Tag Archive | Global Service Jam

What would Marc Stickdorn do?

2015-02-28 16.04.11

Doing not talking

Just 3 short weeks after our Service Processes and Methods course was the Global Service Jam 2015. What a blast…and what an excuse to bring out the shiny new tools that Marc gave us. I don’t know about anyone else from the SID programme but I was able to utilise both the tools taught to us as well as the facilitation methods.

I know it sounds crazy but after all those Marc Stickdorn heads were circulated for his birthday photo, I couldn’t get his lessons from earlier in February out of my head. That is why I took one of those heads and wrote him a thought bubble. “What would Marc Stickdorn do?” I was inspired by all the Christians in the US who try to answer difficult problems by asking themselves what Jesus would do. It was the same thing (in my mind anyway).

I was trying to channel my inner Marc to have the strength and clarity to proceed through the next 48 hours to change the world…well, that is what we were told we were doing.

Letting go: the theme is what? Huh? Did he just say….?

As a first-timer I felt strangely calm (it might have been naivete) as the process started. The anticipation of the revealing of the theme and the inspirational talks by Jani Turku and Anton Schubert were a great start to the event. I really enjoyed the humour and the ease at which Jani was able to teach us some lessons about interaction and fun. Who knew it could be so interesting repeating 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3! But I also enjoyed Anton’s inspiring story of his “humble beginnings” as a mechanic.

As for the challenge…I think that everyone was stumped when the theme was revealed. I even sarcastically joked that “that must be the theme” when the instructions for the origami fortune teller was revealed…unfortunately I was right. What a theme. Not what I expected at all. But it really put us all in the same boat. This isn’t something that one person could say that they knew and that they were an authority on…it was a leveller for sure. The atmosphere when everyone (finally) realised the theme was electric. The buzz was confusion, anticipation…but mostly confusion from what I saw.

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Helsinki Service Design Jam – Case study: Ice to the eskimos

Jamming is about forming teams, developing ideas, prototyping and sharing them with the world. (1) It’s also about “improvising e.g. dancing around the idea”, as our guest lecturer Jani Turku, put it on Saturday morning. And at the end, a new piece of art is born, co-created by all the team members. As a part time musician, I’m familiar with a word ‘jamming’ in terms of music. Helsinki Jam was my first service design jam and based on this experience, jamming services is not so different from playing music.

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Left: Jamming is also about rubber chickens and (right) eating, but more about this later

In music, jam sessions may be based on a theme or a chord, or they may be fully improvisational. Likewise, our service design jam had a secret theme, which was revealed on Friday evening. A lot happens between revealing a theme on Friday and pitching a project on Sunday. Teams form a problem, they go out on a research trip to find out if the problem is worth solving, they question their project, they built a prototype, and finally they pitch their end results to an audience. In this particular jam session, our team created a prototype ‘Ice to the Eskimos – How to become a sales person of your dreams’. An app for retail, to help with the process of inducting new staff members to organization. The app gamifies information flow and it can be used both for educational and social purposes. So, how did we end up here?

Doing not talking

Friday night opened with welcome words by two speakers: Håkan Mitts and Minna-Kaarina Forssén from Aalto University. Followed by the presentation of futures thinking by futures specialists Anu K. Nousiainen and Minna Koskelo from Helsinki Futures Thinking network and was closed with practical issues presented by Mikko Heiskala and Jaakko Porokuokka. The secret theme was introduced (you can watch it from the link below)

Based on the rebus, we were asked to write down eight problems, which were then to be developed further in teams. Our team: Annina Antinranta(myself), Emma Dahl, Mira Kirvesmäki and Xiang Ye (and Katja Stolt who was present on Friday) discussed first about subjects such as safety issues, finding information, written versus visual information etc. Finally we narrowed down our problem to safety instructions. Our initial question was:‘ Do people know what to do in a case of an emergency?’

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In Jams, multidisciplinary teams work under a statement: Doing, not talking. Instead of talking about something to come, one should show a prototype and test it. According to Håkan Mitts,  when teams go out and start doing research, their problem usually transforms to something else. This happened to our team as well.

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Getting steamrolled by the Jam! #GSJTampere#Innovation#Happy

There are some things in life that you need to experience yourself in order to truly understand them – Jamming is definitely one of those! You simply can´t capture the spirit of Jamming with words. Any attemp would result in lines full of superlatives and corny phrases, and in the end, readers would think you have worn the ”funny hat” for too long. Well, that´s totally ok and not far from the truth, but that wouldn´t do justice for the concept.

Here´s an example.

