Joint Initiatives between CIT and Cork County Council

Service rePublic was officially launched on the 29th of May 2017.  Following the launch, Service rePublic hosted a service design conference in Cork on the 26th of September 2017 and international experts in the field of service design attended and presented at the event. There were 250 attendees from Ireland and Europe and the message was clear that service design had arrived in Cork County Council and CIT and was here to stay.

Service rePublic was presented as a real commitment by Cork County Council and CIT to bring citizens, individuals, communities and businesses into the process of designing services. The conference was also a platform to start building connections and relationships with innovators in all sectors. The event was strongly supported by SDN with Birgit Mager and Jesse Grimes attending and speaking. SDN have provided valuable advice and resources in the establishment of Service rePublic and in the opportunities for scaling the initial success.

CIT developed and delivered a Special Purpose Award in ‘Designing Innovative Services’ in 2017, in which the Service rePublic team have participated. This specialised service design training course is the first of its kind in Ireland.

Service rePublic has also worked with CIT on the delivery of a Design Challenge for Innovation Week 2018 in CIT. The challenge concept was provided by Cork County Council in conjunction with the Older People’s Council – a representative group of older people, established by Cork County Council as part of the development of the Age Friendly Programme. The challenge was “Empathy for the Older Driver” and the workshop was a perfect example of the ideas that can be generated by bringing Council and CIT resources together in terms of the people (staff and public) and expertise of both organisations.

Cork County Council has also provided a programme of work placements for CIT students within the Service rePublic unit. This allows the students to experience a real service delivery environment with all the challenges and opportunities for using service design in practice. While the students gain this benefit, the Service rePublic team gains the insight, enthusiasm and fresh perspective of the students who bring their ideas and skills into the Council. Both organisations also have the benefit of engaging partners from their existing corporate networks in identifying opportunities for the expansion of service design projects and capacity in Service rePublic. Approaches have already been made by these partners in looking to work with Service rePublic to use service design as the basis for projects and activities.