Coaching and judging 2023


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 regular (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 will give each team feedback and provide help on specific areas. This guidance might take place physically or online, depending on the location of the design team. In the final stages of the teams’ design process, they also receive strategic and business mentoring to consider the viability of their service concepts.

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). There will be a selection of nominees (‘Shortlist’) who will be able to pitch their concepts to a panel of esteemed judges at a Dragons’ Den event. The challenge jury is composed of renowned design experts from various fields – related to human-centered (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.

Anna Wippel is an experienced mentor and the business coach of the challenge.

She is Senior eGovernment Business Consultant for the Canton of Basel. She has worked in Germany, France and Switzerland and is a passionate and pragmatic Design Thinking and Agile facilitator, a certified IBM Enterprise Design Thinking Coach, and a project leader with expertise in human-centred services and strategy design. She also developed a design thinking bootcamp cooperating with NGOs and local enterprises. Anna is interested in smarter city and sustainability topics and responsible innovation. She is particularly interested in understanding how technology transforms traditional industries, blurs 'the givens', and creates space for innovative, disruptive business opportunities that put people at their centre.



Pieter Desmet (PhD) is Professor of Design for Experience at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

His research aims to increase our understanding of why and how design evokes emotion, and how it can contribute to the wellbeing of individuals and communities. Pieter supervises a research group that studies various aspects of user experience, and he is head of the Human-Centred Design Department at the University as well as director of the Delft Institute of Positive Design, an initiative to stimulate the development of knowledge that supports designers in their attempts to design for human flourishing. Besides his research, he contributes to local community projects, such as sensory wellness neighbourhood parks and a cultural Rotterdam-based 'House of Happiness'.

Moira Buzzolani has been leading major innovation and digital transformation programs as Director Digital Transformation at Adidas.

She has supported the company and its leaders in developing the strategic vision of the transformation and change management initiatives of digital programs. Leading a team of experts and managers in scaling the impact of the global end-to-end design process innovation, she has contributed to the internal mindset of innovation at Adidas –and its goals to support customers to live active and healthy lives, blending sport and lifestyle– while pushing the boundaries in sustainability. Moira worked for over 10 years as a professor of Communication and Quality at the University of Ferrara. She is also an accomplished painter and illustrator and has written and illustrated a few children’s books, including Adidas’ first kids’ book ‘Poffy gets in shape’.

Paul Gardien is Philips Head of Design Strategy & Innovation and a member of the Philips Experience Design Leadership Team.

Paul is responsible for the global design strategy, the cross-business design programs, the design research & innovation programs and design for brand licensing. He's the linking pin from Experience Design to all the Philips Innovation & Strategy groups, inspiring direction, managing the relations and the joint projects. Paul has spent his entire professional career at Philips Design, working in many different areas ranging from product-, multimedia- and internet design to different management and development functions. In addition, he shares his experience by teaching and assisting the Eindhoven University of Technology in the role of TU/e fellow.

Joni Saylor is Vice President and Distinguished Designer of IBM's Design Program.

She is an experienced design leader, passionate about the intersection of human-centred methods and business strategy. Joni is on a mission to empower and equip IBM teams to ship excellent user experiences, pervasively. Joni has taught the InnovationSpace design studio, a multi-disciplinary course pairing engineering, business, and design students with corporations looking to incubate. She also consulted The New York Foundation for the Arts in the development of their Arts Business Incubator. As a member of IBM's Global Executive Women's Council, Joni's work helped to create opportunities for one hundred mid-career women to advance into executive roles.

Amelia Kuch (PhD) is Policy Insights Manager at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Amelia is an anthropologist, facilitator, and systems thinker with 10+ years of experience leading social impact research across Europe and Africa. She has a joint PhD in International Development from the University of Edinburgh and Aarhus University and is an alumna of the University of Oxford. At the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, she develops and communicates actionable policy insights to help governments, businesses, and universities accelerate the transition to an inclusive circular economy. Outside of work, Amelia fosters local wellbeing communities as a youth meditation facilitator and co-founder of the Climate Circle book club.

Sameera Chukkapalli Holmes is an architect, a social entrepreneur, and the founder and director of Needlab.

She is driven toward solving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and making sustainable design solutions reachable to all. As the director of Needlab, a nonprofit organisation that works to solve habitat and resilience problems in cities and rural areas, Sameera works with communities worldwide to develop human and environmental-centered architectural design solutions. Needlab's mission is to research, build, and advocate for dignity in design and self-sufficiency in communities. She is an Obama Leader and spends most of her time drafting human and environment-centered design solutions with communities around the world.

Initiated and powered by Philips Experience Design
and co-organized with SERVICE DESIGN COLLEGE, in
collaboration with IBM, IKEA and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

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Until when can teams register?
Teams can register until January 13, 2023. They will have until Friday January 20, 2023 (11:59:59 PM CET) to submit their research proposal(s). We expect that the preparation for a proposal will take at least a few weeks.
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. There is no transfer of intellectual property rights to any third party as a condition of participating in the challenge. Please read our Official rules before submitting.