Session type:


Presented by:

Celia Beketa

Royal Borough of Greenwich

Chiara Pasetti

Royal Borough of Greenwich

Session time:

20 Sep 11:15 12:45

Session duration:

90 minutes

About the session

As advocates and practitioners of people-centred approaches, it’s easy to assume that our service design methodologies are ‘doing good’, but how often are we truly centring the voices of the communities we seek to help? 

Are there instances where we are inadvertently being extractive or exerting outsized power over those we are designing with or ‘for’? 

In what ways does our own positionality (the way our identity and lived experience shape our outlook on the world) influence our design processes and outcomes?

This session will explore such questions, identifying ways we can prevent unequal power dynamics between designers and ‘users’ and activate design processes that shift the needle toward justice and equity. 

This session will be highly interactive and action-oriented, with ample activities and opportunities for dialogue between participants.

Participant takeaways:

  • Understand our own positionality more deeply, including how it might influence our service design process and lead to unequal processes or outcomes, and what we can do to address this
  • Learn the ways in which we as service designers can have outsized power over users, and learn from examples of more equitable power distribution
  • Move from awareness to action: discuss and ideate solutions to the above including concrete, tangible actions that can be applied directly and immediately in our own work, taking into account the constraints we face in working in the public sector.


Ethics, Inclusion, Justice and equity, Power, Positionality, Design process

This session:

  • Includes interaction

About the speaker(s)