Next Session

Siracusa 3-8 July 2017
A 6 days immersive learning experience
on the theory and practice of service design


A short course

Deep dive into the theory and practice of Service Design.
42h training with a team of international practictioners.

A professional challenge

Test your capacity in designing services into a real life context.
Learn by doing taking service design to the real world

A networking opportunity

Meet and connect with a group of international professionals, sharing skills between design thinkers and service innovators

A holiday!

Enjoy 6 days Mediterranean experience, discovering Sicilian heritage, food and culture.
Sea, sun and fun!


Who is it for?


UX, graphic, product design or any other creative field with a user centered approach

Service Providers

Managers and front line staff running backstage operations and delivering a service


Creative and strategic professionals managing and facilitating innovation processes


Startuppers and business owners who want to improve their customer experience

Civil Servants

Policy makers and employees who want to improve or innovate services for citizens


Why Service Design?

We use services every day, often without even realising it: from public transportation to the post office, from mobile banking to retail, services are performances that can be designed, improved and optimized.

Service Design is an approach to deliver great user experiences while creating business value for providers.

Why Sicily?

Take an island with a glorious heritage and plenty of resources in the heart of Mediterranean Sea, then add cultural resistance to change, lack of infrastructures and urgent need to implement new services.

Could you imagine a better challenge?
We want to take Service Design where is most needed.



Service Design tools and methods


With real clients and stakeholders


Immersive Sicilian Spring experience



Service Design South is made of



Programme of activities

July 3 - July 8 2017
Complete Service Design South programme will be soon available in downloadable pdf

Monday 03

From toolkit to mindset
[theory review]

What’s beyond postit notes and user journey mapping? When, how and why using a specific tool?

From service design to designing services
[practice deep dive]

What are the core service components and what does it take to design service experiences? How to sell the value of a service design project either internally or to a client? 

Tuesday 04

Service design challenges
[client briefs]

Understanding local context and client needs, stakeholder mapping and service ecology. Challenge your assumptions.

What are you looking for?
[service design research]

Asking the right question, train your listening skills. From quantity to quality, from data to information.
Strategic research planning.

Wednesday 05

[field research action]

Shadowing, interviewing, observation and mapping. Cultural probes, contextual enquiry and user-generated contents.

From insights to opportunities
[insights analysis]

Making sense of research results. Defining opportunities for intervention: service acupuncture. Practicing personas and user journey mapping.

Thursday 06

Service innovation
[transforming the service experience]

Changing behaviours and reshaping experiences. Generating ideas that respond to client’s need, creating new touchpoints or integrating different channels.

Make it real
[prototyping services]

Shape up the intangible, test your service value proposition, from paper to lego, from acting to real people. Build your key service components.

Friday 07

Crash test
[user testing and validation]

Choose the right context, take your prototypes out in street, record feedback and reactions. Accept or discard feedback, iterate and improve.

Interaction and visibility line
[blueprinting for service implementation]

Visual models and usage of a service blueprint. From user experience to internal capacity and operations, channels, touchpoint, indicators and business logic.

Saturday 08

Show me the money
[service value proposition]

From increasing market size to improving customer satisfaction and brand loyalty, what is the business value of service design? An what is the social impact it can deliver in public services and third sector organisations?

Package and deliver
[client presentations]

Service design deliverables: the logic and the magic of service innovation. How to hand in a project to a real client? How to fade out from the process? How to implement a new service or improve an existing one from whitin an organisation?

  • You are carried through a number of different service design methods, both theoretically and in practice

    Clizia Welker - Italy
  • If you are a designer already it’s an addon to your existing education

    Julie Utgard - UK
  • What I really appreciate was to work with the local businesses

    Cynthia Watson - Canada
  • Service is not this intangible thing that you can’t do anything, actually it is possible to design that. 

    Mellyana Frederika - Indonesia
  • It’s not a standard course as you would think about. It’s an immersive experience.

