Dr Ida Telalbasic

Lecturer and Programme Director, Institute for Design Innovation

Dipesh Dhimar

Dr Ida Telalbasic is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) and Programme Director for the MSc Service Design Innovation programme. She specialises in service design innovation and strategy, as well as, exploring the value of design-driven entrepreneurship.

Ida’s research lies at the intersection between service design innovation, design-driven entrepreneurship and social innovation practices. She is passionate about the role of service design in enabling, activating, and sustaining entrepreneurial activities towards social innovation. In particular, her research looks at the process of adopting user-centred methodologies within service ecosystems for entrepreneurship. Furthermore, she is exploring how service design tools, methods and approaches contribute towards resilient strategies in times of socio-economic transformation.

Ida is a Fellow of Academy for Higher Education and a visiting lecturer at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design (MA Innovation Management) and a teaching assistant for MBA in Designing Better Futures at Saïd Business School, Oxford University.

Academic background

Ida completed her BA in Product Design at Academy of Fine Arts, Sarajevo. She founded an interior design studio, supporting local clients with retail design (such as boutique jewellers and organic food shops). After working as a senior designer for a luxury packaging company and an assistant to the general director of the ARS AEVI Museum of Contemporary Art, she was awarded a full scholarship (as a top international student) and moved to Milan, Italy.

She earned an honours double master’s degree (MSc Product Service System Design and Eco Design) at Politecnico di Milano and Politecnico di Torino. During this time, she co-founded a start-up – a collaborative service system that enables exchange of goods/services within neighbourhoods, boosting social innovation within smart cities. This project was awarded several incubation, accelerator and social innovation awards, including a 100k grant from the Ministry of Education to develop the service model.

During her PhD in Products, Services and Strategic Design at Politecnico di Milano, she researched socio-economic crises and investigated how service design contributes in proposing new service systems towards social innovation and sustainability. During her studies, she was awarded a research fellowship at the DAC research centre at CSM, University of Arts London. As part the DESIS (Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability) research lab, amongst other projects, she contributed to the ‘Transnational Network for Social Innovation Incubation’ project by developing scaling methodologies to support social innovation (http://transitionproject.eu).

Current research and collaborations

‘SAIS’ Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme

For the past two years, Ida has been involved in the delivery of a training program in Pretoria, within the Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme, with the mission to catalyse new businesses and foster the culture of local and regional entrepreneurship. New methodologies and frameworks were delivered to 25 participating project coordinators, who will transfer the gained knowledge to their project partners in their local communities in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia. This inter-institutes collaboration (Institute for Design Innovation and Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation) has resulted in a toolkit to serve as the basis for evaluating impact and can be downloaded here.

‘Credita’ Social Currency Project

The ‘Credita’ social currency action research project was developed as a way to address the lack of financial capital for early-stage entrepreneurs during the 2008 socio-economic crisis. Ida collaborated with Impact Hub (Milan, London), exploring complementary currency systems to propose new community-driven service models for knowledge-exchange within peer-to-peer networks. The project developed a new collaborative service model that enables exchange of services through digital currencies, fostering collaboration opportunities, community resilience and social innovation practices. The ‘Credita’ social currency project was awarded for scaling across Europe in partnership with NESTA, The Young Foundation, Social Innovation Exchange and a recent talk. 

Current PhD / research supervisions

Dr Yasemin Canik

PhD title: “Managing User Knowledge Across Boundaries: The Case for Software Start-ups to Adopt User-centred Design.”

The research aims to identify how software start-ups with limited resources can innovate their products by adopting user-centred design processes, methods and tools to benefit from user knowledge in resource-efficient, sustainable and less-biased ways.

Chiara Orefice

PhD title: “The Role of Events in Service Ecosystem Design – A Value Creation Perspective.”

This research aims to analyse how service design can shape social structures and institutional arrangements and how events act as prototyping opportunities.

Auri Evokari

PhD title: Design Innovation for Entrepreneurship Ecosystems — Fostering Start-up Culture in Southern Africa.”

The research aims to understand the local start-up culture in Namibia, South Africa and Zambia, as well as the practices that foster it, in order to design an actionable model for facilitating entrepreneurship ecosystems in Southern Africa.

Interests and activities

Ida is actively involved in co-design facilitation, design thinking talks, start-up mentorship and is a member of judging panels for tech pitching events across London. She is a regular collaborator with the ‘Techcelerate’ programme at Imperial College London, where she delivers masterclasses on Service Design for Entrepreneurship, supporting engineers in developing their ventures. She contributed to organising Global Sustainability and Service Design Jams for both academia and industry during her time in Milan.

As part of her efforts in promoting service design innovation, Ida regularly peer-reviews design and sustainability journals and is continuously promoting her research agenda on The Value of Design-driven Entrepreneurship by guest editing special issues in design journals, initiating new tracks on this topic at prestigious design conferences. She recently delivered a keynote on the topic entitled “Design for Resilient Economies as part of the New Normal Speaker Series hosted by Prof. Muratovksi, Director of the Ullman School of Design, University of Cincinnati.

She is a member of the Design Research Society, Service Design Network, and DESIS family.

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