【Event News】The Practice of Sustainability: A Workshop on Opening an Account of Influence

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Design thinking is one of the methodologies for sustainable action. However, how should we measure the influence of design following such action? On October 28, 2023, a workshop entitled “The Practice of Sustainability: Opening an Account of Influence” was held. Prof. Tu Min-fen, who has extensive experience and outstanding achievements in USR initiatives at Tamkang University, was invited as the facilitator to lead the participants to open an account of influence through case study exercises, with accountability in mind, to grasp the essence of the accountability system of social practice as well as the influence of service science initiatives, and to put the SDGs into daily practice!


【An ice breaker and exchange of values】

The facilitator first led each participant to describe themselves on a small card, giving their name, motive for participating in the workshop (why), what they hoped to learn from the workshop (what), personal values, and sustainability values. Next, the facilitator encouraged the participants to interact with one another, effectively enabling cross-school, cross-field, and cross-industry exchanges!




【On sustainability】

“To implement sustainable action and open an account of influence, the SDGs need to expand from 17 targets to 169 goals,” emphasized the facilitator. She introduced an SDGs identification table and led the participants to identify the goals. After the exercise, participants said that identifying the goals was far more difficult than expected. Prof. Lin Fu-ren of the Institute of Service Science at National Tsing Hua University remarked from the perspective of service science that the executive team could encourage its partner companies to advance their desired concrete goals, which would be conducive to reaching agreement between both sides on sustainability issues and the direction a project is taking.



【On influence】

According to the facilitator, organizing an event can be divided into three levels: how to organize an event, how to organize a good event, and how to organize a rewarding event. In addition, it is necessary to incorporate a medium- and long-term effectiveness evaluation mechanism into organizing an event. Therefore, the facilitator demonstrated how to set the objectives and performance of an event through the USR Dynamic Balanced Scorecard, then evaluate the event in terms of learning, value, and influence through a questionnaire, and finally produce a report on the event, with effectiveness data, for continuous discussion of sustainability value.



【Coming up with ideas and opening accounts of influence】

The idea to develop at the workshop was “Using a Book to Initiate Action.” The facilitator led the teams to define the accountability action they wished to perform. The OGSM framework was utilized to guide the teams in developing the objective (O), goal (G), strategy (S), and measure (M) of the action. How to put the planned action into practice needs to entail service design, take into account the stakeholders before, during, and after the action, and perfect the service delivery process. In the end, the five teams came up with their own accountability action each, clearly defined their goal, and even listed many data-based indicators. Their action seemed fully feasible!




【Feedback and reflection】

Finally, the facilitator calculated the effectiveness and influence of the workshop. To begin with, the average confidence of the participants in opening an account of influence increased by 13%, the total learning effect was 91.6%, and the average number of contacts each participant gained was 4-5. Under the influence of the workshop, the participants had actions expected to be carried out in the future. The 10 main ones were planning OGSM programs of influence, creating their own account of influence, knowing more about sustainability issues, applying what they learned in class to competitions, setting personal goals, learning and applying OGSM methods, starting with daily goals, turning practical activities into teaching materials for the workshops, participating in more relevant activities, and internalizing what they’ve learned and continuing learning.




The event drew 26 teachers, students, and industry people who are interested in service science and accounts of sustainable influence. Under the guidance of Prof. Tu, by deliberating on the issues and coming up with ideas, the participants learned how to open an account of influence for action, define strategies and evaluation criteria, use service science to assist in action implementation, and ultimately achieve sustainable dialogues with stakeholders. The practice of sustainability, from strategy development to practical implementation, involves many obstacles to overcome, and the application of service design can systematically solve this challenge, said Justin Ku, Director of the Service Design Research Center at Fu Jen Catholic University. Finally, Prof. Lin mentioned that in the process of sustainable co-creation, communication skills and ability are very important, and that sustainability requires the commitment of the general public. He hoped that all the participants would become an important force in service science!