Coaching and judging


Coaching and judging


Meet the coaches and the members of the jury


Meet the coaches and the members of the jury

Each design team will have two-weekly (virtual) coaching sessions with the challenge coach. The challenge coach will support 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 coaches will guide the teams on a regular basis, including a main ‘assessment session’ at the end of rounds 1, 2 and 3. The team coaches will give each team feedback and provide help on 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 will submit their concept. All submissions will go through to a first round of judging by the challenge jury. The jury will carefully review, discuss and validate each submission based on the challenge criteria. There will be a selection of six nominees (‘Shortlist’) from which the winners will be selected. 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 will be 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).

Gerhard Pfau is an expert in design thinking and will be the coordinator of the team coaches.

Gerhard is an IBM Distinguished Designer leading Enterprise Design Thinking in Europe. He works with IBM teams and with clients to help them understand, experience and leverage Enterprise Design Thinking to create innovative solutions with outstanding user experience. Gerhard loves designing experiences for people and deeply understands technology. The latter made him become a leader of the IBM Academy. Gerhard has lead the team who created the studio in Boeblingen, Germany. As design lead for IBM Studios Boeblingen he is mentoring and nurturing the local design community to ensure great outcomes for users. Prior to that Gerhard was design lead in IBM's Smarter Process portfolio, and lead architect for human-centric business process management.



Lara Penin is Associate Professor of Transdisciplinary Design at Parsons School of Design.

At Parsons - The New School - Lara is director of the Transdisciplinary Design graduate program and a co-founder of Parsons DESIS Lab, a multidisciplinary research lab at the intersection of service design, social innovation and sustainable practices. Her work looks on how service design can effect positive social change towards sustainability while bridging the gap between the innovation of design pedagogy and practice. She's the author of ‘An Introduction to Service Design. Designing the Invisible’; a comprehensive introduction to designing services according to the needs of the customer or participants, addressing a new and emerging field of design and the disciplines that feed and result from it.

Chris Grantham is Executive Director Circular Economy at IDEO.

Chris leads IDEO's consultancy business in the circular economy and works with organisations on system change and breakthrough innovation, particularly the development of enabling digital infrastructure. He has been closely involved in generating innovative solutions and new business models that move us toward a more circular economy. His work has involved a number of design-led initiatives with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, including the development of The Circular Design Guide. The aim of the guide is to advance a generation of creatively confident, systems-orientated circular designers, as well as more resilient organisations capable of thriving in a circular economy.

Ruth Mugge is Professor of Design for Sustainable Consumer Behaviour at Delft University of Technology.

Ruth is Head of the Department Design, Organisation and Strategy at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering of Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. Her main research interests are (sustainable) consumer behaviour, product perception, design for behaviour change, and design for the circular economy. She has published on these topics in journals, such as International Journal of Design, Design Studies, Journal of Cleaner Production, and the Journal of Product Innovation Management. Furthermore, she serves as an associate editor for the journal Resources, Conservation & Recycling and as an editorial board member for Journal of Product Innovation Management and Applied Ergonomics.

Robert Metzke is Chief of Staff Innovation & Strategy and Head of Sustainability at Philips.

Robert focuses on strategy and policy development and drives the execution of structural sustainability action programs in the company via the standing organisation. In his role as Chief of Staff he is responsible for initiating and driving strategic programs and transformation initiatives across Innovation, Strategy, Design, IP&S and Sustainability. He supports and advises the Chief Innovation and Strategy Officer, as well as integrates and prioritizes across the Innovation- and Strategy Management Team. Robert is an experienced global program- and team leader with passion for innovation, strategy, social impact and change leadership.

Shani Sandy is Design Executive at IBM.

Shani is working at the intersection of design, technology, and business, and is leading IBM's design-driven transformation. Her mission is business transformation through design practice and leadership with a relentless focus on superior client experiences. She leads a global team of designers focused on reimagining IT-infrastructure where security, privacy, and resiliency are cornerstones. Shani is actively engaged in the creative and design community and has a passion for nurturing emerging talent. She has been honored by GDUSA, The Network Journal, and A Better Chance. Shani currently sits on the advisory board for EDGE’s Center of Career Development.

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.