A Conceptual Framework for Social Currency Innovation: A Service Design Perspective


  • Ida Telalbasic Loughborough University London, Politecnico di Milan




Early-stage entrepreneurs struggle to find financial access to different types of services that help develop their businesses. In recent research, complementary currency systems have been identified as promising alternatives to the deficit of money for accessing goods and services. The purpose of this study is to explore the potential of service design as a tool to create more resilient currency services that enable the exchange of digital credits between entrepreneurs. The theoretical investigation focused on relationships between complementary currency systems as resilient strategies and sociological interpretations of value exchange. Furthermore, service design tools, methods, and approaches are applied to the thinking towards social currency innovation. The resulting Conceptual Framework for Social Currency Innovation (CFSCI) highlights the potential of service design in making services more accessible, transparent, and affordable. Service design is relevant in understanding financial transactions, as it helps to perceive exchanges between entrepreneurs as services. Service design research can contribute to a reframing of issues of unaffordable services by conceptualizing service systems that enable skilled individuals to exchange their knowledge through social currencies. These new currencies make transactions between entrepreneurs possible and the service design perspective makes them more meaningful for the users.

Author Biography

Ida Telalbasic, Loughborough University London, Politecnico di Milan

Dr Ida Telalbasic is a Designer Researcher in Service Design for Social Innovation & Sustainability. Ida's education includes a double MSc. degree in Product-Service-System Design from Politecnico di Milano in collaboration with Politecnico di Torino granted by Alta Scuola Politecnica. She completed a PhD in Product, Service & Strategy Design at Politecnico di Milano, researching the topic of design in times of socio-economic transformations and investigating how social innovation can contribute in proposing new service systems. She is currently working as Lecturer in Design Innovation Management at the Institute of Design Innovation, Loughborough University London. She holds a Programme Director position in Entrepreneurial Design Management at the same institution. She is a visiting lecturer at Central Saint Martins College (Innovation Management) and at Ravensbourne (Business Design) in London. Ida's research focuses on service design innovation and systemic structural change, where design is given a role in leading economic transformations rather than simply responding to them. Ida's experience includes developing scaling-up methodologies for social innovations and contribution in a start-up project aimed to design collaborative services to boost social innovation. Her work focuses on innovation in products, services and user experiences, using a design-driven approach for social innovation and sustainability.