Latest Event Updates

Twin Jamming Is Epic!

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Twin jamming makes Salma smile!

Our wonderful volunteer, Salma Afzal, is passionate about twin jamming. So much so, she has written a blog all about it on her own site! Please take a moment to visit her blog and read her writeup about the twin jam at this year’s Leeds Service Jam. (includes some footage to show our phenomenal dance skills!!)

The Last of the 2019 Jam

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Getting hands-on at Leeds Service Jam 2019

Wow, what a jam! Leeds Service Jam has been and gone, and we miss it already! A fabulous group of jammers took part from different parts of the country and with different backgrounds. For some, it was their first exposure to jamming and to service design, for others it was a welcome return to the familiar.

Our jammers affinity mapping theme ideas

We twin-jammed with Ghent and Dundee, we did the Show Don’t Tell dance to A Little Less Conversation in our dance-off with Ghent, we ideated, we researched, we prototyped, we shared, we drank tea and we learned.

Kicking off a debrief with post-its over dinner

The volunteer organisers (it’s all run by volunteers) went out for a celebratory meal, but of course you can’t have a jar of jammers (just invented that collective noun) without post-it notes, so we had a bit of a retrospective and agreed on things we will improve next time. We are so thankful for the venue, the catering, the sponsors, everyone who helped shared and retweeted, and the fabulous jammers who took part – to you all: THANKYOU.

See you next time!

Our fabulous sponsors!

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The Jam could not happen without the support of our sponsors and supporters. This year we were lucky to receive a grant from UKGovcamp to help cover running and venue costs, along with a generous donation from our headline sponsor dxw.

Jane Hewitt, Marketing and Communities Manager at dxw commented:

‘dxw digital is digital agency that helps create public services which improve people’s lives.  We believe the public sector can become something recognisably, radically better and we’re here to help make it happen. We work in partnership to research, design, build and operate great services. Technology is just one of the answers. We support strategy, planning, process and organisational culture too.

We’re really pleased to be sponsoring this years’ Service Jam in Leeds, which is a great entry into the world of Service Design.’

UKGovcamp is the free, annual ‘unconference’ for people interested in how the public sector does digital stuff.

Twin Jam = Global Fam :)

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We are excited to welcome this blog from uber-jammer Marie Cheung!

The Global Service Jam embraces the connection between fellow jam participants all over the world who are all service designing during the exact same weekend. What better way to connect than to twin jam with another fellow jam?

Last year, Leeds Service Jam twin jammed with Glasgow Service Jam, Singapore Service Jam and Liverpool Service Jam and it was amazing to see the diverse ideas and likewise, the similar ideas that were produced by jam teams from close and afar. We are influenced by the culture and society of the place we live, work and study in, so it’s interesting to see how we come up with these ideas to solve real world problems. We also learn from each other and share similar challenges we face when making sure we having a solid idea, how we can do better user researching and prototyping.

(Glasgow Service Jam)

(Liverpool Service Jam)

Twin jamming also provides a great opportunity to get fun and creative by coming up with fun dance challenges (such as the ‘Shake It Off’ dance-off a few years ago) or to create polls and tweets with questions on Twitter to gain further user research insights with other jammers. We make invaluable connections and we get this shared sense of achievement with our counterparts from across the world because we feel we are all doing something amazing, fun and worthwhile – together.

(Singapore Service Jam)

This year, Ghent Service Jam and Leeds Service Jam are joining forces to create a truly connected experience for our jammers. We look forward to getting inspired, learning from one another and supporting each other throughout the weekend! Yay to #twinjamming!

Marie Cheung is a Service and User Experience Designer and and experienced and committed jammer. You can follow her at

Help Us Spread the Jam!

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Could you spare a minute?

Here at Leeds Service Jam HQ we love the jam, and want to share it far and wide! We welcome jammers from all walks of life, different backgrounds, different experiences, different thinking.

Please help us reach and involve people with a few simple actions:

  1. Print off our poster and put it up where you work or play.

2. Follow LSJ on Twitter and retweet our content to to your networks: @GSJLeeds .

3. Tell people about the Jam on your wider networks – other social media, mailing lists, meetups, forums, hacks…

4. If you have any other great ideas to involve people in the Jam, email us on .

Spread the love. Spread the Jam.

