Heroic efforts from all

innovation | co-creation workshop | Service Design

Global Service Jam 2011 - Shanghai, China

"Without permission to fall, it is almost impossible to innovate."
Adam St. John Lawrence, co-initiator

Just 48 hours to come up with a service design from scratch. That was the daunting yet exhilarating challenge faced by the participants of the Global Service Jam on March 11.

Jammers gathered at over 50 locations across the world - including the Design School of East China Normal University in Shanghai - to indulge their passion for service design and test their creativity to the max.

Innovation and design strategy firm CBi kicked off the Shanghai proceedings with an in-depth look at what service design means and the role it plays in everyone's world.

It was then time to reveal the theme that the service designs created over the next two days would have to follow or reflect in some way. The theme: Super Hero.

After dinner and informal discussion, any participants who wanted to form a team pitched their nascent ideas in a bid to attract a crack group of design jammers, who would gel over the weekend in their tireless quest to come up with an innovative service.

The teams formed, they had from the evening of Friday, March 11 until 3 pm on Sunday March 13 to come up with a presentation for their service inspired by the term "Super Hero".

After a sleep-deprived but stimulating 48 hours, the teams reconvened to present documentation of their working prototypes.

The team behind Dream Bank brainstormed the term Super Hero to come up with an online, social repository for people's dreams and aspirations, which users could then use to track their progress in achieving their desires.

Team Zenmeban took a heroic approach to the creative approach itself, with their service for helping users pool their resources to approach problem solving.

Little Superman identified a growing need for children to travel long distances to visit relatives, and a service solution allowing them to do so independently. Featuring a specially-designed jacket, the service allows kids to be dropped off at an airport by their parents, and then seen safely through the flight process to their waiting relatives at the other end.

The team that looked into the need of people suffering from cataract developed a service system along with a smart sensor system which could be used for indentifying location and filling paper forms for the patients.

Mama Mia's design team researched the experiences of parents-to-be, and came up with a service that uses different media to answer the questions of pregnant women and allows them to form support networks.

CBi founder Cathy Huang, who was on hand along with other members of the CBi team to provide expert mentoring to participants, described the event as a great success.

"It was thrilling to watch the teams take the same concept and run with it in different directions, and to witness the creative processes they went through in such a short space of time. From a single seed came a range of wildly different, imaginative and cogent service designs. Everyone who took part - professional designers and people from other fields alike - learned a great deal over the 48 hours, while also forging lasting and valuable new partnerships."

More information about the Global Service Jam can be found on the event's website:

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