2014 Global Service Jam Tampere: Happy!

“ It was a true discovery of a creatively delicious jam, made of happiness, hard work and bunch of amazing people!”

Global Service Jam Tampere is organized by ‘Jam maestro’ Mikko Väätäinen together with Kolmas Persoona, and I got to hear about it through casual invitation. Without knowing much about it, I decided to join the event as the concept of ‘jam’ has always been fun. A ‘Jam’ session invites anyone to explore the sparks of creativity together (usually in a small team). Everyone starts from a different place, everyone learns at a different pace. It is much like what musicians do: get together and explore music without knowing exactly where they will end up.  

I love jamming because it is not about how far or fast you go, it's just about progress and exploration. And a great way to learn about working with strangers and making new friends! This jam event is focusing on Service Design, an emerging user-centered discipline in the design world which I have keen interest in.

Apparently we have 48 hours to change the world, so on a Friday evening, I showed up at Demola New Factory for the event and started with making 'I am' poster. The wonderful hosts made excellent efforts in breaking the ice, and we the jammers not only got to know each others' names and mental age, we also did hand shakes with our elbows, ankles, knees and shaky bon bon. We learnt how to use a rubber chicken for an emergency, followed by the revealing of the jam's theme, watching a video posted by the founder of GSJ (Global Service Jam). There were more than 100 locations with over 2000 Jammers on 6 continents doing the jam in the same weekend in their own time zone. 

Hand shake game / Emergency Chicken (photo taken by GSJTampere)

Within minutes, jammers were already churning out initial ideas and concepts. And within hours, three teams were formed and each team presented their own amazingly designed poster. I absolutely loved our team, the Coconut Apache! The team's overall idea was to connect people socially and bringing them out of their comfort zone. My team mate Tommi had a refined idea of Startup shuffle, which allows people working in startups to connect with each other for networking and working together. We left the idea stay brewing in our brain and decided to start working on it the next day.

Saturday morning started with couple of keynotes: "Dramatic Storytelling as a tool in Service Design" by Anne Kalliomäki, story designer from Tarinakone and "Dethnography" by Anna Kulonen, who are co-hosting the jam. A brainstorming session came in next, and with the Coconut Apache team, we managed to 'fire' before we were 'getting ready' and 'aim'. While still ideating, we started to create a prototype of an app with cardboard. We called it the 'Do You Dare' app. It is a service which challenges people to come out of their comfort zone to do something meaningful and socializing with other people. We adopted the 'shuffle' mechanism from Tommi's previous startup idea and then sketched out the persona of our targeted users. While figuring out the app features, our team also struggled with coming to mutual execution, whether to app or not to app.

Prototyping "Do You Dare" / Omar making good use of cardboard

After a nice lunch at the Tampere Kauppahalli (the market hall), the jam session continued with jam mentor, Juha Kronqvist from Diagonal Helsinki sharing the idea of Service Design. I learnt about customer journey from Juha. And later on with 'get-out-of-building' validation and facilitation, our team's idea direction was set and ready for presentation at 18:00. Each team presented their own idea, concept and prototype, with fun sketches and entertaining scenarios. Constructive feedbacks were gathered, and I am impressed by the dedication of jammers working wholeheartedly to the ideas. The evening was then filled by surprise-3-course dinner with the working space transformed into gorgeous 5-star restaurant accompanied by good food and live music. I had a good time catching up with people from the other teams and enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere after a day's work.

Live music performed by Sumupuu / Dinner served by 4 Vuodenaika, sponsored by Solita

With literally a zero budget, the organizer were able to pull off an amazing evening, thanks to the interior designers from KAIKAI. Most of us were blown away by the good quality evening and with good rest, the next day got even better: we were challenged by New York Jammers to make our own version of 'Happy' music video. What a Sunday morning happily dancing with all jammers!

The final presentation at 14:00 got everyone rushed to make sure each team present the final outcome of the jam. Our team was busy uploading files to the web platform of the Jam, and we managed to produce a video pitch presentation in two hours. A challenge to my storyboarding skills, acting skills and video editing skills! Other ideas include Creativity Jam for Kids and Spacial home decor with exclusive miniature model services.

The jam wrapped up with awarding each team with encouragement such as having the 'True Apache spirit' award. Our team gained the 'Rubber Chicken will like it' award and I am very delighted with our prototype and the jamming session. It really did let me explore further with rapid prototyping and creating user personas. Working in a small team surely deployed great communication skills and jamming definitely is great training to my brain work-out in such limited time frame. I sincerely thank the organizers for making such an amazing weekend, and it was great working in a team with Inka, Tommi and Omar. It was a great meeting all jammers!
Follow the tweets with #GSJam and #GSJTampere (photo taken by Tommi Tapio)

Global Service Jam is a non-profit volunteer activity organized by an informal network of service design aficionados, 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. 

Stories by Joanne nh Wong
student of TAMK Media