I could tell you that Global Service Jam is a unique 48 hour event for curious, open-minded people interested in (service) design thinking. It gathers Jammers from 6 continents, from more than 100 cities to simultaneously design completely new services in a spirit of experimentation, innovation, co-operation and friendly competition. At the end of the weekend, prototypes of the new services are published to the world. Global Service Jam is known for it´s inspirational spirit that captures and connects the global network of over 2000 Jammers.

Or I could point you to a video. Our Jam got challenged by the New York Service Jam to make a happy dance, and here is our response:

After watching the video, your first thought might be something like ”say what?” But I urge you to hold your thoughts. In fact, if you look closer, what you can see in the video, is a group of people who have been totally taken over by the spirit of the Jam – you can almost taste the collective fun and openness! And these people were strangers to one and other before the Jam started. Just within two days, an unique atmosphere has been established. Atmosphere that frees people to be themselves, think unorthodoxically, experiment, play and build on one and other´s (crazy) ideas.

Imagine what could happen if this atmosphere could be replicated in your company? What could happen if all that hidden know-how and creative potential of your company´s employees would be unleashed? My answer: Anything could happen.

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Once upon a time in Tampere Global Service Jam

What is The Global Service Jam? It’s a global innovation burst of 48 hours. Think of a bunch of musicians starting to play together. They all have their individual instruments, but after some try and error, they will be able to reach harmonies and create a unique sound and create new music. It’s the same with innovation, having a group of motivated people with diverse backgrounds, ready to work hard together. And perhaps most importantly, as the Jam rules goes, they’re ready to have fun. This blog post focuses on the storytelling method that influenced me the most during the jam, and how it was utilised through out the service design process. The Jam event it self was an excellent example of a successful use of storytelling, as the event followed a dramatic structure from the start-up sequence to the fade out.



Tampere Global Service Jam had a great location at Finlayson factory area. No Jam is a Jam without the Emergency Rubber Chicken.


Tampere Global Service Jam

This story begins at the creative and beautiful setting of historic cotton factory in the Finlayson area in downtown Tampere, Finland. One of the old factory buildings (actually called the New Factory held a Global Service Jam event.  Tampere Jam was hosted by experts Tirri, Anna and Reetta from Kolmas Persoona, and Mikko from Solita. There were also inspiring key notes from Anne from Tarinakone and Juha from Diagonal. The idea of a jam is good and simple: get together, get inspired by the given theme, ideate, form groups, develop the service together and finally present your service prototype. We had three groups of jammers developing their ideas who designed from the same starting point totally different service prototypes. All the individual service processes used multiple and different design methods, ethnography and storytelling being common to all groups.

The results included:

So how to get all this amazing work done in such a short time? Using appropriate tools and getting inspired by the hosts, key note speakers and other jammers. Storytelling had a strong place in each and every design at Tampere Jam, during all the process. As one of our key note speaker Anna from Tarinakone told us, storytelling can be utilized not just in the final presentation of the service prototype, but along the way as well. You can find Anne’s great presentation on Slideshare.

The Power of a great Story

Stories attract and engage people, thus the method of including them in your design process is a very effective one. There’s a neurological explanation to this: our brain produces stress hormones when we get excited and “feel-good” hormone when we see adorable characters in the story. A happy ending of a story releases dopamine, leaving the listener to feel more optimistic. A mixture of these three elements produces a good story and gets your audience’s attention.

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JamJaming in Barcelona

Global Service Jams are these incredible and really fun events related to service design that are celebrated all over the globe. Twice a year, a bunch of experienced jammers and hosts meet to make them wilder, more fun and even more productive. Its the JamJam. Last time, it happened in Barcelona, on September 27th-29th. And, happily, I was there!

But, what  is a jam?

A jam is a 48 hours event that gathers people for designing and prototyping new services inspired by a shared theme in hundreds of cities simultaneously and… while they have a great time!

This video from the London Sustainability Jam shows the jam experience very accurately. Curious? Play it now!

So, what is jamming about?

Prototyping a video

Prototyping a video to explain the value of sharing

  • Doing (not talking). You complete the whole development process of concrete ideas that have the potential to become real.
  • Learning. You pick new ideas and working practices, you can try approaches you haven’t tested before in a cool safe environment and you get peer feedback.
  • Meeting people. You get to know pretty deeply —working side by side— a lot of people who share your interest in service design.
  • Sharing. You share the experience and you working methods with your team and the end results with the world.

Humm, doesn’t this sound pretty similar to a SID Laurea contact session? Indeed, but less structured and without grades or homework 😉

Which jams are there?

It's jam o'clock

It’s jam o’clock!

There are three jams per year:

  • The Global Service Jam, initiated in March 2011, which was celebrated in 130 cities in 2013.
  • The Global Sustainability Jam, initiated in October 2011, with already 70 cities announced and to be celebrated soon, in November 22nd-24th. Feel like trying it? These are the four venues in Finland:
  • The Global GovJam, prototyped in June 2012 and celebrated for the first time in 2013, in 36 cities.

