This past Sunday saw the conclusion of the 2021 Global Service Jam. Cogs has proudly been involved in the event since it first came to Hong Kong in 2017. As in previous years, this year’s Jam saw teams from around the world come together to apply creative design skills in the pursuit of new products, services, and initiatives based on one shared theme. In the following article, we’ll take a closer look at how this year’s event in Hong Kong played out as well as some of the innovative ideas that caught the judges’ eyes.
On the first day of the Jam, participants gathered at the offices of Gini – the host of this year’s event. After a few ice breaking activities, the theme for 2021’s Jam was announced, which was: <>ex-tensions<>. If this seems a bit vague, don’t worry, that’s exactly the point. Each year, the theme is designed to be as open-ended as possible to encourage participants to broaden their scope of thinking and truly challenge themselves to create something bold and new.
After a bit of brainstorming and discussion, everyone was asked to write a “How Might We” statement, posing a design question based on the theme. After voting, the eight statements with the highest amount of votes were selected. These eight statements then became the basis for eight separate teams. With this, each participant chose which team they would work on by the end of the first day.
Getting to Work
The second day of the Jam is when the real work begins. With a focus in mind, teams were tasked with performing market research. Through a combination of reaching out to connections in their network and talking to people on the streets, they began to discover what needs or desires exist in the market that no other product or service is currently delivering.
With a better understanding of the people they design for, teams started to ideate. No idea is too crazy, and individual ideation turns into group ideation to create a concrete solution for the problem they have been trying to crack. The emphasis this weekend is on ‘Doing, not Talking’, which means bringing your idea to life by prototyping! A prototype can be a physical product, a service that can be acted out, or a digital product either drawn on paper or created with digital tools.
On the last day of the Jam, the teams presented their pitches. There was no shortage of creative ideas shared that day, but a few in particular stood out to the judges. The honourable mention went to a team called Circulus, whose idea for an expandable park bench was designed with the goal of overcoming the social stigmas that often times contribute to loneliness. In second place was the Doughnut Disturb. This clever device, designed for those working from home, aims to prevent disturbances from family members while offering them a meaningful way to share what’s on their mind.
The first-place winners of the 2021 Global Service Jam in Hong Kong was Treem. This service allows employees to vent their frustrations about their job on a safe, anonymized platform. This feedback would then be passed to management so that a constructive dialogue can be opened up.
This year’s Global Service Jam in Hong Kong was truly an amazing event. While there could only be one first-place winner, everyone left with a slew of new friendships and the satisfaction of knowing they pushed themselves outside of their comfort zones to create something practical and new. Here’s what some of the participants have had to say about their experience.
We’d like to extend a big thank you to all of this year’s sponsors; Gini, Industrie&Co, Make Studios, Palo IT, and Weavit, as well as all of the organizers, judges, mentors, and participants who took part in the event. If you’d like to learn more about the Hong Kong event and sign up to participate next year, check out the Global Service Jam website or Service Jam Hong Kong for more information.