Manic riffing on a theme

innovation | co-creation workshop | Service Design

Global Service Jam 2012 - Shanghai, China

"Thanks for organising this fantastic event. I had lots of fun!"
Alpchris chong - Jammer

Exhausting, exhilarating and inspirational. Those were some of the feelings expressed by the 36 participants in the Shanghai leg of the Global Service Jam, having spent 48 hours in a whirlwind of creativity, riffing on a theme to come up with brand new services from scratch.

Covering a wide spectrum of experience and skills, the jammers met at the offices of CBi China Bridge on Friday afternoon, where they got into the swing of the weekend ahead through informal presentations and team-building exercises.

At 6:30 pm, the mystery theme on which their designs were to draw inspiration from was revealed - Hidden Treasure. After some frenetic brainstorming and pitching of ideas, five teams were formed, ready to get down to some seriously fun creativity over the next two days.

The Global Service Jam is an annual event hosted simultaneously at locations around the world, aimed at bringing together design and service professionals and anyone else with a keen interest in service design. Participants are given just two days to bring into being a completely new service design proposal, which will then be shared online under a creative commons license.

This year’s event involved 2,061 jammers registered from 85 cities in almost 40 countries worldwide - many of them hosting Jams for the first time. Together, they created nearly 350 brand new service designs.

The Shanghai event saw five teams formed - “Knot”, “Artisano”, “Dream Makers”, “Tufang” and “The Cookie Pirates”, covering 11 nationalities. On hand were expert mentors to bounce off ideas and offer assistance to the jammers should they need it.

Having spent an intense weekend in each other’s company, the jammers met up for a hard-earned drink at Belgian beer bar Kaiba on Sunday afternoon, where their final designs were presented and awards meted out.

Feedback was very positive, with the jammers having formed intense links forged in the fire of a two-day creative blowout. Many said it had been inspirational working with new people in such a free flowing environment, and that they had learned a lot about themselves, made new friends and had an exhilarating time.

This year’s event was hosted by CBi China Bridge, an innovation-based design research firm based in Shanghai. Cathy Huang, founder of CBi, said: “This weekend has been more successful than we could have imagined, not least due to the openness and the enthusiasm of those who took part, plus all the people who offered their time and expertise to support this event. By far the most rewarding thing has been seeing the jammers, most of whom had never met before, bond so quickly and work so hard together to brainstorm ideas and then follow them through to a final deliverable design. It’s been an honor hosting the event, and we are all looking forward to next year’s jam.”

More information on the Global Service Jam can be found at:

More projects from other cities can be found at:

More pictures during the jam can be found at:

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