Cogs has proudly been involved with the Global Service Jam ever since it was brought to Hong Kong, back in 2017. Bringing together teams in cities around the world, this annual global event challenges participants to think creatively about new services, products, or initiatives inspired by one shared theme. With just 48 hours from conception to completion, the Jam pushes participants, both experienced and novice alike, to stretch the reaches of their imagination in the name of innovation. In preparation of this year’s upcoming Jam, we spoke with several people involved with the Hong Kong event and asked them to share their thoughts.
How Did You Get Involved With the Global Service Jam?
“The founder of MAKE Studios in Hong Kong, Patti Hunt, was actually one of the first jammers. As the Global Service Jam has grown, it’s been really important to MAKE to bring the idea of it east and connect the community of creators, thinkers, and innovators together. It’s a great and really fun opportunity for all of us to build, grow, and share our skills.”
“I actually participated in the Global Service Jam when I was still living in Belgium because my sister is a service designer. I really loved it. It was an amazing experience to have a challenge thrown at your feet and use all of these techniques within one weekend to solve it. Because of that personal connection and knowing Industrie & Co. and what they stand for, I proposed the idea of sponsoring the event.”
How Do You Feel the Global Service Jam is Relevant to What You Do?
Victor Lang – Gini – Venue Provider
“We’re all trying to solve problems in order for people to improve their lives. In the Service Jam, teams of design-focused individuals are going to work on creative global issues. For us, we’re solving issues for businesses and companies from a very design and technological perspective as well. We’re really trying to do things that are more holistic and can impact the lives of normal people. That’s something that is very important for us.”
“The areas where we encourage people, whether you call them design thinking or service design, are all about making sure from the beginning that you have a product or service that people are going to want and use. So this type of service jam is really relevant to us in respect to human-centered design. The more we can get that across to people in this space, the better.”
What Would You Say is the Wider Impact of Events Like Global Service Jam?
“One of the biggest impacts is to knock people off of their everyday, comfortable strides onto a new path that encourages them to embrace ambiguity. Being forced to take on a challenge and innovate something that you can’t necessarily touch is the first step. It is something very much needed in this part of the world. Asian culture has always been about getting the right answer and celebrating black and white, right and wrong. But when it comes to innovation, this is why so many Asian cities are playing catch-up, because that mindset and capability to take a leap of faith aren’t there. I think events like the Jam provide the opportunity to take that leap.”
Victor Lang – Gini – Venue Provider
“I think a big part of it is a growing understanding of each other within a community. That’s something we’ve really lacked in the last year; interacting with people we don’t know. We’ve all been locked in our homes or secluded in our offices with the same group of people. It’s really great to meet new people and have more engagement within the community. That’s essential for staying grounded in what we’re trying to do, otherwise you get stuck in your own little bubble.”
What Would You Tell People Who Are Considering Joining/Hosting a Jam in Their City?
“It is the best investment of your time and energy. Just show up open minded and willing, and you’ll be swept up in it. The organizers do an incredible job of creating a sense of structure and belonging, always making sure that everyone feels included and can contribute. The thing about design thinking is that it’s not common practice, but it is common sense. So even if you have no design experience or background, you’re still welcome. All you have to do is check your ego at the door and bring your energy, curiosity and your collaborative sense, and you’re going to have a great time.”
“The pandemic showed that change is inevitable, and it comes from a time and place that you would never really expect. The only way to be ready for change when it comes is to embrace it. The ability to embrace change is like a muscle; you need to exercise it. The Global Service Jam is a great, safe place for you to try, to make mistakes, and learn how to discover solutions to new problems. That’s the beauty of the Jam. It’s organized in a way that whether you’re a designer or not, you’ll still come to see your own value and ways that you can contribute to the team.”
Find a Jam in Your City
No matter if you’re flexing your design expertise, interested in picking up new career skills, or simply looking to meet new people, the Global Service Jam has something for everyone. Check out the locations page to find an upcoming Jam in your city.
Also, if you are in Hong Kong, you can join in on June 18-20 by getting your ticket now: https://www.ticketflap.com/global-service-jam
For more information, check out their website: https://www.jamhk.design/