted at Parsons, a preeminent art and design school that is leading the way in service design education through degree programs such as the MFA in Transdisciplinary Design and BFA in Integrated Design.

“Parsons’ leadership in design and innovation and its commitment to critical social and productive issues on both local and international scales makes it the ideal host for this conference,” said Lara Penin, associate professor of Transdisciplinary Design at Parsons. “New York City is the premier hub for service design in the country and Parsons is the premier hub for service design education in New York City.”

Currently, Parsons Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability (DESIS) Lab is collaborating with the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE), the Center for Economic Opportunity and Citi Community Development on Designing for Financial Empowerment, an initiative exploring how service design can be used to address the complex challenges facing low-income New Yorkers and empower them to achieve secure financial futures.

“Service design offers a powerful approach for taking on complex challenges—from expanding financial inclusion, to meeting the evolving needs of customers around the world—by putting people at the center of the process from the beginning,” said Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Community Development and Inclusive Finance. “Citi is proud to continue its support of the field by participating in this year’s Global Conference.”

Through the 8th Service Design Network Global Conference, organizers aim to empower change through the design of better services, focusing on customers, employees, and citizens from around the world.

“This conference will give insight in the most advanced service design practice, and it is the place to meet the innovators of service systems,” said Birgit Mager, president of the Service Design Network.

Parsons School of Design is one of the leading institutions for art and design education in the world. Based in New York but active around the world, the school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the full spectrum of art and design disciplines. Critical thinking and collaboration are at the heart of a Parsons education. Parsons graduates are leaders in their respective fields, with a shared commitment to creatively and critically addressing the complexities of life in the 21st century. For visit

Service Design Network is the leading institution for expertise in service design. SDN is a partnership of professionals and an open-minded, knowledge-sharing network. Through national and international events, online and print publications and coordination with academic institutions, the network connects multiple roles within agencies, business, and government to strengthen the impact of service design, both in the public and private sector. The Global SDN is based in Germany, Cologne and has xxchapters all over the world. Visit

Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management. Citi supports a number of service design-related initiatives in the U.S. and internationally. Visit

Hellon is one of the worlds top-30 leading service design agencies founded in Helsinki, Finland. With a team of 18 experts—strategists, researchers, engineers, commercializers and designers—we put the customer at the center of the successful company strategy. Our multi-skilled background and our experience ensures our ability to bring customer-centric solutions to all service sectors. Visit

Designit is a global strategic design firm, helping businesses tap into the opportunities of the digital age by creating magical experiences at the intersection of design and technology. With an international team of 350+ designers, strategists, and technologists across 11 offices worldwide, Designit delivers unified product-service experiences that result in valuable business transformation. Together with Wipro Digital, Designit offers its unique Strategic Design Process together with Wipro Digital’s state-of-the-art technology capabilities; a unique partnership capable of designing and delivering transformative, digital solutions. Visit

Wipro Digital is an innovation-led, digital transformation partner built for today’s digital challenges. Wipro Digital focuses on the things that matter: the insights, the interactions, the integrations, and innovations that make extraordinary things happen for brands, businesses and their customers. Visit


79 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10003


Media Contacts:

Scott Gargan,
The New School
212-229-5667 x 3794

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