Thank you!



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I went to Gov Jam in 2017 with some people from work. I knew about service design already, but it was really great to be able to try out some new techniques and skills in a ‘safe’ environment. Over the two days I learned loads of things I use all the time. Going to an event where the consequences of something not going well would only last for a few days felt like bliss!

Talking about research findings with my team at GovJam

I offered to help organise the Jam because I believe there is a lot of benefit to Service Jams. They bring people together to look at something which could be better.

I’ve taken on a slightly more removed role than other people, I’m working with the rest of the volunteer team to coordinate the Jam, but I don’t have a lot of active responsibility.

Volunteering to help plan the Service Jam has fitted well around my personal life, which has been busier than I expected. I’m hoping by the time the Jam comes around I’ll be getting my hands stuck in a bit more! Remote planning sessions have been great for being able to join while I’ve been busy.

We’re looking for some people to help us out on the weekend of the Service Jam, volunteers are what make the Jam such an amazing event. We need mentors who have jammed before and people who can help with the logistics over the weekend. If you think you’d like to help, you can apply using the form below:

By Jo Arthur

Getting stuck into the Jam

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After Leeds GovJam 2018 I was so enthused that I volunteered straight away to get involved in the 2019 jam.  I didn’t really know what I was getting into, it just looked like something I wanted to do.

With my team at Leeds GovJam 2018

It’s been a great experience and learning curve so far.  I’m working with a great team of people (only one of whom I’d met before), undertaking tasks I’ve never done before.

I volunteered to help with communications and am looking after the website and the Eventbrite page.  Although this context is new to me, I have done a lot of event management through past work and volunteering.  I’m hoping to update and upgrade that experience.

We are using Trello, WhatsApp and Zoom for our communications – none of which I had ever used before!  I’ve been nervous muddling through, but the other volunteers have been supportive and offered me advice, so volunteering for Service Jam has had the additional benefit of helping me develop my digital skills!

The fortnightly meetings are held either in person in a local coffee shop, or virtually using Zoom.  We meet in the evening and I look forward to the meetings – they are fun, but very productive.  Everyone gets a chance to speak, and we get things done.

If you fancy getting involved, contact us via this form

by Karen Thornton

Your Jam Needs You!

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Still some space to fill in the Leeds Service Jam Jar!

We are open for applications to volunteer at this year’s Service Jam, running at ODI Leeds from 29 -31 March. We have 2 key roles available:

Mentor – this role is about supporting Jam delegates, helping to facilitate their thinking around the challenge and advising on design methods they could use. This role is open to people who have jammed before, and have had some experience of using design methods.

General Helper – this is open to anyone who wants to volunteer at the Jam. Tasks might typically involve registering delegates on arrival, helping set the room up and nipping into town for anything we’ve forgotten, from stationery to fruit!

To apply, we have a short application form to tell us what role you are keen on and why. We will collect basic contact details so we can get back to you. You can find the form here

You can find out what it’s like volunteering for Leeds Service Jam in the blog articles on the home page, and read about this year’s planning team in the ‘Volunteers’ tab.

Leeds Service Jam Volunteers – The Key Ingredient

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It’s been great joining the volunteer team for Service Jam – welcoming group with a great range of skills and experience, already learnt so much and the vibe ahead of the event in March is fun and energetic (just like my first Jam experience!). Like any volunteering opportunity, there’s a lot to get to grips with and working with motivated people is always helpful when trying to juggle work/family commitments. Full details about how to volunteer will follow soon.

It feels like there’s a changing of the guard happening this year as those of us new to running a Jam take the baton from those who have already given so much of their time and energy to it. It’s a big responsibility ensuring we stay on track and deliver a fantastic experience for the new Jammers who will be joining us – I think we all want to make sure you get as much from the Jam as we all evidently did!

