Call for proposals

The 2017 Canadian Service Design Conference welcomes speaking and workshop proposals from practitioners, researchers, and students from across Canada. Submissions should respond to this this year’s conference theme, “Converge.” Selected presenters will receive a complimentary conference ticket and all access pass to the evening social.


Important dates

  • NEW September 19: Proposal deadline
  • October 1: Speakers notified
  • October 15: Speaker bios and head shots due
  • November 21: Submit final presentation
  • December 8: Conference in Toronto


In 2006, media theorist Henry Jenkins coined the term “convergence culture” to describe changes in the way people consumed and produced media. Put simply, he witnessed how old and new media were intersecting; how consumers of media had become producers; and how the power of large media corporations was being challenged by local grassroots initiatives. These changes were emblematic of broader economic, political, and cultural transformations happening in a variety of cultural industries.

Fast forward to 2017, and we’re still feeling the effects of convergence within design. As we argue, service design is a relatively new byproduct of this phenomenon: shaped by a convergence of old, new, and emerging disciplines; shifts in our understanding of how value is produced and consumed; and new models of collaboration that give equal weight to the opinions, skills, and knowledges of end users. While much work has been devoted to distinguishing service design from other design disciplines, these practice areas may have more in common as they pull from and interchange with a variety of disciplines.

Building on the success of last year’s conference, we invite speaking and workshop proposals to explore the theme, “Converge,” by way of critical dialogues, practical reflections, and speculative experimentation. Possible questions might include: How has the convergence of disciplines, such as behavioral economics and sociology, transformed the way service design is practiced? What are the intended and unintended effects of convergence in design? How do changing notions of value creation shift the way we design?

Topic Areas

  • Shifting and hybrid practices
  • Organizational cultures and politics
  • Scaling change and transformation
  • Critical reflections and evaluation   

Submission Types

  • Case Study (20 minutes + 10 minutes Q&A)
  • Formal Presentation (20 minutes + 10 minutes Q&A)
  • Workshop (90 minutes including discussion)
  • Propose an interactive format (timing limited to 30 minutes)

Submission Instructions

Your proposal should clearly outline how you intend to address the conference theme and ideally align with one of the specific topic areas.

Proposals should be uploaded no later than September 19, 2017 by 11:59 p.m.: