It’s been 4 years since Chris Sadler, Daniel Blyden and Yinka Danmole organised and hosted the first Brum Service Jam in Birmingham and two years since the last time we service jammed with the Global community. We are really excited to be bringing the Jams back after a brief hiatus not least because our Jams are kick-ass transformative experiences that we think everyone should experience once in a lifetime but also, we really believe in what potential this event can help to unlock to our city.

Humble beginnings. Service Jam 2015.

When we first started Spaghetti Jams in 2015 our main intent was to introduce service design thinking to local people and how some affinity with local government and other civic institutions might help us collectively shape new ideas or influence change. After hosting a successful first Jam we continued this exploration by facilitating some design sprints with local government, introducing them to jam style ways of working on some complex challenges through a spin off collective, Spaghetti. While we found working with service design methods very valuable, time and time again, what became of much more interest was the impact these spaces were having on individual people, their mindsets, behaviours and outlook on the world in terms of the creative confidence they had to go on and do whatever it is they wanted to do next.

Since the first seven global jams we’ve held in Birmingham 2015-2017, we’ve seen some people find the courage to quit their jobs and pursue their own passions, others have gone to find a way into their dream careers. Our Jams have seen and worked with people who have become ‘intrapreneurs’ within their organisations and others who have pursued new passions and experiments alongside their day jobs. Others have come through the jams with their own enterprises and initiatives in development and have remarked how their experiences have shaped their thinking and connected them to new people and ideas. The stories are endless but one thing we now know is that the jams have a lot of power beyond service design thinking and experimentation, to draw out positive mindsets, connections and confidence to make real change in their lives.

Much of this can be attributed the nameless quality of the jams. Job titles, accolades, egos and agendas at are parked at the door enabling everyone to enter the room as a human beings and they soon learn that the best ideas are the ones that never existed entirely until everyone entered the room. It is both a humbling and an elevating experience.

In Birmingham we are extra lucky as our Jam community has been supported year on year by being embedded within a unique context of an emerging ecosystem of changemakers, innovators, activists and entrepreneurs across the city who have a deep passion for the city and civic life. Supported by the likes of Impact Hub Birmingham, we can now think and dream bigger about the potential of commoning the Jams and role they might play in the civic life of our city, towards growing our collective capacity for a stronger culture of design and innovation.

In the run up to Brum Service Jam 2019 we’ll explore this possibility further as the Spaghetti Jams team behind this year’s jam share some of the badassery they’ve been up to since we last took part in the Global Jams back in 2017.

The Jam will always be the best event in the world for people who want to try out a design-based approach to problem solving and creativity. Join us for the next one 29-31 March in Birmingham. Tickets available here