Latest Event Updates

#GSJLeeds – the Leeds Service Jam 2016

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Hello and thanks for visiting the GSJLeeds homepage. We will be bringing the Global Service Jam to Leeds on the last weekend of February… your opportunity to learn about Service Design by ‘doing’, not talking but ‘doing’.

The event is open for all to attend. Over the past five years we’ve had all kinds of people interested to attend, making each event unique to the people who make it happen. The first big message to understand is that you don’t have to be a ‘designer’ or a ‘techy’ to attend, though there will be some of us there. The event is open to all people interested in making services better and centering efforts around people/users and what works for them and letting the nuts and bolts/technology that enable that to follow. Six out of seven workers in Leeds are in the service industry – Leeds is a city of service.

We just suggest people come along with an open mind, willing to collaborate and challenge yourself to learn something new.

We’ll be making tickets available for a small charge soon, just to cover our costs.

If you’d like to sponsor, support, attend, volunteer or just find out more please contact this year’s organiser Kathryn Grace 07812 073863 or email

This year’s event supporters so far include Stick People and we’ll be hosting the event at ODI Leeds

You can follow us on Twitter at @GSJLeeds


What a weekend!

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Leeds Service Jam

Leeds Service Jam 2015 is over. Thanks to everyone who made it happen!

Thanks to our jam volunteers, Si, Ali, Sharon, Nick and Lisa, for making it happen in Leeds.

Thanks to the organisers of the Global Service Jam and our twin jam, Copenhagen, for the global theme and inspiration throughout the weekend.

Thanks to our supporters and sponsors, UKGovCamp, ODI-Leeds, Studio of Things and SD Leeds.

Most of all, thanks to our jammers.

What happens next?

Jammers should soon receive our jam participant questionnaire from SurveyMonkey. If you’re one of them, please take the time to fill it in and help make the event better for everyone.

In a few weeks we’ll be announcing details of Leeds GovJam 2015, from 9 to 11 June. We hope you can join us for that. Please get in touch if you could be part of the GovJam volunteer team, or are interested in hosting the Global Sustainability Jam in the Autumn.

Thanks again to everyone who joined our jam. We hope to see you again soon!

Leeds Service Jam starts on Friday – here’s what you need to know

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Leeds Service Jam starts 6pm on Friday

Only a few days to go now. Here’s the info we’ve sent to everyone getting ready for the 2015 Leeds Service Jam. We’re delighted to have over 20 jammers taking part. If you’ve booked but know you are no longer able to attend please email

Getting there

ODI-Leeds is on the third floor of Munro House, Duke Street, Leeds, LS9 8AG. Munro House is located on the corner of Duke Street and York Street, opposite Leeds bus station and next to the BBC building. The nearest car parks are at Quarry Hill and Leeds Markets.

On arrival

Registration will take place on the ground floor from 6pm on Friday 27 February. We’ll give you a jam participant form and Creative Commons license. After signing in, you can go up to the ODI space on the third floor. We’ll start the welcome presentation at 6:30pm.

Key timings

Friday’s session will run until 8:30pm when we’ll stop and go to a nearby bar or restaurant. On Saturday, you can arrive from 9am and we’ll get everyone together for a briefing at 9:30am. Jamming will run until 5pm. On Sunday, the space will be open from 9:30am with a 3pm deadline to upload all our work to the Global Service Jam site. We’ll do an end of jam show and tell and wrap up by about 4pm on Sunday.

Food & Drink

We’ll provide lunch on both days. We want to make everyone feel welcome, so if you have special dietary needs and didn’t mention them on the Eventbrite booking form, please can you let us know by the end of Thursday.

Tell everyone

If you’re tweeting about the event, don’t forget the hashtag #GSJam for the global event. Please remember, the global theme stays secret until all the cities to the west of us know about it too – we’ll let you know when it’s safe to share that during the event.

What to bring?

It’s going to be dress down/lots of hands on stuff over two days, so please just wear whatever makes you feel comfortable to jam. There’s no need to bring anything, but here’s a checklist of things that may be helpful if you have them: Computers & Cables – Cameras and cables/SD cards – Tablets/Phones – Any design tools that you would like to share in groups that may help – Know-how on prototyping – Children’s toys and figures – Box of Lego to share within your group – Your playful side… silly hats/wigs/scarves/squeaky toys.

Anything else?

If you have any questions, please email

Leeds Service Jam 2015 flyer – tell everyone!

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We made this flyer to publicise the 2015 Leeds Service Jam.

  • Print it out big and stick it on your wall or window
  • Print it out small and leave a stack of copies wherever you and your colleagues or classmates meet for coffee
  • Project it onto the side of a prominent building

Whatever you do, tell everyone!

