Fjord Family

Fjord Equinox 2017: Learning as One

Seeking new attitudes, methods and technologies is the bedrock of Fjord’s success in designing the services and products of the future, but we also enjoy tradition. We take great pleasure in maintaining a ritual started 13 years ago: our annual learning Summit, Equinox. It’s our opportunity to get Fjordians together in one place to learn from one another and share valuable insights and ideas, and right now, 1,000 of us are gathered in Berlin to collide our ideas, insights, and cultures.

Our three days are chock full of deep learning and thought-provoking sessions on all sorts of topics that inform and inspire our work – and will shape much of the thinking we share with the world post-event.

Here is a list of everything we’re going to share, explore and discuss.

WTF is Blockchain?: And why we should care about decentralised services built on the Blockchain? We explore how the underlying technology works and present the service opportunities it could empower, from digital ID to voting.

LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®: Put Down the Post-its, Pick Up a Brick! This facilitates thinking, communication and problem-solving with organizations, teams, and individuals. It engages participants in building physical (yet, metaphorical) LEGO® models to understand ecosystems, create strategies and further personal development.

Design for a Circular Economy: Fjord is in the perfect position to influence the transformation of businesses towards more circular models, and make a clear statement to our clients and society: we care about how we move forward. Taking Living Services as a starting point, together we crafted a story to go to market with, and Fjord methods for sustainable design.

ReThink Democracy: We gathered input on how to rethink the democratic system based on public vote in order to take better decisions for the common good.

Want to Get a Quick Start at Making Your Own VR Experience?: In this workshop, participants use their own phones and laptops to create a VR world using just a few lines of HTML, with no previous coding experience.

Tactile Storytelling with Conducive Paint: How do you make sure that your story sticks? We explored adding conductive paint to story maps to learn how to better illustrate ideas, leverage technology outside of the screen, and wow our clients.

Rapid Prototyping a Physical Experience: Screens, devices, sensors, chatbots, lights, robots: the number of touchpoints we can interact with in a physical world are constantly increasing. We create an interactive experience across different objects without coding, simply mashing up existing services.

Hello Humans, I’m afraid: We all know, the pace of change will never be a slow as it today, and we also know accelerating change and our design work will have unintended consequences. We work together to solve future challenges and introduce tools and methods to get into the future mindset.

Knocking Over the Building Blocks of Voice UI: Participants learn about and play with the building blocks of voice interface.

Improvisation Techniques for the Workplace: Believe it or not, improv is not about being funny or clever; it’s about communication and creative teamwork. In this fun and interactive workshop, we translate the skills of improv into our professional lives.

We Got the Data, but What’s the Story?: Data science is exploding, and the tools available to gain insights from data are increasingly sophisticated. Yet spurring action based on these insights is still a challenge within many organizations. Data alone doesn’t persuade many decision-makers, but when presented in support of a compelling narrative, data can be made to resonate both emotionally and intellectually.

Moodboards Have Become Obsolete. Now What?: In today’s changing landscape, brands are struggling to differentiate from a crowd using conventional methods. Cue Sensory Moodboarding: making the future of Visual Design much less scary.

How Not to Suck at Interviewing: We offer best practices, tips and tricks for not sucking at interviewing!

Sew Yourself Into the Fjorchestra: We learn the basic electronics to turn our hats, T-shirts and sunglasses into unconventional musical instruments.

Making the Method: Living Brand: In this collaborative, method-defining session, we learn how Branded Behaviors can differentiate our work, and why Fjord is naturally positioned to be a leader in this space.

Creating Impactful Research Outputs: This session shares best practices for creating compelling, impactful, tangible and immersive research outputs that can be used in many formats.

Designing Conversations for Bots and AI: Chatbots are becoming ubiquitous, and many clients are asking for them. We discuss why (and why not) to create a chatbot, how to plan for success, and exactly what the design of conversation entails, with a hands-on bot creation exercise.

The Highway and the Wilderness: Finding Fulfilling Work in the 21st Century: The concept of ‘work’ is fundamentally changing and the 21st Century leaves us needing to articulate our dreams, name and manage our own careers and relentlessly retrain and relearn. It’s an inspiring but overwhelming opportunity and requires a set of skills we’re never taught. In this 30-min talk, we break down the challenge and suggest some tools to tackle it.

Space Shit: The work we do, how we do it and why we do it has changed dramatically in the last 70 years, but the space we do it in hasn’t changed. Adding beanbags and a fussball table doesn’t count. What’s happening and what we can do about it?

Sketching with Data: Rituals, Practices, and Traditions of the Data Sages: Sketching has been used for eons by ancient sages and wise men to express revolutionary thoughts. Through travels across the world, we’ve found a new type of sketching, where data is incorporated to tell exciting stories about topics like Dragonball Z and Hamilton.

Are You Yelling Me the Truth or Just Trying to Impress Me?: A question asked a lot during ethnographic research and user testing. We have figured out how to hack our participants’ minds, overriding demand characteristics and social desirability, getting to the core of what they are really telling us. We learn how to read our participants’ cognitive workload using electroencephalography technology and take our research to new depths.

The Path Toward Living Business: Success at designing from within as the first step on the journey to organization-wide transformation. 

Storytelling Day by Day: In this talk you’ll gain a deeper understanding of why story matters and walk away with some tips on how to incorporate story in every aspect of your project, from proposal to deliverable.

