A few weeks ago I went along to the London edition of the Global Service Jam. I was there on official Simpl business (which you can read more about here) but also to stretch some creative muscle. It’s important to do something different every now and then, so, Simpl stickers in tact, I headed to LBi. Kudos to the wonderful Ian Bach, who dreamt up some lovely ice breaking games that ensured everyone felt suitably silly, set in their teams and ready for the weekend.
One whole hour to go. Looking deceptively calm.
So, armed with my new best friends we headed to the beautiful Seren offices to embark on our 48 hour service design adventure that involved (in no particular order) a bunch of ideas, a bunch of ideas being thrown away, one (final) presentation, one short film, one million flip chart sheets, various graphs, two brilliant breakfasts and probably a bit too much beer. My group, like all the others (but *obviously* even more amaze ; ) contained a collection of wonderfully creative designers, developers and problem solvers. We did seem to tip more on the doer rather than thinker side of the scales, and once we decided on our idea (a process in which I’m sure we all had a little inner cry) we exercised some brilliantly productive parallel working, with leadership seeming to flit around the team. Well done us.
To top it off, we ended up with (I think) a well thought out project that ticked the what, the why and the how of it all. I’ll be putting the project into a separate post, but I definitely think there’s something around being in a situation where the value is to create and to be brave. More on our
bromance service project soon.
So, all in all it was a marvellous experience, but one that I would have loved to of brought more people along from outside the design world as I think anyone who needs to solve problems in new ways could have benefited from, as well as added to, the jam (I guess some of this thinking comes from our Local by Social events). On chatting to the organisers they did highlight their efforts in trying to attract other sectors, so perhaps next time.
Two things that I really liked: One – the mentors that circulated the groups were brilliant, and often shoving ideas back into focus by asking the right questions. Two – I thought each group having to present and share their progress every two hours worked well. By the time the final show and tell came about you’d have presented your project in so many ways, to so many people, each group seemed to have a solid idea with insightful, confident thinking behind it, in a “we can do this! WE HAVEN’T SLEPT” sort of way. Truth be told I was blown away on realising that all the ideas shared could move forward with the right push into the world. You can find all the final presentations here – but below gives a nice snapshot of how things went:
The energy, atmosphere, and sheer amount that was produced was in itself remarkable achievement (you can look at all the projects, over on the Global Service Jam community here), I’m still a firm believer that impact comes with, and is shaped by, implementation. However, on a personal note, the process of the weekend and the pressure of pulling something off, a something with hopefully a future, was valuable in itself. And, after the encouraging feedback I received after presenting Simpl, it seemed many of my fellow jammers felt the same.
p.s If you were one of the jammers who didn’t get a chance to speak to me and would like more info on Simpl (or anything else for that matter) just leave a comment below or send me a tweet and I’ll get back to you 🙂