GSJ flyer

GSJ flyer

Reading up on Service Design

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Take a look at

Two books have recently been published on Service Design, that are well worth a read.
This is Service Design Thinking
by Marc Stickdorn and Jakob Schneider

Brand-Driven Innovation
by Erik Roscam Abbing

Service Design Techniques: Blueprints

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Blueprint: in action during a workshop

5 steps that can start a blueprint

Step 1: Aware
So many service providers focus on what they actually provide and miss out
how their potential customers/clients will find out about it, or leave it to the end when the service is produced (handling it in isolation or delegating it to someonelse). The first step of the blueprint addresses this by asking ‘How do you find out about this service?’
The answer to this question will vary, from service to service, but making time to consider this and knowing where your most valuable/needy customers are is key. The main point
is that with cross channel communications, info sharing is part of the main product not a side order or after thought.

Step 2: Engage
The next step explores the access points to your product. ‘How do you access the service?’ and  indeed where and when? This information can open up ideas on how the service is designed, and how it connects with other products aswell as considering the platform(s) itself. How many customers start off in a conversation with a friend… or on facebook/twitter. Today we can make fast links in. But equally in the offline environment a carer may first access your service while on a visit to the doctors through a referral.

Step 3: Use
This step is pretty easy for the service designer or manager to answer quite quickly, or is it?
How do you use the service? You have spent so much time designing it, meeting the proposition teams’ brief and preparing what you will offer, but who is going to use it and how will they use it?

Step 4: Develop
How your use of the service can develop. What can your customer do, once they have started using your service? If you have gained trust with the success of your service, you are in a position of trust and have an opportunity to cross/up sell. This could be a commercial objective or simply an example of joined up thinking for a series of services that a customer/client may require/need/quite like to have.

Step 5: Leave
Making the leaving experience a positive experience makes the difference between a ‘not going back there!’ reaction and ‘oh… that was quite helpful, I’ll consider them another time.’ If the experience of leaving is bad, one thing’s for sure, they’re not going to be encouraged to return.

The left hand column then varies depending on your service/business.
In the example above we broke the journey down into four persona experiences, sketching the journey so to make it tangible and visible. Then below that we added what each department/part of the business would be doing to facilitate those journeys. Ideas that came from workshops were plotted onto this blueprint to be able to see the experience as a whole and see clearly where the gaps could be. Understanding the bigger picture gives opportunity for more linked up thinking.

Service Blueprints can be done as simply or as complex as needed…
Another translation of Blueprinting is the  Customer Journey Canvas found in the recently published book This is Service Design Thinking by Marc Stickdorn & Jakob Schneider (also available from Amazon).

Service Design Techniques: Sketching

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Wall of Sketches from a Workshop: Orange UK
Visualising intangibles and sketching is a very facilitative part of  Service Design.
Many clients sit back in awe when a designer starts sketching/doodling and visualising what is being said in a meeting… but we aim to make sketching/doodling accessible to all.

By enabling everyone to make their ideas visual, you make the idea easier to share in a group and more quickly understood. Sharing an idea in a group, can then develop the idea more quickly and help it grow or help create new and better ideas.

Sketching Resources:
01 There are a few books you might like to take a look at:
• Sketching User Experience Bill Buxton
• The Back of a Napkin: Selling Ideas with Pictures Dan Roam
• Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes and
Idea Mapping can transform group productivity David Sibbet

02 Live|Work are known for their sketch sheets, giving you a starting drawing to then develop and add detail to. This helps get people going and soon enough people then ask for blank paper as they grow in confidence and think beyond the boundaries of what is put infront of them.

Still not convinced this is going to make a difference at all?
Try this out…
which of the following to you understand first?

What happens after the Jam?

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We were asked this week… “What happens after Global Service Jam?”
It’s a good question and something we hadn’t really focussed on.
Here’s an attempt at an answer…

Service Design Leeds aims to share learning and explore ideas around Service Design in the city and the north of England, for both public and private sectors. A few of us have
taken up the challenge of Global Service Jam, to give the city an opportunity to try out service design, to learn by doing.

If we go into the Jam thinking of what may happen afterwards it may limit what actually happens at the event. Global Service Jam is an open and experimental space…
so we are suspending the everyday situations/thinking with the aim of creating something new and creating a shared learning together. It will be an opportunity to make new connections both locally and globally, public and private sector… and with that kind of offer, who knows what may happen? It will be created by the group of jammers that attend…

Service Design Leeds will be collecting the outputs and following things up afterwards.
We have a hunch of what we personally would like to do… but we don’t want that to quash anything that may naturally happen at the event. So what ever will be will be… but I know we are very excited and are keeping connected with other innovation groups in the city.


How do you play this Game?

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You think you know… then you sit down with relatives and friends at christmas and you discover… Aah no! You can play this game a different way. Then the inevitable discussion starts… “I’m not sure about that, let’s just check what the rules say”. And so you all agree how you’re going to play, and it usually ends up being a load of fun!

So sometimes you need to set rules to get everyone playing together, and understanding each other’s game as a result. We often rebel against rules put on us to limit our behaviour, but in this context it is to facilitate and enable collaborative working. We create a common safe space and culture for us all to go on a journey of creativity and discovery together.

