From the March 7 to 9, something very exciting was happening across the world.
In more than 100 locations over six continents, thousands of individuals were participating in the Global Service Jam (GSJ).
I was lucky enough to attend the Dundee Service Jam, taking place in the DJCAD Cantina. The GSJ’s motto is: "Just 48 hours to change the world." While that may sound pretty ambitious, it's really a friendly and interactive environment where different types of creative people team up to try and solve some of the problems that exist in our everyday lives.
First we went out into the streets of Dundee to conduct market research.
By interacting with the public, we could find out what people really want. Engaging people with human-sized cardboard cut outs and post-it notes allowed us fun insight into how our service ideas would be received.
One of the best parts of the Global Service Jam is how connected it is. We were continually encouraged by the organisers to tweet our work as we went along. This was great as you could see what all the other international Jammers were getting up to in real time. We also regularly Skyped Jams in Palermo, Beirut, and LA.
A common practice in service design is to create prototypes of your idea to see whether it would work in real-life. The Dundee Jammers had great fun creating giant cardboard phones, a makeshift garden out of clay and even a full-scale house complete with kitchen and bathroom. Needless to say the Cantina was a mess afterward – cardboard and feathers everywhere.
The four final ideas included affordable modular housing for first time buyers, a computer game to encourage children to grow their own vegetables, a hide-and-seek smartphone app and a stereotype-breaking social event. All very creative and useful ideas and all have the potential to be taken further beyond the Jam.
Overall, the Dundee Service Jam was a fantastic success. On a personal level, I have met some very creative and talented people and developed new skills. But above all, it just goes to show that in two short and very energetic days, you can come up with some brilliant ideas that even have the potential to become a reality.
I am very much looking forward to the next Global Service Jam event and I would encourage anyone with an interest in service design to come and help us ‘Spread the Jam’.
This blog was written by Susannah McGowan, who was one of many who took part in the Dundee Service Jam last week.
The Dundee Service Jam is an annual event that encourages creatively minded people to make a difference in the world. You can find out more about it in the articles below.