Design Research, Journalism, Photography, Refugee Crisis: Using experience applying design research methods to understand the refugee crisis, we explore the parallels between our work and journalism.

Building Successful Teams: We’ve created a framework that helps teams align on goals and expectations during key phases of a project. It’s easy to learn with a hands-on approach and templates for any new project.

Living Government: In the Age of Living Services and Living Businesses, How Can Governments Keep Ip? We look at connecting a living service creation approach, policy agility and integrated public bodies to deliver services that can improve the relationship between agencies and citizens.

The Path to Living Design Systems: We dig into our agnostic solution that expands the definition of Design Systems and pushes the boundaries of execution.

NO-ONE WANTS YOUR CHATBOT! Uncovering the Jobs-to-be-Done: Humans don’t want products – they want progress. This talk reveals the incredible power of Jobs-to-be-Done – a practical framework to drive innovation.

Designing for Culture: A conversation about how we can contextualize our designs by taking into consideration language, history, art and religion, and how our own cultural biases influence our ability to craft impactful services.

Service Design in Ancient Egypt: Ancient Egyptians were at the forefront of innovation, and they used “user-centric” (“pharaoh-centric”) approaches to come up with amazing solutions for problems – inventions that revolutionized the world.

Motion: Fjuck Yeah!: We explore a new set of tools and a language for communicating and creating awesome UI animation, a key unifying element of experiences users love.

Breaking Bias: Our brains are powerful, reality-generating machines. We want to believe that our memories are infallible and our decisions are fair, but processes beyond our control can skew our thinking. We look at the many forms of bias, and how they can be reduced.

Post-Truth by Design: It seems The Truth has been held for ransom. By presenting impossible histories and long held tales of fabrication we showed how Truth has always been shaped by people, technologies and power.

2027: How Yesterday’s Science Fiction Made Tomorrow: As Science Fiction becomes increasingly more fact than fiction, we look at its role in shaping our reality, causal impact, myth making and we look at it as a rigorous Socratic exploration of our inner and outer space.

R&D-ing Our Methodologies: Interested in nonlinear user journeys, blueprinting micro moments, or atomic user stories? This session is for you.

No Planet B: Climate change is the challenge of our lifetimes, yet we struggle to talk about it because it’s scary and abstract and makes us feel small. We discuss climate change’s impact on our societies and environment, and what we as designers and citizens can do to create a better future.

Is Everybody Stupid But Us?: We set the foundations for a working group to challenge ourselves and explore new ways of relating to our clients.

The Influence of Graffiti in Visual Design: The graffiti artist and the visual designer have a lot in common. We use experience of both graffiti and visual design to explain how these two disciplines can inspire one another.

Uncurated: The Side Effects of Personalization: Recommendation engines increasingly determine the spaces we inhabit. We look at how various digital projects are pushing back against our personal bubbles.

Fat Startup a.k.a How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Service Roadmap: We mash up service design, business design and strategy consulting to produce roadmaps that are still design-led and user-first. We talk about why Excel is the AK47 of design tools and why the service blueprint contains the true soul of Fjord.

Unintended Consequences: How Artificial Empathy Hacks Elections: The same data technologies that allow us to hyper-personalize experiences has been hacked to spread misinformation to the right people, at the right time, in the right mindset. We discuss this development through a Data+Design lens, ways to stop it, and how these techniques can be used for good.

e-Commerce Experience: Everything but the Clothes: We explore the science of preference, machine learning and the loyalty loop, and what we still don’t understand about our customers and ourselves. We learn a framework for addressing irrational consumer decisions when shopping online, perception of value, and quantifying the post-purchase experience.

China: A Digital Tipping Point?: From mobile-enabled bike sharing to wallet-free cities with a digital payment ecosystem, we examine snapshots of inspiring digital services in China.

The Pen is Mightier Than the Laptop: We bring it back to analog by way of the original form of communication: handwritten visualization.

Synaesthesify: Ever wondered how your favorite colors sound? We introduce a new twist on the exploration of relationships between audio music styles and visual insights derived from album art.

WHO ARE WE? Fjord’s Diversity Scorecard: We each anonymously shared our beliefs and who we are to see what we have in common (or not) with our peers. Real time data visualizations give us a snapshot of where we’re strong, and by clear visual inference, the areas we need to work at.

First Impressions: Using Service Design to Improve the Fjord New Hire Process
We discuss how we apply service design methodologies to revamp the Fjord New Hire process.

Eat Together, Succeed Together: What can be done to improve team health when food is not enough? We discuss how bringing team health back on track can ensure project success, client satisfaction, and organizational profitability.

Challenged by Architecture: From Design Thinking to Architectural Thinking: This talk provides a bridge between our craft to another that has been tried and tested long before the advent of digital design.

It Ain’t Magic: Getting Rid of the B.S.: We use our Designer’s Workflow Toolkit to cut through the B.S and help designers collaborate, work smarter, bring the focus back to the quality of the design and get rid of distractions.

Physically Lovable Services: Users tell us what we want to hear, and this can have an unwanted effect on our designs. Psychophysiology refers to the relationship between psychology and its physiological manifestations. It’s already actively used in game design and we believe that capturing this physiological data from users can be an effective way to uncover a customer’s pain points that they may not have articulated otherwise; ultimately leading to the design of a physically lovable service.

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