The Jam will be full of games and creative play – so we’ll be having some house rules to play by. Check some of these out for size…

Service Design Network | Student Workshops | Berlin 2010
01 Learn by doing not debating
02 Be wild and crazy, surprise your group and yourself
03 Experience Trumps theory
04 Have fun. Lots of it.
05 Have lots of ideas. Get them out of your head
06 Ask questions why? why? why?
07 Focus on your persona’s needs and insights
08 Build on each others ideas. Make it “our” idea not “mine”.
09 Don’t judge. Everything is possible. Separate idea generation
from evaluation. Filter later
10 The proof of the pudding is in the eating
11 Listen! Don’t talk while others talk.
12 Sketch, craft and prototype. Make your ideas visual and tangible.

Don’t judge, everything is possible – This one is pretty key to getting the process going. It’s a common guide for designers learning to generate ideas… and not always given it’s full space in the professional world. To create, we can suspend reality while we check out the options and opportunities around a challenge or problem that we are trying to solve. And the way we do this is… Separate idea generation from evaluationWe do need to evaluate ideas, critical that we do, but at the right time… after we’ve had chance to see what the options are and can be.

Learning by doing, not debating… this is pretty primary for Service Design workshopping… we are often so passionate and full of ideas we can get lost in debate and trying to understand one anothers’ point of view. But if we put our words down and start doing and allow the ideas to be shared, develop and grow, you soon find you begin to make progress and what’s better than that… it’s fun!

If you have any other tips on how collaborative workshops can work…
we are more than open to ideas. Get in touch…

Special Thanks to Service Design Network Conference | Student Workshops | Berlin 2010


What does a Jam look like?

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Service Design Network Conference, Berlin | Student Workshop 2010
This is the kind of thing you can expect… a chance to get your hands dirty,
turn your talking into doing and develop ideas together through many different techniques. You don’t have to be an artist, everyone can have a go at idea modelling
with drawings, lego, plastacine, photography, film or whatever comes to hand. It will be a shared activity so no need to feel like you need to be Michael Angelo – we’ll leave that to
the artists!

The many stages before modelling of course – you knew it was coming – will involve post-its and many of them! There are lots of Service Design Techniques that will enable this… so bring your own ideas to share. We’re learning too!


What is Service Design?

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What is Service Design: This is a little video made by Service Design Network at their annual conference in Berlin.
It puts into a nutshell why we are so enthusiastic about Service Design.
It’s just the beginning… so if you like this let us know and we’ll publish more.


Where did Global Service Jam start?

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The service design community is growing globally. It is a discipline capturing both business and public sector alike. There are service design networks and events around the world spreading the idea. One of the highlights of the annual Service Design Conference in Berlin last October – Service Design Network – was the ‘Theatrical Tools in Service Design’ workshop. When faced with such a rich variety of workshops at a large conference you are often spoilt for choice and can feel undecided as to which workshop you should attend. On this occasion the squeaks of rubber chickens, placed around the conference venue, picked up, carried around and of course… squeaked, cut across people’s thinking and consciousness. Designing services can be fun? – these silly chickens definitely set the tone. If you ask any/all that attended, the workshop did not disappoint. The message of the workshop seemed to be ‘designing in your fun/game/play mode frees you up and is a catalyst to design and problem solving and making better services’. See our blog on the workshop Beyond Roleplay.

So a few months later when we saw the Global Service Jam was announced and we saw who was behind it… we could not resist. Who are we talking about? I hear you ask. The two creative trouble makers/initiators of Global Servcie Jam are the amazing Markus Hormess and Adam Lawrence from Work•Play•Experience, Nuremberg, Germany.
Seen here at the Finland Winter School Service Design Workshops.

Markus Hormess and Adam Lawrence | Photo by:

So Nuremberg, Germany is the birthplace and headquarters of the Jam and in a matter of weeks has spread around the world… over 40 cities on the map.

If you’d like to know more about Markus &  Adam’s story check out the About Us page
on the Global Service Jam HQ site.

Many of us have had a chance to read, talk and learn about different approaches to problem solving and idea brainstorming… but for Service Design Thinking this is a chance to stop talking and try out ‘learning by doing’. You won’t regret it. So spread the word
and join us for Global Service Jam, Leeds.

Squeak Squeak!

Service Design Techniques: Beyond Roleplay

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Service Design Workshop: Beyond Roleplay

The driving force behind Global Service Jam, Adam Lawrence and Markus Hormess from Work• Play • Experience ran a workshop called Beyond Roleplay at the annual Service Design Network Conference in Berlin.  Beyond Roleplay Workshop
Filmed by: Snook

This is just one of the many Service Design Techniques we can consider using when
it comes to Global Service Jam | Leeds. We are putting a list of different techniques together for the event, that we would all be able to consider and share.

We need you…
If you are an actor/actress and are interested to look at getting involved with
Global Service Jam Leeds let us know.