“Drag-on – identity” Experiencing GovJam 2013 at Turku

HC SVNT DRACONES?? Hä? What? Is that the theme? What that means? First day in Global Government Jam at City of Turku started with lots of question mark in the air – all where totally blown away. We had just introduced through pre-recorded video what GovJam 2013 is going to be and at the end of the video they revealed the secret theme. Which was: HC SVNT DRACONES.

GovJam Turku


Less talk, more action

We formed groups and begin to draw or write what ever did come to our minds. HC SVNT DRACONES. What images that brings to your mind. Well…fire, dragons, snake, lohi, Harley Davidson, HC – WC, doctors, cones, Latin, church, ancient writing – I started to warm up. So did the others. When 8 minutes had gone we gathered our thoughts in one table and started brainstorming. One thing led to another and soon we had couple of ideas to start with. From Latin to understand doctors and from hospitals and dragon eggs to customer rewarding system to rewarding doctors when they had performed understandably to their patients. After 15 minutes we had clue about our service concept. Wow!

Hopping into another group

Despite I was committed to go forward with the previous idea I find a little bit more appealing other group’s drag queen idea and because they had lack of participants I decided to change the group. We begin the ideation through drag queen and what was the essence in it. Role-play or role shift started the conversation and we discussed in which public sector services you mostly feel that you would change the role to be something else. Then it hit us. Unemployment. That is the word you won’t feel comfortable. Through our own experience and knowledge it begin to formalized into something that could be a service concept.

govJam Turku

“Drag-on identity” From the name tag unemployment to something else. You could choose student role or pensioner’s role or a teenager’s role. All this could mean that when you sign in as an unemployed you select which path you want to take. If you choose student, you’ll have one year of student concentrated services for e.g. possibility to apply student loan, to apply to local school as a trainee for one year and to have all student benefit. One rule in every path is that you’ll have same basic income. If you choose pensioner’s year, you can be free and choose what ever you want to do and it won’t affect on your income.

First day ended after we had all agreed what we should do next. The second day agenda was to start at library and start to film our concept scenario.

The Second day

On second day our group started at library where we raised attention and amusement among citizens by walking around with Barbie -doll and pending it in different poses and then filming everything. Barbie is actually quite good tool to use in scenarios because it can be positioned as human in various situation and with it you can play with proportions. After we had filmed our scenario we rushed back to our base camp in ICT-building.

GovJam 2013

Back at ICT-building we needed to clarify what to do, how to do it and who will do what. It was time to organize our team. Well the organization part didn’t go as smoothly as we first thought because we found out that each of us had a little bit different vision on what to do. I think it was quite good that we weren’t that unanimous because other way it would have been too easy and we wouldn’t learn that much on team work when there are strong individuals inside the group. It’s necessary to realize that ideation part is never easy and it isn’t all the time fun and enjoyable. Everyone has his or her own opinions and sometimes it needs strong confrontation to find the compromised path. You need to step out your comfort zone. New ideas won’t come easy. If they would, we would have solved every challenge that we know already. It is critical to iterate the idea and not just rush into solution.

Roles inside the ideation group

We all have different role and today I usually am a facilitator in-group but I have been used to take the designer role who is the person who wants’ to go forward quickly and make it tangible prototype as quick as possible and then tear it a part and start again. I also have started to appreciate if inside the group are participants who are challenging the thought so that will make me or the others think even more and force us to evaluate the idea. It is good that people take different roles and in this situation I decided to try a different role what I’m used to.

We had more or less constructive discussion what is reasonable to do in this little time and compared how to implement each idea into our outcome. After decisions we started to cut and paste puzzles into one video. The end result was artistic more that realistic…but I have to say it proves one thing. Everything is fuzzy at the beginning and main challenge is to solve it bit by bit. As Tiia-Marina in hers blog referred group work to concerts musicians, nobody is perfect from the start. We need to practice and practice to find the suitable way concerning the situation. I think our aim was to raise questions and confusion and I hope it did. If the video is making you confused perhaps the actual service behind it is more confused and it is really screaming some simplified solutions. Should we do something about it? Take the bull from its horns and start doing?

govJam Turku

The three o’clock deadline 

When the clock was pointing out 3pm we were done. Happy but exhausted. Of course there could have been more this and less that but under these circumstances and guidelines it end up to be like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FhDP6yPMRE

I always say to each other that today we did our best and that is just what is enough and counts. I recommend each and every one of you to join these workshops. It will give you a lot and it gives you the opportunity to change roles and try something totally new and have some fun! For example one of our team members never had taken the role of being the technical person, in this workshop she did and she learn how to make movies. So you’ll see that there are lots of opportunities for us to crap on!

This blog post was created as an assignment of the course “Current Topics in Service Design” by a SID Master Program student Annaliisa Salmelin. Photos courtesy of Annaliisa Salmelin and  Michael Diedrichs


Tiia-Marina’s blog post:


See our Drag-on concept and other teams end results here:




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