Jam Rule #1: Doing, not talking
The Los Angeles Service and Gov Jams are 2.5 day events, designed to teach people (through a hands-on, learn-by-doing approach) the skills, process and methods of design thinking and service design, picking up tools for creative problem solving and collaboration along the way. They are part of a larger event, with similar Jams taking place at the same time, all over the globe.
I initially got involved in organizing Jams in 2012 because I wanted to gain hands on experience with service design myself, having identified it as a shift I wanted to make in my career. Since then, through both the Jams and my position as an Experience Strategist, I’ve gained tons of experience and love sharing my passion and knowledge with others. It’s fun connecting with people locally and globally that get just as geeky about service design as I do. It’s also an opportunity to take on a project outside of work, designing the end-to-end experience of the event itself.
As an organizer, my role includes:
- Project management and collaboration with other organizers
- Promotion and marketing the event
- Recruiting and communication with participants
- Getting sponsorship
- Coordinating mentors, speakers and volunteers
- Designing the curriculum and schedule
- Facilitating group activities throughout the weekend
- Providing mentorship to teams
- Presenting crash courses on topics like Ethnography and Intro to Service Design
- Most importantly, making sure the participants are having fun
Participants leave the Jams inspired (and exhausted), with new tools for creative problem solving, regardless of their field, along with a spirit of doing, trying, making, experimentation and learning. Some people take specific tools or methods back to their jobs, while others take away new friendships and ways of approaching collaboration.
Personally, I’ve gained tons of leadership experience and I have found it particularly rewarding to help others grow by sharing my passion and encouraging learning, creativity, critical thinking and a culture of design.