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What is a Jam?

on Sat, 01/11/2014 - 21:12

Imagine a Jam session in music. You come together, bringing your instruments, your skills, your open mind.  Someone sets up a theme, and you start to Jam around it. You don't overanalyse it, you don't talk it to death, you Jam. You bounce your ideas off other people, and play around with what comes back. Together, you build something which none of you could have built alone. And at the same time, you are learning new ideas, discovering more about how you work and whom you best work with, sharpening your skills, and having a great time. And who knows, maybe there are one or two ideas there which might make it to the next album. Or maybe you Jammed so well, you decide to form a band...

The Global Service Jam works in just the same way. But it's not music you are Jamming - it's change. You'll be working with people you might never have met before, bouncing ideas off one another and building on what bounces back. People all over the world are Jamming around the same Theme, sharing insights and support globally. And it's not just talking - you are here to turn your ideas into a concrete design, prototype and plan of action which you or somebody else might want to make real.

Can you prototype and plan it in a way that someone could go out and make it real, knowing what resources they would need, what they should do, and who they should talk to?  That's the challenge of the Jam.

Find about more about what a jam is, how you can join a Jam and even bring Jamming to your town!

(Check out this video from a sister event for more impressions of Jamming).


Sign up to host your local Jam now!

on Sun, 12/29/2013 - 11:37

Want to host a Jam? It's time to sign up your location for the next Global Service Jam, on the weekend of the 7th of March 2014.

If you've hosted a Jam before, you'll be looking forward to meeting old friends and making new ones, experiencing great ideas and the feeling of building something together and you'll know that every Jam will offer something new to learn. If you are ready to register, go straight to the Locations page and click "Add a New Jam Site"

If you've Jammed before, but never been a Host, you might be thinking about making the next step. You'll be keen to join the international community of Jam Hosts who will support you as you take the next step in Jamming and growing your local community.

And if you are new to Jamming, this is the perfect opportunity to kick off Jamming (or even practices like design thinking or service design) in your town. It is certainly possible to host if you have never Jammed before - remember, the Jams are only three years old, so most Hosts are relative newbies, and the first ever Jam was run by 59 hosts who had no idea what Jamming was. Help us grow the idea. All of us are happy to share our experience with you and learn from your ideas!

To learn more about hosting, check out our advice on Hosting a Jam

See you at the Jam!

Hot news: next Jam dates announced!

on Mon, 11/11/2013 - 09:46

The next Global Service Jam will take place on the weekend of the 7th of March, 2014. That's the 7, 8, 9 of March in most countries. 

(In countries with Thu-Fri-Sat weekends, it will be the 6, 7, 8 of March. For Wed-Thu-Fri weekends, it's the the 5, 6, 7 of March.)

Whenever your weekend is, it will be one to remember! See you there!

Join our sister event in November

on Wed, 10/30/2013 - 23:31

The Global Service Jam has spawned two sister events - the Global GovJam and the Global Sustainability Jam, coming up soon. If you want to practice your Jam-skills and innovate new services, products and initiatives under the "sustainability" banner, check out With Jamsites in more than 60 cities and more joining every day, it's going to be a fantastic experience! 

(Can't find a Jam in your city? Why not host one? There is a handbook and a great community to support you. Get in touch!)

We have been recognised by the prestigious Core77 Awards

on Thu, 06/13/2013 - 00:07
We are proud to have been recognised by the prestigious Core77 Awards. The Global Service Jam project was chosen from international nominees, being awarded the Runner-Up prize in the newly launched "Services" category.
When we launched the Jam in 2011, we were thrilled (and often congratulated) about being featured in a small article by Core77. Two years later, being awarded this major prize by the same organisation is a real honour.
"The Jam" is a  global, face to face event where people of various backgrounds voluntarily spend 48 hours designing new services, learning new skills and new attitudes, meeting new collaborators and having a great time. The Global Service Jam and it's sister events are non-profit volunteer activities organized by an informal network of service design afficinados, who all share a common passion for growing the field of service design and customer experience. The Jam has a staff of none and a budget of nearly nothing.
Commenting on their decision, the Prize Jury said, "the Global Service Jam is an initiative significantly contributing to the spread of service design culture among students and professionals. Its worldwide diffusion, due to the easy adoptable and original format, has brought to the creation of a huge and passionate community of designers. The challenging format, highly engaging and motivating, has contributed to add services to the global design agenda."
However, the Jam is not just an achievement of Adam and Markus. We have been able to mobilise a global network of Jammers, Hosts and supporters in more than 350 Jams worldwide. They have enlivened and expanded our basic idea - not to mention the contributions made by committed Jammers who travelled to JamJams in Gothenburg, Nuremberg and Sao Paulo. This award belongs to them too.
The Jam idea continues, with around 90 cities expected to join the next Global Sustainability Jam coming up in November. WorkPlayExperience also use jamming as an innovation and awareness tool in their consultancy work for large organisations over the world, from Herzogenaurach to Canberra.


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