Summer School in Services – SEM2011 – Finland

The SEM Ph.D school is a genuine attempt to work interdisciplinary with services and have an international out reach. For instance it was arranged by senior academics from School of Science, School of Economics, School of Art and Design at Aalto University. Besides two speakers came from Tokyo Institute of Technology, and I from the Danish Design School. There were also several business cases.

Around 30 Ph.D. students from 9 countries participated in the three-day event in Espoo, Finland. Between 60 – 100 people attended the open lectures. The goal of the Summer School is to bring – academics and doctoral students – together to share their knowledge and co-develop ideas with Service Research as an emerging framework and research area. Senior academics hosted series of events in order to give the participants the possibility to learn about services from different perspectives, and challenge the participants to further develop the conceptual and theoretical frameworks relevant for their dissertation topics and/or research.

This year there were two main tracks: Co-creation of value in services headed by Professor Christian Grönroos. Grönroos is professor of Service and Relationship Marketing, and from the Hanken School of Economics. He had an interesting lecture called “Co-creation of value in service. What is it? Does it exist? Is it an illusion”. The other track was Service Design. Here my lecture was about “Service design: Rehearsing new roles and relations”.

The SEM seminars change themes from year to year. The Ph.D. students wrote papers, which were discussed in six parallel tracks. It seems that the Ph.D. students enjoyed being part of the seminar and networking with each other – so perhaps this is something to look into in the future. Read more at:

About Eva Brandt

Eva Brandt is Professor in Social Design at Design School Kolding since May 2019. Eva is scientific leader of the Lab for Social Design. The main part of her research is about how designers can stage open design processes (design labs based on participatory design/codesign) with many participants who both can inquire into existing practices and explore possible futures in common. She also contributes to theorizing about experimental design research driven by programs and experiments. She has been contributing to several books such as Design Spaces (IT Press, 2005), Rehearsing the Future (The Danish Design School Press, 2010), XLAB (The Danish Design School Press, 2011), Facilitating Change – Using Interactive Methods in Organizations, Communities and Networks (Polyteknisk Forlag, 2011), and Routledge International Handbook of Participatory Design (Routledge, 2013). Practice Based Design Reseach (2017). Ledelse og samskabelse i den offentlige sektor (2018). Eva has been chairing the Nordic Design Research Conference in 2013, and are chairing the Nordes 2021 too.

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