Markus Edgar Hormeß and Adam StJohn Lawrence, WorkPlayExperience
Global Service Jam
Global Service Jam
The Global Service Jam and it's sister events Global Sustainability Jam and Global Gov Jam are non-profit volunteer activities organized by an informal network of service design afficinados, who all share a common passion for growing the field of service design and customer experience. The Jam has a staff of none and a budget of nearly nothing.
The Global Service Jam is an initiative significantly contributing to the spread of service design culture among students and professionals.
Its worldwide diffusion, due to the easy adoptable and original format, has brought to the creation of a huge and passionate community of designers.
The challenging format, highly engaging and motivating, has contributed to add services to the global design agenda.
Global Service Jam
A global, face to face event where people of various backgrounds voluntarily spend 48 hours designing new services, learning new skills and new attitudes, meeting new collaborators and having a great time. The Global Service Jam and it's sister events Global Sustainability Jam and Global Gov Jam are non-profit volunteer activities organized by an informal network of service design afficinados, who all share a common passion for growing the field of service design and customer experience. The Jam has a staff of none and a budget of nearly nothing.2. The Brief: Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the context for the project, and what was the challenge posed to you?
We challenged ourself to see if we could work with almost no resources to create the world's biggest service innovation and design education events.3. The Intent: What point of view did you bring to the project, and were there additional criteria that you added to the brief?
The Jams are built on several principles which we espouse and embody in our service design work. We believe that if people are given sufficient freedom to fill a simple service process with their own personality and ideas, their buy-in is both substantial and remarkably effective. Hundreds of jam Hosts and volunteers have supported this conviction, putting in thousands of hours of work to create highly diverse Jams in over 150 cities and around 50 countries. We believe that high-energy, fun approaches are a very good way to get serious work done. We believe that moving forward by building prototypes and "doing, not talking" is far more productive than more analytical methods. And we think that "impossible deadlines" are valuable productivity tools. Jammers tell us - repeatedly, "I did three weeks work in 48 hours". As an additional challenge, we tasked ourselves to neither seek nor accept sponsorship of the 2012 event itself at a global level (local Jams may have sponsors, and the hosting of the event platform was partly sponsored).4. The Process: Describe the rigor that informed your project. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) What stakeholder interests did you consider? (Audience, business, organization, labor, manufacturing, distribution, etc., as applicable)
The whole Jam was quite spontaneous and was done "between" our other work. A lot of it happened ad hoc. We had been talking about the Jam idea for a few months, discussing it with a few people (especially EDO, the experience design organisation in Switzerland) , but had no fixed plan except some rules ideas and a vague date. In October 2010 we were at the SDN service design conference in Berlin. In the last few minutes of the Member's Day, we spontaneously wrote up a flipchart with the idea and walked around, asking people to sign up interest. In the next month, we spoke to several designer friends in several countries who agreed to run jams if it became real. At the ServDes Nordic conference at the start of December 2010, we decided to announce it. We put together a simple website and prepared a Twitter account. We asked the organisers for 5 minutes at the end of the conference and again held up a flipchart, announcing the date and webpage. We simultaneously tweeted the first handful of Jam locations. In the next few weeks and months, Twitter was the main recruiting tool. In the end, the first Global Service Jam took place in March 2011, with more than 1200 participants in more than 50 cities created around 200 unique service designs around the Theme "(Super)HEROES". The sister event, the Global Sustainability Jam 2011, tool place in October 2011 with around 800 participants in more than 40 cities created over 100 services, products and initiatives around the theme "PLAYGROUNDS". The second Global Service Jam in February 2012 registered 2061 Jammers from 85 cities in almost 40 countries worldwide. We were especially thrilled to welcome Jams in India, Iran and parts of the Middle East. Together, we created nearly 350 brand new service designs (theme: Hidden Treasures) and published them for the world! In June 2012, we added the first ever GovJam pilot (govjam.org) to the mix and started the second edition of the Global Sustainability Jam 2012 (November 2012) with around 1300 participants in more than 50 cities created over 200 services, products and initiatives around the theme "((heart))beats". At GSJ13 – in March 2013 – these numbers rose again to about 3000 Jammers from about 120 cities creating over 500 service projects (theme: grow^). To navigate the jam and its community, to get better, hotter, wilder, to make future Jams to be even more fun, and even more productive, to eventually change the world, we also created the Jam-Jams. At the Jam-Jam, which take place in between the Global Jams, we invite experienced Jammers and Hosts to work with us to create the tools and processes which will push the Jam idea forward towards bigger challenges and new, even more amazing experiences for Jammers. Again, these Jam-Jams are about having a brilliant time and about "Doing, not talking". All in the spirit of the jam. Jam-Jams so far: Gothenburg 2011, Nuremberg 2011 and 2012, Sao Paulo 20135. The Value: How does your project earn its keep in the world? What is its value? What is its impact? (Social, educational, economic, paradigm-shifting, sustainable, environmental, cultural, gladdening, etc.)
Some examples of feedback from Jam hosts and jammers: Many participants working in companies told us that they saw and experimented a new way of working collaboratively that are trying to bring inside their companies. Italy. The Jam has developed a new way of working and we discovered that exchanging ideas with people we do not know can be so helpful to create a completely new business. China. Our University Lecturer has added Service Design to his Design Management Curriculum. UK. A general sense of increased belonging to a global service design community. NZ. The La Sapienza university certified the students participating in the GSJ, giving them credits for their degrees! Italy. We have incorporated some of the Jam principles into our approach to work eg. a stronger focus on rapid prototyping. , Mexico. We formed a little group, a non-profit. USA. So awesome it left a group of us thinking: What’s next? Are we ready to do some REAL service design? USA. A wonderful experience for students! Created an environment that encourages passion, collaboration and crazy ideas. China. Being able to see and hear the other Jams around the world gave a real sense of camaraderie and being part of a global endeavor. NZ. It was more than a great experience, it was a transformative event for all of its participants! Turkey AMAZING! We left the place re-energized, happy, full of new connections and friends and with a sense that we can change the world if we want… Brazil6. Did the context of your project change throughout its development? If so, how did your understanding of the project change?
Typical Jammer Journey for the 48 hours. (Except for the common deadlines, all Jams are different.) Friday about 5pm local The Jam participants come together at worldwide locations prepared by local organisers. There are often warm-ups and games. Friday, not before 6.30pm local Jammers watch a video which reveals the Secret Global Theme, gives a few VIP tips and sets the tone. Brainstorming and discussion in informal groups. Dinner is a good idea. Friday, 8pm local Pitching session, groups form, and participants join the group that interests them. Friday, about 9pm local; through the weekend The groups work independently, supported by Mentors and Specialists in some locations. Research or observations are performed virtually, or through excursions. The teams develop their service design and prototype it using whatever methods they choose. Local Jams are in contact globally through various platforms. On Saturday, individual Jammers sign up on the Jam Platform and set up their project teams there. Sunday, by 3pm local The teams upload documentation of a working prototype. This can be a film of human interaction, photos of a mock-up, dummy website, business plan - whatever provides a publishable record of their idea and work. After publishing, we suggest that the teams present their results to the other local teams. There might be prizes. After that, teams can sit back, kick back, enjoy a well-earned beverage and browse through the global results. Or they can get busy supporting teams further to the west...7. How will your project remain economically and operationally sustainable in the long term?
The initial Jam systems were developed by intuition, guesswork and seat-of-our-pants improvisation. Since then, we have reflected and refined them through our active online community, and at six-monthly face-to-face JamJam events across the globe.