Come March 1, and more than 2,000 people in over 100 cities from across the globe will jam together for 48 hours to create services that could help change things in real life. Currently in its third year, the Global Service Jam was born out of a meeting between two people — Adam Lawrence and Markus Hormess — in December 2010 at the ServDes, the Nordic Conference on Service Design and Service Innovation in Berlin. The two used the venue to sign up people, and in March 2011, organised the first Global Service Jam (GSJ). With (Super) Heroes as the theme, the first Global Jam was an instant hit, and by 2013, it has spread across over 100 cities including Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru.'
For the world
“The goal of the Jam is to learn how to create and change things using ideas, make them better and faster, to test them, grow (or abandon) them, and turn them into prototypes. It’s the same as the goal of a musician’s jam — to share skills, challenge us, meet people, create something we could not create alone and have a good time. If a few melodies make their way to a future album, that is a happy side effect of it,” says Adam, the co-initiator of the event.
Keeping freedom and spontaneity as key elements, the entry to GSJ is free and is open to all. You can either participate in a local GSJ or host one in your city. Since participants are mostly strangers, and are required to work as a team, the jams act as a great platform to form new attitudes and build new friendships.
“The first edition was already the world’s biggest service design or design thinking event. People have formed companies and found jobs at the Jam. They have learned skills they can use in their work or private lives. Organisations have adopted lessons from the Jam, while universities and schools have added themes from the Jam to their teaching,” says Adam.
The services designed during the jams are shared with all on a public platform. “One of the main goals is to develop a library of creativity methods, ways to prototype services, and facilitation technique. And we have a great weekend, while changing the world a little,” adds Adam.
The Mumbai chapter of GSJ has been active since 2012 and is hosted by a group of designers and media professionals interested in design thinking. Registration for the Mumbai Service Jam, however, was nearly complete at the time of going to print.