SDN Service Design and Climate Change Working Group—join us!


In January 2019, Aran Baker and Emily Wright held the first meeting of the SDNSF Climate Change Working Group, at SFMOMA’s Public Knowledge Library. Since then, the group has been meeting regularly to explore the intersection of climate change and service design.

In September of last year, people from all over the world convened in San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit. They spoke of innovation, taking just and equitable action, and creating transformative solutions — all buzzwords we are hearing more and more. Yet service and human-centered designers were starkly absent from these conversations. Their absence was not for lack of interest to address climate change; rather, it is because the nexus of design and climate has not yet been explored in a comprehensive and critical way.

In recognition of this gap and to cultivate a space for dialogue, the Service Design Network San Francisco (SDNSF) chapter hosted a panel in late October featuring Alexandria McBride, the Chief Resilience Officer from the City of Oakland, Aran Baker, founder of  Cohere Design Lab, and Emily Wright, climate change and sustainability consultant at Cascadia Consulting Group. The panel generated thoughtful discussion and topics ripe for further exploration, as well as momentum around this intersection.

Building off the panel, we formed a working group under SDNSF to focus on exploring the role of service design in the climate sector. Forty-five professionals in public, private, and non-profit sectors working in design, climate, and other related industries came to the first working group meeting. During our time together, we built relationships, established a shared understanding of our goals, and generated ideas for how we might best harness our collective knowledge, varied expertise, and energy to achieve them.

Read more about the group and how you can get involved on our Medium publication

Aran Baker