Cork leads the way in Global Service Design Conference for Ireland

Cork County Council is pleased to announce its partnership with the 11th annual Service Design Global Conference, which takes place in Dublin on October 11th and 12th and has a strong Cork presence throughout.


New York, Amsterdam and Madrid have all played host to this dynamic global conference in the past, and this year Cork County Council was instrumental in attracting the conference to Ireland for the first time following a bid in conjunction with the Irish chapter of the Service Design Network (SDN).  The conference will discuss Service Design policies and perspectives in an international context, and will present best-practice exemplars in both the public and private sectors. Cork is superbly represented throughout the conference by speakers from Cork County Council, Cork Institute of Technology and Musgrave Group.


International speakers from industry giants such as Adidas, BMW Group, Virgin Cruises, Air France KLM, OP Financial Group and IBM will be joined by Ireland’s leading food retail and wholesale company Musgrave Group, to demonstrate the value of the growing discipline of Service Design as a means of allowing companies to become more competitive and innovative. Public sector audiences will also be catered for by speakers from NHS Digital UK, Sydney Metro Australia, Los Andes University, and King Abdullah’s Economic City (Saudi Arabia), as well as from Cork County Council, and Cork Institute of Technology.


Commenting on the practical application of Service Design, Tim Lucey, Chief Executive of Cork County Council, and keynote speaker at the conference said “Cork County Council is excited to be leading the way in the public sector in Ireland by using Service Design to transform the services we deliver to the public. We are proud of our strong connections with citizens, businesses and communities across County Cork. Design-led innovation can make services more efficient and effective, while at the same time delivering faster, simpler services that are co-designed with service users.”


Service Design promotes a design-led approach to transforming services and aims to develop better services by working with service users to understand their needs. The conference will see over 700 international and national delegates converge on Dublin’s Convention Centre to meet and share their ideas and experience with other people from the various sectors interested in Service Design and design thinking. Speaker sessions will be supplemented with practical workshops that demonstrate how Service Design tools are being used globally to motivate and empower staff and to achieve improved service delivery models for customers.


Service Design in Ireland

Cork County Council is spearheading the concept of Service Design in Ireland, and in January 2017, together with Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), it developed Service republic – Ireland’s first public sector service design centre, based in County Hall Cork. Service rePublic is a partnership between Cork County Council and CIT that combines a dedicated, multi-disciplinary team of staff; specially trained in Service Design; with student interns from CIT. This dynamic approach to transforming how public services are delivered also provides an educational environment for the development of service design in the Cork area, allowing the teaching of the discipline to be supported by the experience of transforming services in a real local authority environment.


In September 2017, Cork County Council, together with CIT, and in conjunction with the International  Service Design Network (SDN), hosted Ireland’s first ever ‘International Service Design Experience’ in Cork. This event showcased national and international design and innovation leaders, and it was largely on the back of the success of that conference that t Cork County Council succeeded in attracting the Global Conference to Ireland in 2018.


Speaking at the announcement of Cork County Council’s involvement in the Service Design Global Conference, Mayor of Cork County Cllr. Patrick Gerard Murphy said “Cork County Council is pleased to have been instrumental in bringing the Service Design Global Conference to Ireland this October. By learning from global experts like those lined up for this conference, we will be in a unique position to develop our relationships with our citizens further to improve services and make people’s lives better.”


Orla Flynn, Vice President for External Affairs in CIT added: “CIT’s partnership with Cork County Council has created a host of opportunities through sharing experience and expertise across the public sector and beyond.  This October’s global conference will promote the positive and transformative impact that good service can have on all our lives.”


For conference tickets or more information on the Service Design Global Conference visit   

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