Karen is doing an excellent job running our communications and Eventbrite (second batch of tickets about to go live!) and Salma’s enthusiasm for social media is infectious – keeping us on our toes with requests for content. Saul and Jo are co-ordinating the team and Sharons’ experience of running previous Jams is proving essential as we navigate the first few bumps in the road…

I’ve picked up juggling finance and sponsorship so please get in touch on Twitter if you would like to discuss the opportunity to get involved – GovCamp have very kindly provided us with a grant again to kick us off, check out their main Un-conference activities here.

One of the best things for me has been the use of tech solutions like Trello and Zoom video conferencing – I’ve used both before but being able to contribute to something as complex (and global) as Service Jam has developed both my own use of those platforms and my understanding of how to help others use them to their full potential.

Looking forward to seeing how the Jam takes shape and the team helps each other overcome the challenges ahead – also excited to meet new people at the Jam and enjoy hearing your thoughts and ideas once you’ve dived into Service Design!

Twitter: @ewanthrivelab

By Ewan Muirhead

Freshly Picked Volunteers Pumping up the Jam!

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Blog by Salma Afzal and Karen Thornton

We are all super excited and counting down the days for  Leeds Service Design Jam 2019. Please save the date 29 – 31 March 2019, for 48 hours of making things, trying out different experiments, learning, creativity and innovation in a fun and safe environment. Tickets will be going live soon, we don’t want you to miss out!

The brilliant thing about the Global Service Jam is not-for-profit and is run by volunteers with the support of sponsors. No one owns it and anyone can set one up! As a set of volunteers we have diverse backgrounds to bring to the Jam, with different types of skills and strengths (you  can read more about us –Volunteers).

 After work, we’ve been spending our time either in the morning before or in evening after work in  our favourite meeting place at Laynes Expresso Leeds, for face to face meetings. This has proved to work extremely well, in the initial planning stages, to bond together as a team and learn from experienced Jammers/Hosts.  The Jam is helping us build upon, share and develop our existing skills around project, event management and financial planning, managing our work around fortnightly sprints.

We’ve also recognised that alongside our day jobs we  have other responsibilities and have tried to be as inclusive as possible. To ensure we include those who are unable to attend face to face meetings, so that we are working as one team.

Karen and Salma use the Service Jam Trello board to plan the Jam at a local coffee shop.

We’ve set up a volunteers code of conduct on how we will work and support each other working in an open, inclusive and transparent way. The main tools, we are using to collaborate are Google docs, Whatsapp, Zoom and Trello.  At the end of each planning  meeting, we’ve been seeking feedback on what went well and how we can improve for our next fortnightly meeting.

Using Zoom was an amazing experience across locations, we have even included a degu and a cat on a call! The great thing about using open tools, was that whilst on the call, we were able to run through the Trello board, update/set actions as well as create a agenda on Google docs and we could all see updates on our screens. We used three devices,  Macbook, Ipad and Android phone meaning we could involve people with different kinds of digital skills and devices, from the comfort of our homes or hotel rooms. We are loving our evening meetings from 7.30 to 8.30! Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, everyone is welcome. We hope you can join us at the jam!

Book now at Eventbrite:

Leeds Service Jam 2019 – Book Now!

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You have 48 hours to change the world!

29-31 March 2019

ODI Leeds, 3rd Floor Munro House, Duke St, Leeds LS9 8AG

Global Service Jam started in 2011 and just gets bigger and better!  Leeds welcomes you to use and learn about service design to address a global challenge.  Share your expertise and learn from others as we work together to define problems, design solutions and test ideas.

This isn’t a theory course, it’s about doing, not talking; showing not telling.  Apply a rapid, human-centred approach, come up with creative ideas and develop skills you can apply in your life and work.

GSJ is not-for-profit and is run  by volunteers with the support of sponsors.  Attendance is by pre-booked places only, and tickets include refreshments, lunch on Saturday and Sunday, and all materials.

Get the Global picture here!

Places are strictly limited, so book now

We want to make Leeds Service Jam available to everyone. If you are on a low income, please send us an email to tell us why you’d like to come to LSJ and what you want to get out of it, we may be able to help you attend.

