The weekend from 2-4.11.2012 was a sunny one. And hey, it was a special one. I had my birthday. There was some beer, some sweets and... there was the Global Sustainability Jam. With Maruša we are both super happy to organize our second Jam this year. We already wrote bits about it and the call to participation was really successful. Officially 25 people signed up for it, though at the end there was 17 of us jamming. That is also the reason why we moved from blok_blok HQ to a more spacious place and we are über grateful to Zadrga who hosted us.
So, what is a Jam then? It all started with the Global Service Jam (GSJ), which is just like a music jam session and best described by it's founders:
The Global Service Jam works in just the same way. But it's not music you are Jamming - it's ideas. You'll be working with people you might never have met before, bouncing ideas off one another and building on what bounces back. 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.
The rules of the Jam are simple: people come together for 48 hours, design/prototype a cool, innovative (human-centered, of course) service on a given global (secret) theme and... have fun while doing it! Sustainability Jam uses the same format with a global theme: sustainability. This time the theme that was revealed on Friday evening was: ((Heart))Beats.
Because the mantra of the Jam is "Doing, not talking" let's do that and instead of words, show some photos and videos.
Instead of boring introductions, we masked and presented ourselves as superheroes with 5 super strengths.
Morning begun with short introductions of 4 different takes on the theme, by 4 different teams. Beer the night before actually did help boost the creativity as we had 4 really wide & wild angles: 1. Medical/Physical (the obvious choice), 2. Emotional (trigger emotions), 3. Metaphorical, 4. Artsy (focus on poetry and music).
Before noon it was time for some research in the wild to meet the users. We flooded the city, from the hospital to local bars, we covered them all. Time to synthesise research and gather meaning. Fast! Personas, scenarios and most of all user journey maps that functioned as a global structure (+ a reference point) during the weekend. In the evening we were joined by the "Observers" who offered the teams an outside view. The night ended closer to the morning.
Coffee, tons of coffee and tons of work to be done until the deadline at 2pm. The teams were so much in the zone that two of them run out of time to make a video presentation. But hey, we created final scenarios, some produced hi-fi mockups and all of the teams presented an innovative and fun projects that could and should be implemented straight away.
With Maruša we are once again really happy to host the Jam and a loud shout to all of the guys participating. It was probably the best way to celebrate my birthday, really. But the Jam did not end there, on 4th of November. We still have to organize a follow-up event and make sure the projects are presented to a broader audience. That is a must! So, see you soon everyone.