If there ever has been an event that truly sparked the enthusiasm in design sprint for a weekend in me, it’s the Global Service Jam. After being at three of them in Dundee, I started playing with the idea of making a service jam in Czech Republic one day.

What is a service jam?

Service jam is a weekend-long event (starting on Friday afternoon), where people from different backgrounds and ages meet to give the world a new idea on specific topic. What do I mean by “give”? Basically to research that topic, define a certain scope on some problem perhaps, then design and develop a potential solution and make a well-presentable outcome for it, so the world can actually understand what they came up with. Take a look at Dundee Service Jam storify or this video from Glasgow:

It was a big thought, when I imagined all the things that have to be done. But guess what – since I prefer action sometimes, I stopped worrying about perfection and made it in DIY way – and the Local Service Jam at Dvorek has been born 🙂

Global service jam has a different topic every year. I liked how the topics are sometimes so abstract, that the teams actually do stuff that they care about themselves. This time, we decided to go for improvement of the public space around us.

In cooperation with my friend Janka, the passionate cook of healthy and delicious meals who took the care and cooked for us for the whole jam & Lukáš who took nice photos, I was ready to start on Friday afternoon with the magnificent number of 8 jammers who came to participate – one of them being my father, representing entirely different age group – very thankful for that.

Friday

On Friday, people came, met each other and we kicked off with an icebreaking game. People chatted in pairs about themselves with the other guy sticking post it notes with tags on them. Then the jammers were split into two teams (randomly).

Then we all had an amazing dinner made by Janka. I missed the good, healthy food at all service jams by the way. There has been a lot of processed sweets and cheap oily pizza – don’t get me wrong, I appreciate everything, but I just work better and am more happy when I eat healthy. And also at the same table 🙂

First dinner – healthy green spaghetti

Saturday

On a beautiful Saturday morning, we enjoyed our delicious coffee, had an amazing breakfast together and set off to the city, to carry out a research about our topics. Our team was concerned about redundancy of cars in the city & improvement of public transport. We asked about 15 people about their opinions and listened to many stories.

After a pink lunch, we went back to the drawing boards and tried to assess all the research outcomes and define some problems out of them, according to the great Double Diamond model. Beautiful evening full of wine, friends and chatter awaited us after a diligent day 🙂

Sunday

Woken up by Marek’s well-extracted coffee, the teams started working on presenting the idea to the world. Prototyping and shooting video. In our case it meant to create a script, prototype from cardboard and go shoot a Hollywood-grade movie. At 5pm, both projects were presented and we had a nice chats and feedback about them.

So what actually emerged at this event? Let’s take a look!

Team “Talk Cam”

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First team focused on the issue that people don’t talk together too much in the city. Scoping on public transport, where people can easily get stuck in the grey mundane routine of being silent and gazing into ads, they came up with amazing idea how to spark up the conversation between two persons. Inspired by KissCam, used on american sports for example, they re-adapted this principle in public transport vehicles, using their digital screens.

Team “Naskoč” (“Jump on”)

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Second team (which I was part of) focused on the redundancy of cars in cities and the ineficiency of their usage (too many cars with only the driver). We were thinking about optimization of public transport and how people can help other people in that process. We came up with a ridesharing service that would actually work in the city, rather than in between them (which is usual). This service would use the public transport stops for getting on and off, since people are used to them, they provide stopping place and if the driver lets you down, you can just take the bus 🙂

What now?

It was an amazing weekend. One day you think about organising the whole jam and another day, it has happened. I would love to make another service jam happen in Brno, this time with more professional attitude to organising and more jammers. But I would definitely like to keep the friendly atmosphere in, czech culture of going for a beer after as well as healthy meals all the way through 🙂 I hope that next summer, Brno has something to look forward 🙂