19 Executive MBA and full-time MBA students, summer elective

Live project: Digital services for adult social care in collaboration with 7 MA Industrial Design students from Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London

Guest speakers: Christian Madsbjerg, ReD Associates; David Mcgirr, Digital Life Sciences; Tom Penney, Social Kemistri/London Borough of Merton; Kevin McCullagh, Plan

Studio visit: Barclays Design Office, Canary Wharf



This year the elective was again split between Oxford and London. After kicking off in Oxford with an overview of design thinking and methods and training in ethnographic approaches for user research, we then moved to Central Saint Martins for an intense one-day workshop in collaboration with design students to support a digital development company – Digital Life Sciences – by adding a service design dimension to its digital products. Then, back in Oxford we explored the organisational implications of building a design capability.

Service design innovation project: Redesigning adult social care

For this live project we partnered with Digital Life Sciences which has developed a suite of digital services for primary healthcare and adult social care. Students also benefitted from expert input from Tom Penney, adviser in adult social care at the London Borough of Merton.


The brief for the day included:

  • Helping Digital Life Sciences Identify the actors involved in co-creating care and good health for people with long-term conditions using the DLS digital care planning tools
  • Clarify the outcomes for the key actors ie how they are affected (negatively or positively) by people using the digital care planning tools
  • Show how the actors come together to co-create value in people’s day-to-day lives and work contexts – the basis for a service business


The main methods were

  • User research – ethnographic interviews
  • Mapping the service ecology
  • Defining outcomes for key actors
  • Service blueprinting