Here we have all the ingredients for a good jam session. Everyone comes along with his/her specific know-how to share and produce something new by participating in a collective game. Only the objective differs, as it is a case of inventing new services. And according to Mercè Rua, co-organizer of the event in Barcelona, the Global Service Jam is every bit as exciting as a successful music improvisation session. It was in 2011 that two passionate designers launched the first jam, with the aim of prototyping innovative services within a 48-hour period. There were two basic rules: it was forbidden for anyone not to have fun, and everyone had to act rather than talk.
The participants, all welcome regardless of their skill set, met on Friday evening to begin this ephemeral cooperation. Once the theme was revealed, the teams (of between 5 and 12 people depending on the city) came together to play, brainstorm, outline an idea and draw up a sketch of their target. The work continued on Saturday morning with exercises that allowed for exploring the idea further, adapting it to the target public, before drawing up a proposal to present to all of the jammers on Sunday afternoon.
Some 50 cities participated in this first session. Since then, the event has grown to include 150 cities in 2014. For Ms Rua, this is proof of a change in motivation today with respect to that of the previous generation: “Our focus is no longer directed towards the object itself, but rather the service it provides.”