'Blown away' by the GSJ 2012...

Ok so it's been a few months since it all happened here at INSPIRE, almost 3 months to the day really. But however long it has been, there's no denying some pretty crazy and creative stuff went down that last weekend in February. Only those who desired to be INSPIREd dared to brave an intense 48 hours of design-based problem solving and Jamming, all in the name of developing brand new services driven by the secret shared theme - hidden treasure.

But it wasn't just INSPIRE, here at the University of Canberra that came alive with 'the spirit of experimentation, co-operation and friendly competition'. Nope! More than 2060 jammers registered from 85 cities in almost 40 countries all around the world. From Slovenia to Iran, Australia to Cairo - nearly 350 (that's right 350!), brand new service designs were created in a combined and collaborative effort - all of which were published for the world to see!

Kicking off on Friday night with fun activities and pizza, the JAM at INSPIRE attracted more than 60 Canberra Jammers. Organisers Mik Griffith and Wayne Larkin from the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research & Tertiary Education (or DIISRTE - that name is way too long!) ensured no Jammer was left hungry or suffered designer's block (same thing as Writer's Block) with many a crazy wig, lollies and fairy dust to be seen as they kept with the vibe and inspired creativity in any way possible.

The awesome IdeaPaint walls throughout INSPIRE meant teams were able to write and brainstorm beyond limits (well as high as they could reach of course!), scrawling their ideas from one wall to the next. With a slice of pizza in one hand and a marker in the other, no thought or idea was too big for the big white walls before them. From customer journey mapping through to street creding - in just 48 hours the rapid protyping process was complete and jammers were ready for their final pitch to the Public.

But in between all the group work and collaboration, Mik and Wayne had organised mentor talks from leading service design thinkers in Australia including:

  • Michelle from Arup
  • Damian from Protopartners
  • Ari and Matthew from Different
  • Sharon from ATO
  • Nate from DIAC
  • Sarah from ANU
  • Gavin, the amazing JAM illustrator from the DIISRTE

All up the JAM was a huge success! Not only for the organisers @ DIISRTE but also for us here @ INSPIRE, given that it was our FIRST big 3-day and weekend event since the building's completion in November 2011. Feedback was more than positive despite still having a few hiccups to settle but the building is still left standing and we are looking forward to the next GovJAM to be hosted at INSPIRE in early June, (just 2 weeks away!).