Since 2011, more that 1,200 projects have been created and shared under a creative commons licence. Browse the latest here:

What is the JamJam, anyway?

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“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!

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The Power of Objectives – Gov Jam 2013

jam - workshop

I participated in the first Global Governmental Jam that was held in the fancy ICT House (pics in the end of post) in Turku on the 5th and 6th of June. The idea of the service jams was familiar to me: we were supposed to create as many prototypes of new (public) services as possible in 48 hours. The jams abroad had been started already the evening before. However, the “common theme” was to be released only on the 5th, at 9 a.m.


HC SVNT DRACONESWe had to decipher the text (left) in order to reveal the theme. It couldn’t be anything as square as an anagram, so our team depicted funnels (cones) representing a new kind of customer service process – and a symbolic drag queen (transfering customer identity).


Then we were told to create a prototype of a service around whatever we had come up with the text. So basically there was no common theme, unless the biggest common nominator “public service” counts as one.

Only later we were explained the phrase “Here be dragons” that is a medieval metaphor for dangerous or unexplored territories. IBJ

Apparently, the purpose was to make public services less frightening and more approachable. Our service was to transform the employment office into an office of opportunities, where customers wouldn’t have to feel ashamed of visiting.

The prototype, the pilot, was a one year opportunity to change one’s status from unemployed into “a status of choice”; the ultimate goal being getting rid of the term “unemployed” altogether. See Prezi here

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Helsinki Service Jam 2013 retrospectives

It was an amazing weekend! A weekend full of surprises, with some doses of emotions and full of fun! 

After a whole week of intensive work, finally Friday arrived. I was waiting for this moment already a long time. I’ve  got a really good feedback from guys attending Helsinki Service Jam (HSJ) earlier and I saw a YouTube videos about other jams. I thought that day that nothing should go wrong, and it didn’t… almost.

1. Friday 16:05 – ready to go!

It was a long day at work. When I returned home surprisingly I felt really good and still had a fresh mind. Normally that time, I would have a short nap before weekend party, but not that day. I knew that there is gonna be something interesting, so I felt really excited. I packed all the things I thought would be useful, and I was ready to go.
I arrived to a place really fast. Immediately, I felt like I am in a right place. Suddenly, I was surrounded by people having the same goal: rock the jam! I felt really happy, that I had chance to be there and do something together with them!
The first task was quite simple. Make your own badge! A funny concept that works. It was amazing to see how easy is to spot people based on their badge colors. It was fun to see how different we were and how many skills we were possessing.
When I finished my badge, there was an official part of the HSJ 2013. As every year, till that moment, the topic of the jam is not known. Suddenly, organizers revealed it and it was a surprise. Everyone felt, that topic was so “wide” and that there is no possibility to achieve satisfying results in just 48h.

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Why should you participate in the next Global Service Jam?

Read carefully the content below and check with your own eyes “Why you should participate in the next Global Service Jam and  if you have participated before, please let’s us know your experience and/or comment what you think about my experience afterwards.

Global Service Jam

The idea of the Global Service Jam is to create in 48 hours a service that could change the world. The theme is secret and it is revealed during the first hour of the jam in each participating city. People are only able to share and talk in public about the theme after the last city has heard the theme. The service solutions are shared also when all cities around the world have completed the 48 hours of jamming. It is incredible how many amazing services are created, and I’m sure that someone really could revolutionize the world.

The first Global Service Jam was created by the initiative of Markus Hormess and Adam Lawrence and took place on March 2011, where more than 1200 participants in more than 50 cities created about 200 unique service designs around the Theme “(Super)HEROES”.

From 1st to 3rd of March 2013, almost 3000 participants were challenged to create a service around the theme “Grow^”, in over 120 cities, and they produced over 500 projects.

Helsinki Service Jam

The Helsinki Service Jam is a part of the Global Service Jam. The idea of the event follows the same idea of the Global Service Jam. It brings together creative, passionate people interested in creating brand-new real-world service designs, projects and initiatives which might make a difference.

Helsinki Jam gathered almost 40 jammers and created 7 projects. The topic of the projects were: Tiny Tippers, LiveMemories, FamilysnApp, Grow your inner child, CAN I BUY ?, Eat Right and Friday at 7.

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Facilitating an awesome ideation workshop

Service Design Workshop“Service design cannot be learnt by reading, but through practice” described Marc Stickdorn, co-author of the black book “This is Service Design: Basics, Tools Cases” (2011).

Marc Stickdorn held three days intensive service design workshop for Laurea SID Master of Business Administration students. Workshop focused on how to facilitate service design ideation workshops. This blog post focuses on insights learned during 7th to 9th of February 2013.

Facilitating is

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