Leeds Service Jam 2018 – thank you

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Thanks to everyone who jammed and joined in this year. You really were a great group. Full of fun and inspiration. Diversity and dynamism. Because of you, the Jam was all kinds of awesome. For everyone. #YouAreTheJam

Leeds Service Jam 2018 jammers assemble
Team Leeds Service Jam 2018 jammers assemble

Thanks to UKGovcamp for your sponsorship. It helps keep the cost of tickets down and makes the Jam more accessible for more people. Thanks to ODI Leeds for your support with the venue. Everyone always loves the space. Thanks to Kathyrn at Stick People for your kindness and wisdom. And Toolkits. You care and you share – unceasingly – to grow the service design community in the North. Thanks to Hannah at Fruity Kitchen for supplying us with cracking condiments and bants. Thanks to our ‘Twin’ Jams in Glasgow, Liverpool, and Singapore. It was a joy to connect and we learned so much from you all. And, thanks to our trusted team of volunteers, who give up their time to share their knowledge and spread the Jam spirit.

Lastly, thanks to everyone who has so far shared thoughts, reflections, pledges, and write-ups. Do keep them coming. We will be jamming again with Leeds GovJam in June, and so we hope to see you soon. We’ll also be back in 2019…

In the meantime, here are some super links:

  • Check out what got created in just 48-hours over on Global Jam HQ
  • Business for Everyone A pop-up learning space for people thinking about making the decision to start their own business.
  • Modern Community Watch Helping and supporting people who are homeless by creating a web app to report to the relevant charities, social enterprises, and local authorities.
  • Make it, Share it, Eat it! A pop-up service that brings people together for making and sharing good food.
  • Loaner Phoner A phone loan and repair service on the cheap.

And some write-ups…

Five Takeaways from Leeds Global Service Jam by @olaojo15  “The time, resource and presentation constraints forced us to be creative by sharpening our focus on making stuff instead of getting bogged down talking about making stuff.”

I learned a LOT in my first Jam! by @SalmaAfzal_“I would encourage everyone, whatever job you do, to take part. Nothing in the Jam is off limits, we are encouraged to be bold and take risks.”

Some photos in our Flickr gallery for Leeds Service Jam 2018

And, some tips, reflections, and messages for 2019 jammers

“Be bold. Be creative. Have fun!” – Amo

“It was a really complicated journey but we learned so much” – Fran

“I had an amazing time at #GSJam Leeds. I’m looking forward to practicing new ways of working by showing rather than telling. #ThisIsWhyWeJam” – Anthonia

“As someone who works from home I enjoyed doing something new and getting out of my comfort zone” – Sarah

“Use the resources available to you – the experience of the organisers” – Chris

“Trying something new will help you view your issues from another perspective” – Sarah

“It was a fantastic experience. Met and worked with an awesome team and learnt a lot of practical stuff” – Ola

“It was refreshing to work quickly and not over think getting feedback on ideas. A fun and exciting process” – Anna

“Immerse yourself into this experience and don’t be afraid to make mistakes” – Fran

“Role play often” – Sophie

“Get the idea out your head and into action” – Anthonia

“A fun experience. Developed new skills. Part of an awesome team. Keep calm and carry on jamming!” – Salma

So, thanks again, everyone. #YouAreTheJam 🙂

Leeds Service Jam 2018 – we’re jamming

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Welcome to the Global Service Jam 2018. There are around 80 cities jamming this year. Leeds is one of them – and we have a great group.

Here are some links to things that we think may be helpful during or after the Jam:

Let’s Jam!


Book your place at Leeds Service Jam 2018

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Leeds Service Jam is a part of the Global Service Jam. A not-for-profit ‘learning by doing’ event connecting people around the world. Jams are about having fun and play with a purpose. They are about innovation, collaboration and problem-solving around a global theme.

Over 48 hours, Jam participants (Jammers) form teams and learn about service design by doing it. There is a focus on action which helps move everyone through the creative design process. This includes researching problems and prototyping solutions inspired by the global theme. It also means exploring design tools and methods through ‘doing not talking’. Prototypes get tested on real people, providing feedback to improve the service. On the final day of the Jam, prototypes get shown and shared online with the global community.

There are many benefits of joining a Jam. Supported by volunteer mentors, you can develop service design skills and gain experience. You can explore ways of problem-solving that you can apply in your workplace or use in everyday life. You can meet new people, learn about teamwork and work to a tight deadline. You can become more open, innovative and human centred.

