Latest Event Updates

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

Posted on Updated on

LeedsGovJam 013

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

This is why we Twin Jam

Posted on Updated on

Leeds Town Hall / Parthenon

An awesome part of GovJam is the feeling of being involved in a global event. That unifying sense of shared purpose as teams all over the world collaborate against the clock to innovate around a global theme. A good way to keep in touch with everyone during the Jam is to follow the hashtag, #GGovJam. Another way is to hook up with a jam that’s happening somewhere else. This is when ‘Twin Jams’ are useful.

The idea of Twin Jams was developed by GovJam HQ to allow two jams to connect before, during and after the Jam. This gives teams a partner with whom they can share progress and mutual support. You might want to ask your Twin Jam about how they promote the Jam in their part of the world. You may want to ask questions about your ideas. And, you will most likely want to share more detailed feedback on prototypes than is possible in a 140-character tweet. This is important because jamming is not just about arriving at the destination – delivering working prototypes. It’s also about the journey we all take over the two days, developing networks, learning to do stuff better, together.

Hooking up with a Twin Jam can be done via webcam, a Skype session, Hangout or similar. It is often helpful to schedule some time when everyone in your team can gather around the webcam. During last year’s Jam we used Skype to connect with teams in Whangarei, Rotterdam, Milan, Ottawa, Manchester and Tokyo. This was a lot of fun and felt quite Eurovision-esque: ‘Hello, Tokyo, can we have your votes, please?’ Here, the general idea is to ‘show and tell’, to share progress and feedback. Connecting with lots of different jams was great but it took a bit of organising to coordinate calls across all the different time zones. So this year we are excited about having one main partner, our Twin Jam, to share our journey in more detail…

Logo_Athens_right

We are now pleased to announce that Athens GovJam (@AthensGovJam) is our Twin Jam for 2015 and we’re looking forward to many happy connections!

Follow the fun via #GGovJam (plus, #LeedsGovJam for Leeds updates and #AthGovJam for Athens).

Also, if you want to join us in Leeds, there are still some tickets remaining at Eventbrite. 

— Lisa Jeffery

Announcing our venue, and our first supporter

Posted on Updated on

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…

LeedsGovJam 028

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

LeedsGovJam 008

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

LeedsGovJam 086

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

Posted on Updated on

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…

How was it for you? Jammers write up their GovJam experiences

Posted on Updated on

LeedsGovJam 046

We’ve had a couple of lovely write-ups from last week’s Govjam.

Jammer Rebecca Williams and Team Member Lisa Jefferies (who also took many great photos of the Jam) wrote about it on the Tunstall blog.

So what did we learn? Well, first up, we learned about the importance of playfulness in eliminating fear in teams. We were inspired to try new approaches, to work in new ways and to ‘fail fast’. Ideas blossomed and became real through prototyping. And teams were actively encouraged to take their prototypes outside of the building, to test their ideas (and assumptions) on others, and to invite challenge from ‘customers’. Crucially, the time constraint of the two-day event meant that teams had to keep moving and iterating their concepts at pace in order to improve them. Any organisation can learn from such an approach to service design.

Leeds City Council Service Improvement Officer Andi Elliott made his notes as a document which he’s kindly allowed us to reproduce below. We particularly like his take-outs from the event too:

What value was gained from the day?

The event ‘blurb’ suggests ‘Govjam is a practical way to find out about service design and how it can make a difference to where we work. What we actually learnt from taking part in this event was:

* Ideas, improvements, concept development and communication on a local or global basis can be achieved in very short time frames and with simple tools.

* That by imposing shorter time frames, project decision making be- comes simpler and more direct with less need for meetings.

* Available resources can be adapted rather than always using new ones.

* Any colleague at whatever level can do this.

synopsis

 And GovJam team member Si Wilson blogged about his experience of the jam:

I was chuffed to bits the event went so well, as did the rest of the team running the event. What’ll be interesting for me will be what the attendees do next, and hopefully those guys will report back at some point in the not-too-distant-future about how some of the GovJam spirit has helped them within their services!

Thanks to Lisa, Rebecca, Andi and Si for their write-ups. If you’ve written about Leeds GovJam, please let us know!

GovJam passports and posters

Posted on

LeedsGovJam 011

Each Leeds GovJammer was given a passport to be stamped for every service design method they tried…

LeedsGovJam 065

We made these posters to explain the methods a little more…

As with everything made during GovJam, we’re releasing the posters under a Creative Commons License. Share and enjoy!