    Daniele Iori - Italy
  • This course doesn’t end here as we’ll keep collaborating and sharing experiences in the future.

    Stefania Berselli - Italy
  • I would feel confident now to take on a project with more of a service perspective, if a client asks me.

    Julie Utgard - UK
  • During the last two weeks we have worked a lot, socialised a lot, and we had so much fun!

    Chiara Patitucci - Italy

Explore 2015 edition Explore 2016 edition


Our glocal team

Bringing to you a mix of professional skills and international experience

Vincenzo Di Maria <br><span>Service Designer, co-founder and network catalyst at commonground</span>
Jonas Piet<br><span>Service Designer, partner and maker at InWithForward</span>

Welcome to Siracusa


Visiting Italy without going to Sicily leaves no image in the spirit. It is Sicily that is the key to everything!
  -Goethe, German Author

Sicily is the largest island of the Mediterranean Sea, a cross-section of many cultures reflected by traditions, architecture, language and rich cuisine. Welcoming but resistant to any form of change, Sicily is the land of missed opportunities, suffering from poor infrastructure and lack of services but full of resources.


Syracuse is the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all
  -Cicero, Roman orator

Siracusa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site today looking for new models of sustainable development after many decades of industrial exploitation and architectural restoration. The main challenge for the city today is the conversion of old economical sectors from industry and agriculture to invest into tourism and new services.

How to get there

The easiest way to reach Siracusa is flying to Catania International Airport (check on skyscanner for best solutions) and then take a bus by Interbus line that in about 1 hour will drop you at Siracusa coach station, 15 minutes walk from Ortigia.
You can also rent a car, but please be aware that parking in the old part of town is not the easiest. You can also fly to Palermo, Trapani or Comiso, but transfer to Siracusa could become an adventure. If you are looking for a walk on the wild side take an overnight train from Rome or anywhere else in Italy. Check timetables and fares on Trenitalia.

impact hub siracusa

The Venue

Service Design South venue is Impact Hub Siracusa – located in Via Mirabella 29 | 96100 Siracusa Italy.
Impact Hub Siracusa is located in the historical centre of Siracusa, on the small island of Ortigia, surrounded by Greek historical landmarks and a lively atmosphere. The venue was convent and then an art school before becoming a centre for social innovation and entrepreneurship in 2011. From co-working activities to community events and incubation programmes the spaces offers all the comforts of an office space and a suggestive training centre.

Explore the venue












Service Design South 2017

1.200,00 + 22% VAT if applicable

A 6 days immersive learning experience on the theory and practice of service design.
We have room only for 25 participants, hurry up and book your ticket now!

Ticket includes
Materials, breakfasts and light lunches for the six days of activities
Not included
Accomodation (we can help you finding the right solution)
Participants maximum number
Cancellation policy
Before 03 May 2017 > 100% refund
Before 03 June 2017 > 50% refund
15% additional discount for Impact Hub Siracusa associated
15% additional discount for Architecta 2017 associated
20% additional discount for groups of 3 or more


Doubts or questions?

Check if you find the answer in this list, otherwise don’t hesitate to contact us!

Yes. If you are a service provider, business consultant or have previous experience in managing and implementing services you are welcome.
This course is about learning from practice. You will have a chance to compare your existing knowledge and approach with the experience of other professionals.
No. This course is targeted at professionals. We offer 15% discount to members of Architecta (Italian Society of Information Architecture) and Impact Hub Siracusa community.
Yes. We are based inside a coworking space and we can arrange something for you.
Yes. Please get in touch, we can negotiate a special deal for group bookings.
Sorry, not yet. But we have a network of local connections. Hospitality services range from shared flats to b&b, hostels and hotels
Sure. Just insert your correct details while filling in the booking form.
Yes. Your wishes, our pleasure 🙂 Get in touch and we’ll arrange different catering options.
No. Commonground srl is a VAT registered italian company, we will charge 22% VAT when applicable. Early bird price and discounts are applied to net prices. Contact us if you have any doubt about this.

Get in touch