This post is a reaction to the discussion we had on Twitter about the Service Design Network and the location of the conference in 2010.
And the discussion that continued on this forum set up by Joel Bailey:
I suggested we should be in London, because we should go to the UK and London seems a logical choice. But, so it I learned, Cornwall already has been chosen as the favorite location. What's in Cornwall?
Andrea Siodmok (@designcomedy / from Cornwall) has an answer:
"Cornwall is hosting a major service design initiative in 2010 with over 20 European service design projects. For more info see the holding site www.dottcornwall.com
There will be projects from Livework, Think Public, Standby, Radarstation and Engine to name a few...plus we have some EU funding to help bring new ideas to the conference."
And she continues: "Also I really enjoyed the Madeira conference and think that in the UK Cornwall will be doing really interesting work. Plus it has some good european flight connections and is 40 mins direct from London."
I think this is all very nice. (I'm not being cynical for a change :-)))
But how exactly does all this benefit our network? What are we hoping to achieve?
It's great Cornwall is active (very inspiring), but are we going to visit all those 20 projects? Are they going to be the topic of the conference? Is it necessary to actually be there (geographically)?
I agree that we should go the UK. But I'm sure there will be as many projects (if not more) from all agency's in London (we could take a closer look at Terminal 3).
Why London? London is very central, accessible and has a large SD community with many pioneers (and students that would love to be involved). Besides the SD community we can attract people with other backgrounds (and clients!!!) to spice up the conversation a little.
And bringing new ideas to the conference is great and necessary. But how is that related to funding? Do we need a bigger place? Is it going to be a free conference, or free for students? We (the network) could come up with lots of ideas that don't cost much but are very valuable.
I think it would be a good idea to make better use of the creative capabilities of our network. And we should keep having conversations like this in the open.
If our Service Design Network has problems with creating a feeling of co-ownership, being open, transparent and having an ongoing conversation with all members it would harm the whole purpose of spreading our vision and convincing organizations to embrace Service Design methods and tools.
And last but not least: If we stop discussing about these things it means we lost interest in the network! So let's talk.
Arne van Oosterom