Zilver innovation is merging with livework!

June 29, 2016by zilver

See the video of our merger here.

We are very very happy and proud to announce that from the first of july 2016 Zilver innovation bv will become part of the Livework group. This is the story of why we decided to make this bold move:

10 years young!

In april of this year Zilver celebrated its 10th anniversary. In 10 years we grew to a team of 10 amazingly talented and wonderful people and developed a portfolio of great clients in the Netherlands and abroad. We spoke at conferences all over the world,  contributed to the discourse in service design through the community and academia, learned more than we ever could have hoped for, and met some of the nicest people in the business. We proudly look back on 10 amazing years of relentlessly pursuing top quality in service design, brand driven innovation and customer experience. But as innovators and design thinkers we prefer to look ahead. What we see is a future with so many business opportunities and so many international service design challenges, that it would be a shame to go at it by ourselves.

How we met

Throughout these adventures we’ve always been partnering with likeminded spirits. Because we’ve never thought of Zilver as a goal in itself but rather as an open platform to enable talent to do great work for clients. We have had our doors open to freelancers, associates, fellow agencies, academia and consultants from other disciplines. 

This open and collaborative spirit has taught us one thing: when you focus on your client’s outcomes the boundary of your agency is the least of your concerns.

In this spirit I sent Ben Reason, one of the founders of Livework, a message when I learned he was in Rotterdam for business. Ben and his company Livework have always been respected colleagues and good friends for Zilver, for their track record in service design, their professionalism and leadership, their view on the business and their great people.

So I texted: “are u up for a beer mate?” And the rest, as they say, is history.

Talking shop

The evening was spent talking shop with Ben and the two other Livework partners, Melvin and Lavrans. I had met Ben and Melvin before on several occasions. Usually at late night conference after-parties. And we always clicked. Lavrans I hadn’t met before but right from the start I felt he was a kindred spirit. We talked about the state of service design. The market in western Europe. The huge demand from clients looking for a professional, reliable and strategic service design partner. The internationalization of the business.

The ideal service design agency

After a few beers we started talking about what we thought the ideal service design agency should look like from a client’s perspective. We all agreed it should be solid as a rock, reliable, and international. But at the same time it should inspire and challenge through amazing creativity and unconventional thinking. It should put true human centered design at the heart of projects. But it should do so with a very firm eye on business outcomes.

Soon enough we were looking each other in the eye and saying, what the heck, why don’t we join forces and make our dreams come true? Rather than sticking to our own turf, let’s give our clients the agency they deserve. And let’s give our staff the opportunity to work internationally, with the best creative minds in the business, on the most challenging projects in service design!

The road ahead

We shared our plans and ambitions with our teams and got a lot of good feedback and ideas. From then on we’ve been co-creating the merging of our two companies into one. So as of july 1st 2016 we will let go of the Zilver brand and embrace the great Livework brand. Zilver will from now on be Livework Netherlands. Our teams are already working together and we’ve moved to Spaces Hofplein in Rotterdam to accommodate the group of 20 we will soon be. 

Of course we are planning a grand opening party after the summer to celebrate our coming of age. But please drop by before that to join us for a very well deserved cappuccino. And please share your tips with us: what do you think the ideal service design agency should look like?

With love from the Zilverlings, henceforth to be known as Liveworkers, and a very big thank you to all our clients, partners, staff, students, suppliers and everyone who believed in us the past 10 years. 

Erik, Fred, Sanne, Marit, Mark, Caroline, Linda, Anu, Merel, Alex and Ruddy.

Our new address is

Spaces Hofplein

Hofplein 20 – unit 7

3032 AC Rotterdam