Amidst the success of last year's Service Design Fringe Festival, we were reflecting upon the many ways in which we can improve this year. One area we felt strongly about was pushing for greater diversity and inclusion throughout the festival: in the speakers, attendees, and the festival team. Across the board, we could improve access and participation for everyone, but most of all, for black people. Acknowledging our shortcomings of the past, we have partnered with UKBlackTech to bring service design to the BME audience.
We are proud to announce our first event this year, a Service Design Workshop, organised for UKBlackTech's audience, during London Tech Week.
The workshop will be a great introduction to service design. Run by FutureGov, the digital and design agency for the public sector, it will cover the basics of the discipline, but more importantly, how to get involved, and what it can do for you. It is so important that our services are designed by diverse teams of people, so that everybody's needs, from all backgrounds, can be met. We asked Julian Thompson, our resident Diversity Designer at the festival, about why we need more ethnic minorities in service design. Find out more about Julian on his LinkedIn.
Like many industries, the service design world lacks diversity and inclusion, which limits the ability to create services for users/customers from all backgrounds. As a result, people (often monorities) are left out. Opportunities are missed and problems go unsolved. Diversity cannot be a luxury. It's a huge necessity, especially in an increasingly interconnected, competitive and creative world. Progressive employers know this, but great employers do something about it. They want and need the rich and diverse talent that doesn't necessarily come in the shape they usually see this in. This event will be a great opportunity to get an overview of what service design is, its potential to make a difference for companies, communities and importantly your career or someone else's. Service design is not only a practical skill, it encompasses a way of thinking which is attractive to great employers.
If there is a sector where diversity and difference could have huge impact, it's service design. As a black man who has worked in undiverse sectors, focused on services, innovation and products for maximum impact, I believe there is a big need for more people of colour to bring their skills, experience and insight to the service design table. What is encouraging, is it seems that some parts of the service design world are encouraging us to pull up a chair. I fell into service design – my hope is that one day more people like me will be able to walk into it.
The workshop is on Thursday 15th June at 6pm. Tell your POC friends to RSVP and find out more here.