The Global Sustainability Jam is one weekend – 48 hours – of creative challenge to make the world a better place – making a difference together with jammers all over the globe! It’s goal is to bring people together to collaborate, experiment, have fun and learn from each other, all while developing real world products, services or initiatives for a better, more sustainable planet. Everybody can take part – the more interdisciplinary it gets the better the jam. And just like in a music jam – the participants make the sound!
Moving through a whole design-led development process in one weekend sounds crazy? Maybe it is, but it happend several times by now. The idea for a global jam was first brought up by Markus Hormess and Adam Lawrence of Work • Play • Experience in 2010, and in March 2011 it became real with the first Global Service Jam – the Sustainability Jam’s big sister – which we joined in Glasgow, Scotland.
The Jam idea caught on quickly, with about 45 locations worldwide taking part in the first Global Service Jam – and about twice that number in the second year.
Now, after taking part in two Global Service Jams, we thought it was time for us to host our own jam! So on the first weekend of November 2012, when people in 58 locations all over the world got together – from Shanghai to São Paulo, from Melbourne to San Francisco – we hosted a Jam in Muenchberg – together with Thomas Schönweitz of Whitespring and Claudia Brückner of newthinking.
On Friday evening a mix of design students, business graduates and business owners met at Hof University’s Design Campus in Muenchberg to discover, design and develop new ideas and concepts for sustainability.
Since Münchberg is called “Bavarian Siberia” by the locals we made it our jam motto – so everybody was asked to wear at least one piece of warm clothes like tuques, scarves, gloves, moonboots etc. And they did because it was freaking cold outside – as usual in this city…
After some initial warm-up games …
… the hearts of our 30 jammers already beat faster when they got to watch the video intro to the global jam topic “heartbeat” provided by jam inventors Markus and Adam.
The evening went on by brainstorming first ideas around the topic while having pizza and cold beer.
Highlight of the evening became a video-chat with the jam headquarter and Adam lifting the veil on the importance of rubber chickens to a jam.
A common breakfast on saturday morning prepared the teams well for the day.
Task of this day was to gather deeper insights by doing research, develop concepts …
… and build physical prototypes!
Of course always in the presence of the chicken which even made it into one team’s final concept.
Presentations of the teams’ status quo finished off the day, followed by a nice get together at a local bar.
A hit during the jam was the warm-up Ninja game – a dynamic group game we used to re-charge the crowd from time to time.
The final spurt on Sunday was filled with the teams elaborating their concepts in order to present the final results at 3 pm sharp.
With outcomes ranging from easy-to-use TV-computers for retirement homes to self-powered festivals and recycled merchandise made from event flyers, it showed that everybody did a great job on this weekend!
All in all a fun weekend with massive amounts of sticky notes, funny mock-ups and a lot of chicken input! As the hosts of the jam we like to say: We are proud of all our jammers giving us such a superb time and coming up with so amazing concepts. Jay!
To learn more about the Global Sustainability Jam Muenchberg 2012 …
… read the article published in CampusLife magazine
… have a look at the jam’s official Facebook page
… immerse yourself in by browsing through tons of pictures on flickr
… watch Thomas’ video compilation of the jam
… find out about “what was first: the chicken or the jam?”
… admire the final concepts
or get the big picture at the official Global Sustainability Jam website