Canberra Global Service Innovation Jam 2012

Jam /dʒæm/  (1) a preserve

(2) to press or squeeze tightly together

(3) to interfere with a signal

(4) to co-operatively design new solutions

A series of small square pictures placed across a blank wall, with couches and a table in the foregroundOn 24 February, 2012, people interested in service design and using design-based approaches to problem solving and creativity came together in cities all around the world as part of the 2012 Global Service Jam. In a spirit of experimentation, co-operation and friendly competition, teams had 48 hours to develop brand new services inspired by the secret shared theme – hidden treasure.

Mik Griffiths and Wayne Larkin at the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education organised the Canberra Jam. I came in the week before the event, with little experience in service design– talk about a baptism of fire! It all came off though, and we had more than 60 Canberra Jammers over the two days at the incredible Inspire Centre at the University of Canberra.

The JAM kicked off on Friday night with some fun activities, the revealing of the theme, and pizza. The free form style of the Jam, and the ability to write all over the walls at the INSPIRE centre, meant that teams got down to brainstorming right away, pizza in hand. We then went through the rapid prototyping process over the next 48 hours, from customer journey mapping, through street creding – where Jammers took their ideas to the public – to the final pitch on Sunday.

Group work was interspersed with mentor talks from leading service design thinkers in Australia including Michelle from Arup, Damian from Protopartners, Ari and Matthew from Different, Sharon from ATO, Nate from DIAC, Sarah from ANU and our amazing illustrator Gavin. It was exhilarating and challenging but loads of fun! Feedback was incredibly positive – and I’ll leave the last words to some of the Jammers - engaging, dynamic, challenging, rewarding, intense, fun, interesting, social, fulfilling, cooperative and collaborative.

Check out videos of the Jam here and here and photos, more videos and some amazing timelapse.A pile of assorted overlapping workbooks, with the page of one depicting graphically different stages of a process

All photos courtesy of Danny Munnerley – thanks Danny!

[Edited 28 March 2012 to include attribution for photos]