SXSW 2017: Designing Empathy in Digital Health
The second event in collaboration with DesignForum Finland and SVID, along with Fjord Austin/Chaotic R&D, puts focus on the design of the future health sector.
Danish Design Centre at SXSW Interactive
Agnete Schlichtkrull

Sunday d. 12/3-2017

Panel debate/workshop (side event): ‘Designing Empathy in Digital Health’

  • Place: Fjord Austin/Chaotic R&D, 319 Congress Ave #200, Austin TX
  • Time: Sunday March 12th, 4 - 5:30 pm.
  • Sign up: None, but show up in good time to secure a seat.


  • Mikkel Bech, Emento
  • Jaakko Wäänänen, Hellon
  • Therese Mannheimer, LifeSum

  • Magnus Birkenes, Doublethink

Moderator: Petteri Kolinen, Design Forum Finland

The second event in collaboration with DesignForum Finland and SVID, along with Fjord Austin/Chaotic R&D, puts focus on the design of the future health sector.

The key actors in the healthcare sector are all well aware of the need for a patient-centred approach. When it comes to achieving it, however, we still lack good answers, but service designers hold a potential that the sector would be well advised to seize. First of all, because service design has the capacity to transform public organisations and instil truly user-centred practices. 

Service design is not only effective in connection with rethinking and reshaping patient involvement. Through this session, the participants will experience how design can also be a powerful tool for translating solutions into concrete, implemented practices engaging key stakeholders in the healthcare sector.

This session will include presentations as well as use a case study that focuses on the development of a future scenario for a children’s hospital. Participants in the session will discuss with the expert panel as well as be broken into small working teams that will tackle concrete challenges head on and learn how to apply strategic design methods in the healthcare sector. 

In typical nordic-style design brainstorm fashion, at the end of the session, each group will present their thinking on how to best solve the challenges laid out in the case and engage in a discussion on the results and ideas with the panel experts - and each other.

The design tools and methods used for the session will be available under an open license after the workshop so that they can be used freely by anyone.

Read more: An overview of the Danish Design Centre's activities at SXSW 2017

About the speakers:

Mikkel Bech
Mikkel Bech

Mikkel Bech, fusionist at Emento, has a Master in Computer Science and training in Design, Music and Visual Arts and strives to bridge the gaps working with teams from different disciplines and facilitate close collaboration with end users. Earlier on technology was a separate thing, now it’s penetrating every aspect of our world creating new cross-disciplinar opportunities and challenges. This places new demands on the designers role to act like fusion between art, engineering, research and science leveraging the user. 

Petteri Kolinen
Petteri Kolinen

Petteri Kolinen, Industrial designer, MA, has a long experience in various managerial positions in design from diverse industries. In 1993–2007, Kolinen worked at Nokia as Design Manager, responsible for various teams, as well as e.g. managing the Design Studio at the Keilaniemi headquarters. After this, he was a member of the Group Management Team and Design Director at Martela. He joined Design Forum Finland from Nanso, where he held the post of Creative Director.