Coaching and judging 2022


Coaching and judging


Meet the coaches and the members of the jury


Meet the coaches and the members of the jury

Joining the Student Service Design Challenge is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Each student design team will have two-weekly (virtual) coaching sessions with the challenge coach. The challenge coach supports all the teams individually during the discovery phase (round 2), define phase (round 3) and development phase (round 4) of the challenge. Each team will also be guided by a team coach, an IBM design strategist and practitioner. The team coaches guide the teams on a regular basis, including a main ‘assessment session’ at the end of rounds 1, 2 and 3. The team coaches give each team feedback and provide help in specific areas. This guidance might take place virtually or physically, depending on the location of the design team. All coaches are experts in their fields.

At the end of round 4, each design team submits their concept. All submissions are reviewed and validated based on the six challenge criteria (see Assessment areas) by experts in that field. The challenge jury carefully reviews, discusses and validates each submission. There will be a selection of ten nominees (‘Shortlist’) from which the winners will be selected. The challenge jury comprises renowned design experts from various fields – related to human-centred (service) design, circular design, and design-led innovation.



Frank Kolkman is a seasoned experimental designer and is the challenge coach.

Trying to combine his curiosity towards the inner workings of things with analytical thinking and intuitive making, Frank aims to challenge our understanding of current and near-future technologies and their socio-political implications. He recently coached student teams based on the Design Probes method to gain insight into the future of healthcare. This resulted in the exhibition "Chronic Health, if not us, then who?”. Frank holds a Bachelor’s degree in Product Design from ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Arnhem (NL), and a Master’s degree in Design Interactions from the Royal College of Art in London (UK).

Robin Auer is an expert in various design methods and is the coordinator of the team coaches.

Robin is an IBM Design Lead in the area of Data and AI. Worldwide, he facilitates product and strategy workshops with IBM teams and clients. He helps them understand, experience and leverage different design methods like Design Thinking in order to create innovative solutions with outstanding user experience. Robin is a creative problem solver who loves designing user-centric solutions for complex, digital applications and experiences. As lecturer in design, he wants students to see the holistic nature of a problem. Because ideas only have relevance if they make it into people’s everyday lives. Robin holds a Master’s degree in Design from the University of Applied Sciences Konstanz (DE), and is Vice Chairman of der German Designer Club.

Elena Pupazan is an experienced business coach and will host the Dragon’s Den.

Elena is Strategic Design lead for Circular Economy at Philips, driving sustainable innovation programs, partnerships, and responsible design practices. Her professional journey is led by a profound love for people, a personal commitment for justice and the passion for economic systems (re)design. She believes in driving systemic change through business innovation and human behavioral design. As entrepreneur, board advisor and experienced professional in business strategy, commercial excellence, digital economy, and supply chain optimization, she understands that change is an ongoing continuous process, influenced only by information and the individual will to consciously engage, envision and act. Elena holds a Master’s degree in Business Analytics from the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam and a global executive MBA from Erasmus University, Rotterdam School of Management.



John Thackara is a writer and curator working in the realms of social, ecological and relational design.

John is Adjunct Professor at Tongji University in Shanghai, a Senior Fellow at the Royal College of Art, Visiting Professor at Politecnico di Milano, and curator of the Social Food Forum. He curated the celebrated Doors of Perception conference for 20 years, first in Amsterdam, later across India; he was commissioner of the UK social innovation biennial Dott 07, and the French design biennial City Eco Lab; and in 2019, he curated the Urban-Rural expo in Shanghai. His last book is 'How To Thrive In the Next Economy: Designing Tomorrow’s World Today'. He is currently developing an event called LIfeworlds about ecological restoration and multi-species design.

Daniel Haltia is Circular Business Designer at Ingka Group.

During the last five years, Daniel and his team developed the circular innovation portfolio, methodology, toolbox and led numerous circular projects contributing to IKEA's transformation towards becoming more circular and climate positive in 2030. Prior to his role at IKEA, he worked in various industries, including management consultancy, automotive, public, and nonprofit organisations. Daniel is supporting leaders in IKEA, startups and young potentials to make decisions and undertake actions to enable people to live within the boundaries of one planet. He strives to make circular and sustainable business the norm, so that planet and people live in harmony again.

Anna Valtonen is Professor in Strategic Design at Aalto University, Finland.

Anna was Vice President at Aalto University (Art & Creative Practices) from 2015-2020 and Dean of the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture from 2014-2019. Prior to this, she was Professor and Rector of the Umeå Institute of Design at Umeå University in Sweden. Anna has an extensive background in industry; design, management, end-user understanding, strategy, and startups. She has been a board member of several companies, public organisations and universities. Currently, she is a Board member of the Design Museum in Finland, the Finnish Government’s Advisory Board for Creative Industries, and several editorial boards for journals.

Simona Rocchi is Senior Director of Design-for-Sustainability & Innovation at Philips Experience Design.

Simona is responsible for the global creative direction of various SDG#3 goal-driven initiatives in product-system innovation and strategic design. With over 20 years of experience in transformative design practices to enable more inclusive business models, cross-sector collaborations and shared value creation, her work has been widely recognised via publications, conferences, speeches, and prestigious design awards. Simona is frequently invited to lecture at design and business schools around the world. She holds a PhD in Cleaner Production, Cleaner Products and Sustainability, a Master’s degree in Architecture, and an MSc in Environmental Management and Policy.

Billy Seabrook is Vice President and the Global Chief Design Officer at IBM iX.

Billy has spent over 25 years creating innovative brand strategies and omni-channel customer experiences for leading brands around the world. As the Global Chief Design Officer of IBM iX, he leads a network of over 50 studios to deliver data-driven insights, human-centric ideas, and measurable business impact for clients. Prior to joining IBM in 2017, he held executive creative leadership roles at Digitas, eBay, and Citibank, where he managed the growth and change of the organisations and the day-to-day activities of global creative teams. Billy frequently speaks at industry events and has won numerous awards for his distinctive work.

Alice Bodreau is Global Partners Manager at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Alice supports global corporates across diverse sectors in their transition towards circular business models through pre-competitive collaboration, circular design and innovation. She works with these global corporates on the development and implementation of their circular economy strategy and the necessary organisational transformation it calls for. Prior to joining the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Alice has worked in consultancy. First at Altai Consulting, then at Accenture. She worked on an innovation program in collaboration with Fjord, Accenture’s service design agency, aiming at transforming a leading utility company’s business model.
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Initiated and organized by SERVICE DESIGN COLLEGE.

In collaboration with


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Until when can teams register?
Registration closes on January 26, 2024.
Can I enter the challenge alone?
You cannot participate as an individual student. You need to be part of a team of 4 to 7 members.
Is there any limitation on the number of members in a team?
Yes. The team needs to have at the least 4 team members and no more than 7 team members. All team members have to be students.
I am not a Service Design student. Can I enter the challenge?
Yes, you can. You need to be part of a multidisciplinary team, preferably with at least one design student.
Is there an age limit for entering the challenge?
No, there are no age restrictions, as long as you meet the criteria about student status.
Can a team submit more than one research proposal?
Yes a team can submit more than one research proposal, but you should submit each proposal separately.
What happens to our ideas, materials, etc.?
As a participant in the challenge you will retain intellectual property ownership of all your challenge submission ideas. Please read more about this in our Official rules before submitting.