It’s a great experience. You can’t learn this stuff from a book’ – Paul, Jammer, Leeds Service Jam 2017.

Thanks to our fabulous 2018 sponsor UKGovcamp and venue host ODI Leeds, Leeds Service Jam takes place from 6pm on Friday 9 March to 4pm on Sunday 11 March.

Book now to join us at Leeds Service Jam 2018

Leeds Service Jam

Hello, Leeds Service Jam 2018

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Yes, we’re back. Save the date: We’re jamming 9-11 March in Leeds.

Exploring design-based approaches to innovation and having fun as part of a global team taking part in Global Service Jam 2018. Discover more via 

And, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @GSJLeeds 

More details and tickets to follow…

Thank you to the 2017 Leeds crew

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Leeds Service Jam was wonderful this weekend so we’d like to say a big THANK YOU to all the Jammers and everyone involved in making the magic happen – you are the Jam!

To the heroes at UKGovcamp, the ‘unconference’ for people interested in how the public sector does digital stuff, who also give people like us grants to put on events  – we thank you. To the brilliant service designers, innovators and lovely human beings at Stick People, Matt, Kathryn, Sharon – thank you. To the super-collaborators and open data innovators at ODI Leeds who put up with us each year in their space – thank you. To our facilitators, mentors and speakers, Emma, Tero, Linda, Lisa and Jonny, who shared knowledge and helped move the jam along at pace while having fun – thank you. To our fab jam (conserve/energy booster) supporter, Hannah at Fruity Kitchen – thank you.

Massive thanks too to the Global Service Jam crew for starting and running this thing. Over on the Global Service Jam platform is a stack of documentation from two super prototypes we created in just 48-hours. Check out #Accept (formerly known as Catch-a-story), a service to address barriers to communication, and Social Media Post Angel, helping you to post more sensitively on social media. Just awesome work by all involved!

You can also check out photos from the Jam on Flickr



…And if you enjoyed Leeds Service Jam then why not check out Leeds GovJam taking place 16-18 May 2017. We hope to see you there!

Service design is…

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“Service design is not just about digitising an existing journey, but transformation of the whole service for a better, more usable and valuable service.”


We are loving this quote from Tero Väänänen, Principal Service Designer at NHS Digital, on the benefits of a holistic service design approach when considering ‘digital transformation’.

Hear more from Tero at this weekend’s Leeds Service Jam!

Leeds Service Jam 2017 – booking is open

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Tickets are now available for Leeds Service Jam 2017 via Eventbrite.


Taking place from Friday 17 February through to Sunday 19 February, Leeds Service Jam is a part of Global Service Jam, an annual collaboration event that connects thousands of people around the world through a shhecret theme and a common purpose. The purpose is for participants to learn more about service design by doing service design – and to have a tonne of fun and meet new people while doing it. So, if you are interested in design-based approaches to innovation, having fun and helping the jam spread, please share these details.

Jams are not-for-profit. Organisers are all volunteers and Leeds Service Jam is kindly sponsored by UKGovCamp, and supported by venue host ODI Leeds and service designers Stick People. Tickets are £5-£10 to cover our event costs. Lunch, drinks and snacks will be available and there are numerous food options nearby.

Find out more and sign up here via Eventbrite. We hope you can join us! 

Updated 9 February: a sandwich lunch is now included. BIG THANKS to all who have booked tickets so far!

Save the date – we’ll be jamming!

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YES. Save the date.

Thanks to support from UKGovCamp and ODI Leeds, we’ll be jamming from the evening of Friday 17 to Sunday 19 February. We hope you can join us and thousands of jammers around the world. Details to follow…


Booking is now open!

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A little owl told us… booking is now open!
There are 30 tickets with a few options just make things easier and more accessible for people. Ticket price includes all our expected event costs. Lunches won’t be included – there are lots of lunch options close by and we often find you’ll be out and about in town already and can bring food back. Thanks to the team for getting the event going! Now all we need is Leeds Jammers… everyone is welcome!

Eventbrite booking here: