Frequently Asked Questions

How do you select speakers?

In the lead up to events we engage with the community to learn about the stories and themes our audience would like to hear about.

We approach this as a qualitative research project – speaking with a diverse group of practitioners and synthesising the outcomes to identify relevant themes and potential speakers. We then see who’s available and interview those speakers to draw out compelling stories that (we hope) will resonate with the community. We also work with highly regarded consultancies and organisations to curate sections of our events based on the themes identified.

We specifically look for forward-thinking practitioners across the fields of: Service Design, Strategic Design, Design Ethics, and Design Leadership. We also look for a balance of speakers from: industry, academia, consultancies, and startups. We always aim for the schedule to reflect our audience and broader society, with speakers from across the spectrums of culture, gender, sexuality, and life experience. We aim to exceed the standard diversity quotas expected by the community and purposefully engage with practitioners from across these spectrums as part of the research process.

To be part of this process we’d recommend joining the Service Design Melbourne (SDM) Slack group, participating in SDM events, responding to calls for speakers, and/or generally engaging with the design community.

How do I join Slack?

We use the #sdnow channel in the Service Design Melbourne Slack group for communications and speaker questions throughout our conferences – you can join here.

Is there a social media hashtag for the conference?

We avoid using social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook due to community concerns around data, privacy, and ethics.

Do you have a code of conduct?

Like all good Victorians, we follow the ‘No Dickheads’ policy popularised by our friends at the Meredith Music Festival. Basically respect each other – and approach one of our volunteers, the conference desk, or send us an email if you'd like to report something.

Do you have a sustainability policy?

We recognise sustainability is a major concern within the design community and strongly believe in minimising waste at all our events. As part of this:
1. We ask that all attendees bring their own reusable water bottles and coffee cups for use throughout the conference – with water and coffee provided for attendees participating in this. As of SDNOW3 we won’t be providing plastic water bottles or single-use coffee cups.
2. We're working with caterers and suppliers to ensure that all packaging is recyclable and sustainable.
3. We’ll be providing separated bins throughout the conference and are working with venues to ensure strict recycling and waste minimisation policies are followed.
4. We’re asking all supporting organisations to do the same.

Do you have a privacy policy?

We strongly believe in GDPR protections and as a general rule will never share your data with anyone, apart from the very specific circumstances outlined below. We collect the minimum information required to run these events and nothing more.
1. We use three platforms to manage our ticketing and communications: Eventbrite, Mailchimp, and Slack. All information entered is securely stored in these platforms under their privacy and data protection policies. We never store or have access to your credit card details.
2. If you purchase a ticket for an event your name and email address may be synced between these platforms to facilitate communications for that specific event, and you can unsubscribe from these communications at the bottom of any emails sent.
3. At some events we may need to provide names of attendees to venues or hosts for ticketing purposes. For example if you’re attending a workshop at a consultancy we will provide a list of relevant attendees names, but will never give them your contact details, email address or phone number.

Who organises SDNOW?

The conference is mainly organised by Tristan, Nico and Steph from SDNOW – with additional help from our volunteers, supporting organisations, and friends on the Service Design Melbourne committee.

Any other questions?

Send us an email at – we’re happy to chat about anything that’s on your mind, but might take a few days to reply.

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