Cork County Council & CIT announce major international Service Design conference in Cork

Service rePublic, a joint initiative by Cork County Council and Cork Institute of Technology, is excited to announce the hosting of a major international Service Design conference in Fota Island Resort, Cork, on Tuesday, September 26th.

‘The International Service Design Experience’ event is expected to attract in the region of 400 delegates, and is being organised by Cork County Council (CCC) and Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), in conjunction with the Service Design Network (SDN) which represents the global service design community internationally.

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. September 26th will see national and international design and innovation leaders converge in Cork to discuss service design policies and perspectives in an international context and present best-practice exemplars of service design in both the public and private sectors.

This is the first event of its kind in Ireland and will be an exciting conference for people from all sectors interested in Service Design and design thinking, to meet and share their ideas and experience. The format includes rapid-fire presentations and expert panel discussions along with opportunities for delegates to network with national and international leaders in Service Design.

Speaking ahead of the upcoming conference, Tim Lucey, Chief Executive of Cork County Council, said “Cork County Council is excited to be leading the way in the public sector in Ireland by using Service Design for transforming our services with the public. We are proud of our strong connections with citizens, businesses and communities across Cork county, and we are in a unique position to use and develop these relationships to improve services and make people’s lives better.”

Conference delegates will learn about the innovative and transformative ways that Service Design is having an impact in Ireland and internationally. It is a unique opportunity for delegates to hear first-hand from an array of highly influential and respected speakers about the growing range of Service Design initiatives that are underway in both the public and private sectors.

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International speakers include Prof. Birgit Mager, President of the Service Design Network; Louise Downe, Head of Service Design for the UK Government & Government Digital Services; and Sarah Drummond, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Snook, Award winning Service Design Consultancy. National speakers including Pat McLoughlin, Chairperson of the National Oversight and Audit Commission (NOAC), have also been confirmed.

Service rePublic is a new Service Design centre established in January 2017 by Cork County Council and Cork Institute of Technology. It is the first of its kind in Ireland, and comprises a dedicated, multi-disciplinary team of staff specially trained in Service Design and citizen engagement, and is based in Cork County Council’s Head Offices in County Hall, Cork.

Speaking about the service design centre, County Mayor, Cllr Declan Hurley, stated “The communities and people of County Cork have a proud history of engagement and collaboration with Cork County Council. This is evident in the vibrancy and activity of our community and voluntary sectors and in the pride that the people of the county feel for their local areas. The incredibly high level of satisfaction with the quality of life in County Cork is due in a large part to the sense of being connected with people, community and place. Cork County Council is transforming services for its citizens, with its citizens.”

The centre represents a unique partnership between local government and a third level institution and marks the beginning of a new, exciting approach to service delivery in the public sector in Ireland. Speaking about the collaboration between Cork County Council and CIT, Dr Orla Flynn, Vice President for External Affairs, CIT, said “CIT is delighted to be involved in the Service rePublic partnership with Cork County Council. We look forward to working together to raise awareness of service design and design thinking, and indeed to enhancing our own services in CIT through Service rePublic.”

Further information on the full conference programme for September 26th, and links to registration are available at