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Leeds GovJam 2015 – the write-ups!

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It’s lovely to see so many positive blog posts from Leeds GovJam participants. Here’s a round-up of the ones we’ve seen so far. Please let us know if you’ve also posted about Leeds GovJam so we can link to it here.

Tom Simcox – Fearless service design at Leeds GovJam:

I was amazed at how much we created in just 48 hours. GovJam is all about trying new ways of designing and collaborating with others. We did it while having lots of fun!

But we did more than that.

We discovered unmet needs of the citizens of Leeds. We started designing public services to meet them. We did it by being fearless, by going out and talking to people to find out how we could make their lives better.

Our sponsors Digital DWP also made this fantastic video diary of Tom’s Leeds GovJam experience:

Emma Browes – Jammin’:

What I particularly enjoyed was  –

Learning by doing, not talking

Keeping it fast & dirty – fail fast & iterate

Pushing forward with your minimal viable product – don’t wait for perfect

Aiming sky high – there are real opportunities to use awesome design to make a MAHOOSIVE difference to people’s lives in the public sector.  We shouldn’t aim any lower.

Liam Bolton – Leeds GovJam 2015:

As a first-time Jammer admittedly I was not sure what to expect from it all. By the end of the first day I was hugely inspired by the GovJam and the people involved. Everyone at the Leeds GovJam wanted to use their skills and knowledge to bring about people-centred change to public services through creative service design. It was also a lot of fun! Taking part was personally a huge privilege.

Simon Wilson – Leeds GovJam 2015: in just three points:

After Leeds GovJam on Thursday evening I wrote those points down. In short I felt Leeds GovJam was so good! I might have been getting carried away, rose-tinted specs, and all that. I held back from bashing this out quickly, to get it out as soon after the event as possible. Let it settle a bit…

My thoughts on GovJam are settled though. I think it’s one of the few events I’ve been to where just about everything seemed to click.

Matt Edgar – Thanks, everyone! We just rocked the public sector:

Stand-out moments for me (sorry if this is one of those “you had to be there” posts 🙂

* Seeing a full house for the Tuesday evening kick-off
* Ben Holliday’s powerful talk about doing user-centred design at DWP
* Stick-figure voting to organise the project teams
* Handing out new-style jam passports including 10 service design methods to try
* Watching the space empty out on Wednesday morning as teams headed into Leeds to do their first round of user research

Kathryn Grace – Leeds GovJam 2015 and the follow-up Understanding and sharing the problem… finding opportunities:

…when Tom Riordan CEO of Leeds City Council did his little talk on engaging with service design and design thinking, and then a council worker talked about council interest in their service prototype in their final presentation… tears of joy over flowed. It was my Martin Luther King moment… I had a dream – Thank goodness it wasn’t just me… we all shared it in some way at Leeds GovJam this week – we wanted to rock the public sector and we did.

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Thanks, everyone!

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We’re going to write more about Leeds GovJam 2015 over the next week or so, but for now you can see all the projects on govjam.org …

Leeds GovJam projects

… and take a look at Lisa’s lovely photos of the event

Photos by Lisa J Jeffery

People we need to thank:

  • Global GovJam organisers Adam, Markus and Natasche for making this amazing event happen around the world
  • Twin jammers at the Athens GovJam for sharing their progress through their first jam
  • Digital DWP for being the loveliest event sponsors imaginable
  • Ben Holliday for his inspirational talk on the opening night
  • Supporters UKGovCamp and SD Leeds
  • Hosts Kathryn and Paul at ODI-Leeds for keeping us fed and watered, and for the perfect jamming space
  • Councillor James Lewis and Leeds Council CEO Tom Riordan for joining our end-of-jam show and tell
  • All the jammers, including contingents from Leeds City Council, DWP and the rest of the World!
  • The volunteer team who give up many hours of their time before, during and after the jam

Stay tuned for more service design and design thinking goodness in Leeds. Announcements coming soon!

Matt and the Leeds GovJam team 🙂

#thisiswhywejam

Service design and design thinking – what’s it all about?

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Less than one week to go before jammers gather around the world to rock the public sector!

For last year’s Leeds GovJam we put together this collection of links to background reading and resources on service design and design thinking.

Happy browsing! Do please let us know in the comments below if you have any favourite resources not mentioned here…

What is Service Design?

Useful tools

Announcing our venue, and our first supporter

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

You can get a feel for the space by looking through Lisa’s photos from last year’s Leeds GovJam.

ODI-Leeds is a light and open collaboration space on the top floor of Munro House…

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There’s loads of room for up to 50 jammers to work in project teams…

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And it’s right opposite the bus station and market, making it really easy to take your prototypes out onto the street…

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We’re also delighted to announce that Leeds GovJam 2015 will be supported by UKGovcamp Grants.

UK Govcamp web page

UKGovcamp is the free, annual ‘unconference’ for people interested in how the public sector does digital stuff. The organisers put some of their left-over sponsorship money into a grants pot each year, and use it to help other similar events get off the ground.

We’re doubly fortunate because UKGovcamp has also supported our sister event, Leeds Service Jam. Thanks!

Could your organisation help to make Leeds GovJam 2015 even better?

Leeds GovJam is run by volunteers, and nobody makes a profit from it. Sponsors and supporters help us keep costs down, open up new possibilities, and provide extra treats and prizes to jam participants.

In return your organisation gets to show its support for public sector innovation in a high-profile and practical way.

To find out more, contact Matt Edgar – matt@mattedgar.com – 07964 763252

Thanks to our amazing volunteers and sponsors, here’s how we put on a £15,000 event for less than £700

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Wrapping up the accounts for Leeds GovJam 2014 has highlighted just how much we relied on our volunteers and sponsors, and what fantastic value participants got for their ticket price.

At full commercial rates, including venue hire and GovJam team costs, we estimate that a two-day event of this scale for 40 people would cost at least £15,000.

Thanks to the generosity of ODI-Leeds, and the seven team-members who gave their time for free, we brought the whole event in for less than £700.

Sponsorship from the University of Leeds School of Design helped us keep ticket prices down even further, while That Old Chestnut kept us well supplied with cakes!

In the open spirit of the jam, here’s the detail of how we did it…

One week to go: check out these service design links and tools

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Leeds GovJam is less than one week away. Our team of volunteers are busy preparing to welcome more than 35 people to ODI-Leeds on Tuesday.

But we’ve found the time to revisit our favourite service design links and tools which we’re sharing here. Wherever you’re jamming, we hope you’ll enjoy the selection below…

What is Service Design?

Useful tools