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About the Jam

A service Jam is a cooperative gathering of people interested in a design-based approach to creativity and problem solving, and of course in service design.  It is there to encourage experimentation and innovation – participants come together without a team, without an idea and are given a subject or theme to incorporate in their new-to-the-world design while meeting new people.

Check out what's happened in past years.
What's the Global Service Jam?

The Global Service Jam is a community of Jams taking place internationally over the same weekend. All the Jams share the same starting themes, and publish their local results over a central platform. Every year, the secret theme for participants in the Global Service Jam will be announced on the first day of the Jam, and results from people's projects must be uploaded by the end of the Jam.

Here's what people are saying about the Global Service Jam on Twitter. Join the conversation! 

What is the Jam?
What's expected of Jam participants?

Collaborate with new people.
Please do not come to the Jam with a team. Everyone will have some time to think and pitch an idea. Collaborate with new friends or peers you admire.

Be on time.
Please show up to the Jam on time.

Use your own tools.
Participants will use their own tools, including hardware, software, communications and stationery. If you need a computer and certain software, make sure you have it pre-loaded on your computer.

Be part of the conversation.
Everyone says that one of the most valuable parts of the Jam is to be part of the online community. For the global communication amongst participants we use Twitter, among other platforms. Please add #GSJam to your tweets, and tag ALL your pictures and videos GSJam so the world can see them!


Have fun!

Self explanatory (we hope).

Jam participant expectations

What is service design?


Service design is the activity of planning and organizing people, infrastructure, communication and material components of a service in order to improve its quality and the interaction between service provider and customers. The purpose of service design methodologies is to design according to the needs of customers or participants, so that the service is user-friendly, competitive and relevant to the customers. Check out the Service Design Network for more information!


What is a service? 


We experience services every day — buying insurance, taking a flight, filing a tax return, receiving a heart transplant. A service is an exchange of goods or value. A complete service includes designed or planned interactions among people, products, and processes in various places and over time. We often encounter a service (like visiting the DMV or a hair salon) where only some parts of its service touchpoints are designed with clear intention and purpose. In fact, most services we have today kind of just “happen” and aren’t consciously designed even though about 80% of our economy is services! You can read up more on services at Service Design: From Insight to Implementation.



Who can attend the Jam?  


Everyone! You don't have to be a “Designer” to jam. Service design and design thinking are processes and tools that anyone can use for innovative and creative approaches to problem solving, regardless of job title or skill level.


What's the theme?


It's a secret! Of course, the overarching theme of the Jam is services - but there will be a special Secret Theme for the weekend too.  This Secret Theme will carefully chosen by representatives of the worldwide organising team, and kept Top Secret until it is announced on the Friday evening (local time) in each location. We expect the Theme will be quite abstract, to allow a wide range of practical applications, depending on the participants' interests.


Who owns the services designed at the Jam? 


All results are owned by the individual design team. All services, ideas, art, code and concepts made during the Global Service Jam are owned by the members of the team that developed them (not the local Jam or the Global organizers). The design team is free to develop their ideas commercially after the Jam, but the results of the Jam itself must be open, as below. All results have to be published and archived on the Global Service Jam website under Creative Commons license.


Can I attend just one day of the Jam? 


Unfortunately, you cannot attend the jam for just one day, as teams use the entire weekend to research, concept, prototype and test their ideas. We understand that people have other obligations, such as family and work, so arriving a bit late/leaving a bit early, or stepping out for a few hours, is ok. If you can't make the entire weekend, but want a taste of the jam, consider getting involved as a volunteer!


What is a prototype? 


A prototype can be anything that makes the experience of your service real and tangible, like the different artifacts a customer would use as part of your service. While you will start the weekend out with tons and tons (and tons) of post-its, you will end the weekend with your service fully realized. You might act out a skit, you might make a video, or you might make a whole new world out of cardboard. The possibilities are endless!

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