The Service Design Network (SDN) is service design’s professional organization that has chapters around the world and hosts the Global Service Design Conference.

I’ve been president of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Service Design Network club since 2020, leading a team of 14 BFA/MFA students to host professional events on behalf of SCAD.

We’ve hosted 10 panel discussions with 37 industry professionals, co-hosted events with SDN NYC and DC chapters, and collaborated on research and event design for The SDN’s Service Design Global Conference in 2020 and 2021.

Project management, event design

Our Process

SCAD career advisors give us a rough event schedule for an event they would like to do 2 months out. Industry engagement leaders and professors help select professional guests and a loose structure.

My role is to take that high level agenda and coordinate students to make it happen.


We start with a meeting with the relevant departments and interested students to get everyone on the same page about our ambiguous starting point.


I break the high level agenda into tracks of work that can be done independently.

Each track has milestones and deadlines so we stay on track.

I then help us organize into small teams, each with a point person, responsible for the track of work.

A project plan I create gets shared with the relevant departments and keeps everyone on the same page.


The purpose of these events is to expand our student’s networks. The whole process is designed around this.

Each student officer is a liaison who gets a personal connection with people in the industry.

On top of coordinating with professional guests, prep work involves hosting/MCing the event, moderating panels and breakout groups, sourcing questions, creating unified visual assets, and promoting the event to the school of design.

Events I Helped Organize:

SDN NYC - Student Work Showcase (2021)

SDN DC - Student Work Showcase (2021)

How to Keep your Remote Customers Close (2021) - Panel discussion with:

Customer Experience vs Covid Experience (2021) - Keynotes and discussion with:

  • Jamin Hegemen - VP, Head of Experience Strategy at Capital One

  • Janaki Kumar - Head of Design, JPMorgan Chase & Co

  • KC Wolff - Director of Commercial Experience & Service Design at Truist

Portfolio Open Critique (2021) - Ten project pitches, 5:00 minutes each, judged by:

The Future of Customer Experience (2021) - Panel discussion with

  • Liz Ball - Group Design Manager in Core Services and Platforms, Intuit

  • Rebecca Ngola - Senior Creative Designer, USAA

  • Theron Skees - Founder and CCO, The Designer's Creative Studio

  • John Yesko - Senior Director, Head of UX and Service Design, Walgreens

Service Design Global Conference 2020 Student Events - 3 events of interviews and discussions with:

Virtual Service Design Day - Transportation / Government / Hospitality / Consulting (2020) - Panel discussion and breakout rooms for 1-on-1 networking with:

  • Paul Lafata - CEO, Lab1886 USA, The startup incubator for Daimler / Mercedes-Benz

  • Jacquelyn Brioux - Service Design Manager, Shopify

  • Emily Herrick - Design Lead at Service Design Studio, NYC Mayors Office for Economic Opportunity

  • Bradley Bergeron - Director of Service Design, Thrive

Service Design in Finance (2020) - Panel discussion and breakout rooms for 1-on-1 networking with:

  • Marshall Sitten - SVP DIgital Communications and Service Design, Citi Community Investing and Development

  • James Helms - VP of Design and Product, Intuit

  • Aza Damood - Director of Customer Experience, Fannie Mae

  • Dave Malouf - Sr Director of Strategy and Operations, Northwestern Mutual

Service Design + Healthcare (2020) - Panel discussion and breakout rooms for 1-on-1 networking with:

Looking Forward

People want to contribute, but don’t want to face a messy reality. Taking charge and structuring the process can empower the team and give everyone a way to contribute.

Formality and Flexibility
University stakeholders can get nervous and need convincing concrete details. Knowing what to lock down (for coordination) and what to keep open (for evolving design) has been key to harmony.

Unfinished = Fertile
As long as base responsibilities are clear, keeping assigned tasks open ended allows people to make their own way to accomplishing the goal. Nobody wants to be fed a micro manage list!


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