Service Design for Executives

An executive level course program to make your organisation truly customer-centric

Combines state-of-the-art academic and practical knowledge

The Service Design for Executives (SD4X) program combines extensive academic and practical knowledge into a a compact, hands-on course. It is specifically designed to provide actionable and relevant skills to senior executives across a wide range of industries.

compact learning blocks over a 9 month period

The pilot program is planned for the 2020/21 academic year, starting in January 2021, divided into 6 week-long segments online via Tallinn, Maastricht and Riga. The course structure allows participants to actively use the skills learned in the periods between the weekly sessions.


It is created in collaboration with
– Tallinn University,
– Maastricht University Service Science Factory,
– Stockholm School of Economics in Riga and
– Brand Manual.

Application deadline. October 30th.

Want to apply for the course?

To apply for the course make a short video (2-3 minutes) explaining :


What your organisation does and how big it is?


What challenges does your organisation face in becoming more customer centric and innovative?


What do you and your organisation expect to get out of this course?

Send it to using (for example) WeTransfer.

Based on the videos, we’ll contact you for additional information. If you are curious, but have some questions, then contact us and we’ll answer them.

guy making selfie video
Application deadline. October 30th.

Application and Selection

Application criteria

In order to participate in this course you must be an executive level decision maker within your organisation. By this we mean, that you must have decision making power within your organisation, and are able to organise cross-disciplinary teams. Your organisation must be fairly large and serve customers or citizens at scale, eg thousands to millions of interactions. You must have very good English skills.

As this is a pilot programme, which will be refined following the 20/21 academic year, it is heavily subsidised by the European Erasmus+ programme. Due to the subsidy we can offer you participation in this course at an unparalleled price. This is a huge opportunity to get an extensive education, with like minded peers, in an international setting. What we expect from you is to be 100% committed to your learning journey and 100% attendance and focus on your own challenge in between the course sessions.

As a condition of a program financed by the European Union, all course material will be made publicly available, because knowledge should be spread, not hoarded. Therefore you will also be requested to make all of your course work publicly available as case studies. Of course, some black-out will be allowed for confidential or industry specific numbers and statistics.

Selection process

The primary selection criteria will be based on a video application where you outline in 2-3 minutes, why you are interested in the course, what you believe you will learn and what it will help you achieve within your organisation. Organisations that qualify will be asked to fill out more detailed information about their organisation and will be invited to an interview.

Finally, we will be looking for matching between organisations, in order to provide as much synergy and opportunity to learn from each other, as possible.

The goal is to have three commercial and three public organisations per country (Estonia, Netherlands and Latvia) and that the types of organisation represented would overlap among the three countries. Eg, a company from the tourism sector from each country, one from financial services etc.

Curious to know more?


Tallinn University

Tallinn University is the largest university of humanities in Tallinn and the third biggest public university in Estonia. It consists of 6 institutes and 1 college. We have more than 7,500 students (with 9.5% of them international), and over 400 researchers and lecturers.

Our main strengths lie in the fields of humanities and social sciences, but we also have a strong and constantly growing component of natural and exact sciences, as well as a notable tradition of teacher training and educational research. We have five interdisciplinary focus fields: educational innovation, digital and media culture, cultural competences, healthy and sustainable lifestyle and society and open governance.

We contribute more to society by promoting intelligent lifestyle in Estonia. We interpret intelligent lifestyle as making research-based decisions in order to improve society in general and the well-being of its citizens.

Contact at TLU: Külliki Tafel-Viia,

Stockholm School of Economics in Riga

Stockholm School of Economics in Riga has been established in 1994 with the goal to provide state-of-the-art education in economics and business that contributes to the economic and social development of the Baltic region. The community at SSE Riga consists of about 400 Bachelor and EMBA students from Latvia, Baltics and other countries thus creating a truly international spirit.

Being a small business school with only one program in BSc and one EMBA SSE Riga has proved to be very dynamic in designing new courses and teaching methods. Thus the involvement in the development of modern and innovative course in service design is a logical step in accordance with the schools mission and international ambitions. We expect to develop curricula that will provide the course participants with valuable knowledge and skills that can later be applied in their daily work to improve the efficiency and appropriateness of provided services and in the longer run will provide an impact on society in general.

Contact at SSE Riga: Aivars Timofejevs,

Maastrich University

In 2010 the school of business and economics of Maastricht University started the Service Science Factory (SSF) in order to provide a place of practice, applied research and professional education on the topic of Service Innovation. In its 10 years of existence SSF has concluded more than 60 strategic and operational service innovation projects for different governmental as well as profit and non-profit organisations.

What makes SSF unique is that it is able to tap into the vast amount of academic knowledge within Maastricht University by recruiting students (18.000+) and researchers from its 6 faculties. In a pressure cooker environment facilitated by SSF-project leaders, these students and academics work together with business professionals to tackle real societal and business challenges between 4 to 12 weeks depending on the challenge.

Contact at Maastricht University: Damien Nunes,

Brand Manual

Brand Manual is a pioneer in service design and an international service design and branding agency. With offices in Tallinn, Maastricht and Stockholm, Brand Manual serves a diverse portfolio of clients from breweries to medical companies. By relentlessly focusing on the customer experience, Brand Manual has helped develop unique service concepts that fundamentally change how companies operate. After all, competitive advantage no longer comes from what an organisation does, but from how it delivers. Technology is changing everything and quality has become just a hygiene factor.


The commitment is not only participation in the sessions, but executing the homework in the time between the course modules.


The cost per participant is €2,000. The subsidy per participant is €22,000.