“It’s time we really put some thought into designing services around about the interests of the people who use them. I’m really pleased that D and A College is taking part in Dundee GovJam, it’s a really fresh and exciting way to go about service redesign. We want all our services to be slick, quick and easy for our communities to access.”

Grant Ritchie, Principal, Dundee & Angus College

Dundee & Angus College is one of the partners behind Dundee GovJam. They are working in partnership with Dundee City Council and staff from NHS Tayside to put together an event that all those in the city can benefit from – to help Dundee show itself to be a city of design that puts people first.

Working with them are some highly experienced facilitators and mentors, including:

  • Jennifer Jones – digital media practitioner specialising in social media and citizen journalism working with third sector and cultural organisations.
  • Steven Kyle – Changing for the Future Programme Manager at Dundee City Council, continuous improvement specialist who has worked across IT, sport, retail and health.
  • Linsey McIntosh – design lecturer and consultant specialising in interior design and service design; involved in organising and facilitating global service jams since 2013.
  • Rodney Mountain – consultant surgeon at Ninewells Hospital, noted champion of service design in a health context and inspirational public speaker on transforming healthcare.
  • Gill Paterson – as Scottish Clinical Leadership Fellow working in the Scottish Government, she worked with the Chief Medical Officer authoring the ground-breaking Realistic Medicine report.
  • Mike Press – Director of the Open Change service design company, emeritus professor of design policy, pioneer of design-led social policy initiatives and experienced teacher.
  • Hazel White – Founder and Director of Open Change, experienced service design educator and practitioner, with clients across government, health services, business and the voluntary sector.

planet jam

The Dundee GovJam is part of a global movement. In 2011, the first Global Service Jam was planned for six locations across the world. But the idea of a global event where people of various backgrounds voluntarily spend 48 hours co-designing new services that could potentially make the world a better place to live, strongly resonated on social media. Using Twitter as a recruiting tool, eventually over 1200 participants jammed in more than fifty cities all over the world. The event has been growing ever since, and GovJam followed the year after.

It is important to highlight that all Jams are based on non-profit volunteer activities organised by an informal network of service design enthusiasts. They have a staff of none and a budget of nearly nothing.

The stated intention of the event: “just 48 hours to change the world,” might appear pretentious to a lot of people. So what kind of change are we talking about? What can possibly be achieved in such short span of time? Francis, a jammer from Bangalore, shares his point of view under #thisiswhywejam hashtag on Twitter: “People come back saying two-and-a-half days, it’s this productive and fun, imagine a month! I think that’s a huge change of perception. That’s good enough change in the world.” Taking part in a jam, reveals that productivity could be attributed to creative energy that emerges from multidisciplinary teamwork. The Jam’s mantra is ‘doing not talking’ and seemingly impossible deadlines are announced over and over again by the annoying squawking sound of a rubber chicken.