Service Design in the era of Digital Transformation: A Design Foresight Perspective 2025

  • Joern Henning Buehring (Invited speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


The United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (UNDP, 2015) has brought into focus the wide scope of strategic decision-making across economic, social, and environmental dimensions. Developments at this scale are among contributing factors for business and design leaders to become more forward-thinking, and to cultivate the organization's strategic and creative capabilities to remain feasible in the long-term. Consequently, global industry leaders are responding to the zeitgeist that 'business as usual' is no longer acceptable when faced with the many challenges in today's hyper-connected global economy. At a macro level, foresight research has identified exponential trends that will most likely influence ways in which people might live and consume products and services in the near 5-10-year future.

The hypotheses around the broader role of the strategic service design conversation, therefore, is to include systematic futures thinking as a transformational approach to producing visions of desirable, and foremost, sustainable, product-service systems futures. Building on prior design foresight research in service-based sectors of the global economy, applied research has illuminated forward-looking perspectives of the interplay between digital transformation and service-centric value creation futures. This is of interest to both academia and the practice of strategic innovation and design management, as the focus is centred on the beneficiaries of value, and how digital and integrated ecosystems will impact users in daily life through technology enablers in the age of digital interdependence.

To demonstrate the criticality of this topic, this talk will refer to the Financial Services industry as a key pillar of economic activity. Here, the strategic imperative of digital transformation and the emergence of new services and experiential value propositions are driven by forces such as mobile, cloud computing, big data, social connectivity, and advanced technologies such as AI, Internet of Things, blockchain, and quantum computing. Rising competition from non-traditional players or Fintech, the rapid changes in consumer demands in a post-COVID world, are further contributing factors to uncover the potential toward the benefits these technology enablers have on different actors involved.

This talk, in the main, will illuminate how foresight with design and design with foresight can inform strategic innovation and service design propositions with creativity, visualization, and prototyping capabilities. To this end, design foresight offers designers of service value in the era of digital, and indeed, intelligent transformation, a new approach to face the longer-term challenges and opportunities associated socio-technological change.
Period2 Nov 2021
Held atAalborg University, Denmark
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Service Design
  • Design Foresight
  • futures scenarios
  • Digital transformation
  • life-centric design