Finalists 2021


Finalists 2020


These teams made it into the final


These teams made it into the final

The Student Service Design Challenge celebrated its second edition in 2021 with the participation of student teams from 22 schools and universities worldwide. Over 70 teams took on the initial challenge, and 27 made it to the final, submitting full-fledged service solutions that successfully met the Challenge's evaluation criteria: people-centric, experienced-based, society oriented, technology-enabled, circular & sustainable and business viable.

The commitment and dedication of all the teams have made this first global edition an absolute success. After 5,5 months and 4 rounds of deliverables, the students acquired the necessary knowledge to tackle the topic, learned new tools and methodologies, co-created and collaborated within multidisciplinary teams, and received expert and bespoke guidance and feedback from expert mentors. Above all, they learned to empathise and gained the confidence to address a genuine and urgent issue, namely the unsustainable production processes and business models of the still prevailing linear economy.

A so-called wicked problem that produces excess waste, depletes our natural resources and jeopardises the ecosystem.

Through research, first-hand observation, finding and addressing gaps, and identifying needs and deficiencies in the current systems, the teams recognised the seriousness of the topic and ideated and designed potential solutions that engaged and made users actors of change.

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Impressive effort and dedication

This year's student teams put much effort into understanding and addressing such a complex problem as circular design. They all came out empowered and convinced of their duty and positive influence as designers. And that we can spark change at every level. They are grateful for the opportunity and recommend the experience as unique and enriching: showing their talents, applying their skills, getting expert support, and challenging themselves to solve real, critical social and environmental issues.

Frank Kolkman, the main challenge coach, witnessed their progress and growth: "It's exciting to see how all teams bring fresh, new perspectives to the Challenge and how they apply and adapt the tools and methodologies in their favour and within their own local context.

I'm very impressed with the amount of effort and dedication that each of the teams has put into the challenge to push themselves to come up with solid and original solutions."

We are now putting together the 3rd edition of the Challenge. Giving students and young talents worldwide the opportunity to use their unbiased, playful and uninhibited approach to create new and disruptive ideas that can facilitate, answer and solve some of the most critical issues facing humanity and the planet.


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.