Prototyping Clean Energy Futures

In a workshop hosted by STBY during the Service Design Days in Barcelona on the 5th and 6th of October 2018, we prototyped ideas for new service concepts in response to the What Design Can Do Clean Energy Challenge. The participants were all from different backgrounds and locations, with an interest to dive into the topic of clean energy from a Service Design perspective. They worked in small groups of 3 to 4 people.

Based on the workshop package and briefings STBY prepared for the WDCD Clean Energy Challenge, each of the groups immersed themselves into the local context and challenge for 1 of the 5 cities in focus: Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Nairobi, New Delhi and Amsterdam. The groups used the provided templates of the Cluster Board and Value Map to organise their key insights, define their focus area and brainstorm on ideas for potential new service concepts. They then prototyped one of their ideas in a simple way by using post-its, pens and some small stands.

In just 3 hours every group managed to dive into the complex issue of clean energy in a specific location, and to come up with a story that illustrates a potential direction for clean energy futures. We filmed these stories and share the videos here as examples.

This workshop was a ‘taster session’ with multiple objectives:

1. To raise awareness for the Clean Energy Challenge, and to stimulate people to submit a proposal. The more people know about this, and hopefully contribute, the better. This is a topic close to our hearts.

2. To share and review with the Service Design community the research and scoping we did for the Briefing Packs for the Challenge, as well as the templates and guidelines we prepared the Workshop Pack. This enables all applicants in the challenge to start from a level playing field – to dive straight in rather than starting from scratch. Apart from the use of these materials for the challenge they are of course also interesting and relevant for the workshop participants to learn from in relation to other projects they may be working on.

3. To trigger discussion within the Service Design community on how these type of challenges enable creatives to engage with complex and strategic topics like climate action and to help making a difference. Why leave this to policy makers, engineers, academics and NGOs? Creatives sure have a lot to add here!

See below for nine lovely stories about envisioned future services that were created by the participants of the workshop.

A big THUMBS UP to all the participants in the workshop! You worked hard and amazed us with what you came up with in such a short period of time. We also very much appreciated the reflective discussion at the end of the workshop. Do consider refining and submitting your ideas in the Clean Energy Challenge, and please spread the word to others!

Prototypes related to Sustainable Mobility in Sao Paulo:

An electrical bike service with additional social benefits…


A community car sharing service…


Prototypes related to Green Building in New Delhi:

Financial services for sustainable home owners….


Shared kitchens for people living in informal settlements…


Prototypes related to Waste Management in Mexico City

A service for trading organic household garbage…


A service around community vouchers for recycling waste….


Prototypes related to Food Systems in Nairobi

A more sustainable system of warehouses and bicycles for the transport of food…..


Prototypes related to City Scapes in Amsterdam

A service for tourists to generate and share energy while visiting a city…


A system that generates energy from boat traffic in the canals…

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