About Leeds GovJam

Leeds GovJam is a chance to learn by doing. Your team will collaborate rapidly in designing and testing solutions to public problems. You’ll get more than great new ideas and service design methods: by the end of the event you will have the experience of co-creating a working prototype.


Service jam wall


What is the Global GovJam?

GovJam is a global event which applies tools and techniques of service design to the world of government and the public sector. Working around a common theme, small teams meet at multiple locations, working for 48 hours to prototype innovative approaches to challenges faced by the public sector. At the end of the two days, they upload their results and publish them for the world.

Who is it for?

Anyone and everyone with an interest in public services and making them better. We have interest from people working in local authorities, the NHS, national government departments, as well as the private and voluntary sectors. What they all have in common is a curiosity to try new ways of working together around public sector opportunities and issues.

Who is running the event in Leeds?

The event is run by volunteers, many of whom also organise Global Service Jam and Global Sustainability Jam events. Additional volunteers are always welcome to join the team.

Where will it be hosted?

For the second year running, Leeds GovJam will be at the wonderful ODI-Leeds.

What can I expect to see?

Lots of activity! The emphasis is on doing, not talking, and on usable prototypes, not slick presentations. Service jam participants often surprise themselves with how much they can achieve together in a short space of time, and with how quickly they can make a prototype that elicits valuable feedback from potential service users.

What’s included in the ticket price?

We’ll provide the venue, materials, lots of service design tools and tips, and the support of mentors to help teams make the most of the jam. There will also be snacks and lunch provided on both days. All we ask you to bring is yourself, your passion for improving government services, and an openness to trying new techniques. The event is run by volunteers, and nobody makes a profit from it.

What is the value?

The purpose of the jam is to create a safe space for learning and trying new tools and techniques. At the end of the jam, many teams also have service prototypes they can be proud of, but the main thing is that everyone has had fun, learned new ways of doing things and is enthused about taking something from the jam back into their everyday work.

How can it benefit my organisation/department/team?

GovJam is a great way to find out more about service design and how it can make a difference to your public, private or voluntary sector organisation. We welcome participants as individuals and in groups from the same workplace. Where you come as a group we’ll encourage you to split up across different teams to make the most of the learning and networking opportunities available.

What happens to the stuff we make during the jam?

All works will be licensed under Creative Commons. The team that made them is free to develop their ideas further after the jam, but the results of the jam itself must be open.

Can my organisation sponsor the Leeds GovJam?

The event is run by volunteers, and nobody makes a profit from it. Sponsors and supporters help us keep costs down, and open up new possibilities. To discuss how your organisation could help to make Leeds GovJam even better, please get in touch.

How can I find out more?

You can follow @LeedsGovJam on Twitter (hashtags #LeedsGovJam for Leeds and #GGovJam for the global event), or contact Matt Edgar (matt@mattedgar.com / 07964 763252) to find out more.

Where else in the world is GovJam happening?

Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Singapore, Spain, South Korea, Taiwan, UAE, UK, USA and more. There’s a growing list of GovJam sites at http://www.govjam.org/

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