Chris was the first initiator of the Global Jams in Birmingham. His experience of a Service Jam in Oslo set the course of his life and career aspirations onto a different path which he then went on to pursue relentlessly, including attending Hyper Island in Manchester and subsequently coming back to Birmingham for 2 years hosting Jams and starting Spaghetti. Chris now lives in Norway and is checking in with a little bit about what he’s been up to since the last time he was here in Brum, hosting the Global Jam Jam.
When attending Jam Jam I was in the middle of helping to innate a service design team in a very large traditional organisation.
I had gone from spaghetti, a small 2 person partnership, to a 700 person consultancy where I spoke a broken version of the language (both consultant and Norwegian). Luckily everyone in Norway is very accommodating of English speakers so the language wasn’t the biggest barrier, more of a personal challenge to overcome. The biggest challenge was navigating the internal workings and structures of the machine. Luckily I worked with a lot of great people who were great support and also helped me to learn a lot about my self and the work we were doing.
Now in the last month I have started at a new company (iterate.no) which is totally different again. I guess you could say I’ve gone back to my roots, as I’m working on design projects that are much more similar to the community driven way of working we had at spaghetti, while at the same time getting to work with startups and corporates to develop design cultures and unleash peoples potential.
I feel really lucky to have found my way to a company with a great culture and ethos, that is investing heavily in a different way of working. I wake up every day happy to go to work. Although its not been that long since I started here I have already been involved in running some “jamesque” style events, which has given me a lot of new energy.
One worthy of note was a startup week with students from a local college in a challenged area of Oslo. 30 students in 1 week took ideas for businesses and in teams; researched, developed, prototyped and pitched. They developed their skills in design and entrepreneurship and many of the ideas also had a strong social aspect. These are the types of events that make me feel the best about the work I do. Not designing things that I think the world needs but supporting others to design the things that solve the challenges in their world. The winner of the week got a 10,000nok prize and all of the teams will continue to receive mentorship from Iterate moving forward. Really looking forward to seeing what they build.
Unfortunately I’ve not been able to join a Global Jam recently but, I can’t wait to see what will be happening in Birmingham. Happy jamming.
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.