I’m really excited to be participating in the inaugural Service Design Network conference in Amsterdam November 24–26, which I have also been helping to organize (thanks to my involvement with the Emergence conference). I am moderating a panel of Scandinavians on the 25th and then facilitating a workshop on service design for mobile services on the 26th with Alex Nisbett of Engine and former teacher and advisor, Shelley Evenson of Carnegie Mellon University.

While in London recently, I met with Alex at Engine’s studio to discuss the workshop. We had a great conversation about design, and then remembered we also needed to talk about the workshop. Inspired by the Malibu Oceanfront Hotel’s move to provide an iPhone or iPod Touch to their guests to deliver services, Alex proposed centering the workshop around designing mobile services for the next Olympics, which will be taking place in London. The idea would be that each person coming to the Olympics, from spectator to athlete, would receive a mobile device. The challenge for participants will be to generate services for a given persona who has particular needs. It will be an intersection of device, service, location, and need. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun, and I’m anxious to see what comes out of it.

The panel I’m moderating should be interesting as well: Service Design: Buzz words or real value to people and businesses? (The Scandinavian perspective with panelists from industry and academia). The participants—Erik Bystrom, TietoEnator Corporation; Stefan Holmlid, Linköpings universitet; Jukka Ojasalo, Laurea University of Applied Sciences; Satu Miettinen, Kuopio Academy of Design, Savonia University of Applied Sciences—and I have been exchanging thoughts, and everyone is really excited to talk about service design’s value to people and business (if you have question ideas, I’d love to hear them).

For the organization part, I’ve been helping with the submission process and program. We got a lot of good submissions and had to turn down quite a few. The lineup currently boasts Engine, Live/work, IDEO, and Continuum, as well as respected academics and others. I was happy to hear several of my Nokia colleagues in Europe will be attending and that they were impressed with the lineup.

If you’re going, please say hello.