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This is the archive site of Global Gov Jam 2011-2018. From 2019 on please visit

Jam rules

Rules Background

A Jam is a cooperative gathering of people interested in improving and innovating.  It is there to encourage experimentation, new ideas, and new contacts – participants come together without a team, without a concrete idea and are given a common theme to incorporate in their innovation. They build sponteanous teams around ideas and work to develop and prototype their idea as far as possible in the timeframe of the Jam.

The Global GovJam is a community of Jams taking place internationally over the same few days. All the Jams share the same starting Theme (which is secret until the Jams starts), and publish their local results over a central platform. The Global Theme and constraints for participants in the GlobalGovJam will be announced at 3:00pm (local time) on the Tuesday, and results must be shared by 3:00pm (local time) on the Thursday.


Each local group has freedom to structure and manage the Jam to fit their local situation and needs.  A few rules are in place for Organisers and Participants; if you want your Jam to be part of the international event, you will need to follow these. Besides these rules, we hope that local teams will follow many of our recommendations so that we share a common experience and everyone can work on a level playing field.

Rules for participants

  • Collaborate with new people: Please do not come to the Jam with a team, a project idea or an agenda. Everyone will have some time to think and pitch an idea. Don't push your interestes, but collaborate with new friends or peers you admire.
  • Be on time: Please show up to the jam on time.
  • Use your own tools: Participants will normally use their own tools, including hardware, software, communications and stationery. If you need a computer and certain software, make sure you have it pre-loaded on your computer.
  • Sign up: individual and team. All participants need to sign up to the GovJam website and add themselves, their team and their project to the project database.
  • (Optional) Be part of the conversation: We strongly encourage to be part of the online community. For the global communication amongst participants we use Twitter. Please add #GGovJam to your tweets, so that people can follow the conversation.
  • Local issues, including confidentiality: Each location will have control over local issues such as confidentiality regulations. Please be as open as you can, while being as careful as you must.
  • Rules on intellectual property
    • All results are owned by the individual design team: 
      All services, ideas, art, code and concepts made during the GovJam are owned by the members of the team that developed them (not the local Jam, local hosts or the international organizers). This includes all aspects of intellectual property, such as patents, trademarks, designs and copyright. In the cooperative spirit of a service jam, there are often many people helping one another. All members of the team are held to standard industry practices of collaboration, including appropriate acknowledgements to parties (also in other teams) who may have contributed. The design team is free to develop their ideas commercially after the Jam, but the results of the Jam itself must be open, as below. 
    • All results have to be published and archived on the Global GovJam website under Creative Commons licence
      All participants of the Global GovJam will allow the documentation of their service to be archived on the GovJam website in the form it was submitted at the end of the service jam. Participants may ask to have an update of the documents posted with notice of version information. All works will be licenced under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 ( See for the full licence text.
    • No pre-made content: The GovJam prohibits the use of pre-made content (this includes graphic designs, processes, models, audio, program code, etc.) unless it was publicly available at least a month prior to the service jam. Please also make sure that if you use pre-made content you use content with a appropriate licence (CC or public licence).
    • All materials can be used for demonstration: All materials made at the Global GovJam can be used for demonstration and lecture at conferences, schools or industry venues with the expressed discretion of the GovJam and Work Play Experience.
  • Have fun!
    As an initiative WorkPlayExperience (co-initiated 2012 with of The Australian Government's Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education and Protopartners) the GovJam is designed to be fun, and we are trying to keep things simple. The best rule of thumb is that teams should not illegally exploit others' intellectual property, and that in turn, everything we create becomes part of the public domain. Participants agree by their participation in the GovJam that they will hold no-one liable for any loss or damage.

Rules for organizers

To add your location to the official list of GovJam sites, you will need to agree to the following set of rules:

  • Be open: The event must be open to everyone – be it public sector professionals, designers, business people, students , or anyone interested in public service, service user experience and government.  It must also be open to the press.
  • Be non-Profit: The GovJam is concieved as a non-profit event to promote the young discipline of service design and encourage innovation practices in public services. Thus, all locations are strongly encouraged to keep the cost for the participants as low as possible, so everyone – especially students and unemployed people – can afford to take part. A small fee however has proven to be efficient to make registrations more reliable (people who’ve paid usually turn up). Depending on what you offer, we’ve seen pricing for similar events range from 10 EUR to 60 EUR per person for the whole event (the latter also included basic supply of food).
  • Don't push your own product or organisation: hosting the Jam is a cool thing to do, and people will love you for it it. The best way you can advertise is by being there and being awesome. Organisers agree not over-brand the Jam - this includes putting no organisational branding in local Jam names or logo, and always presenting the Jam as part of a global, non-profit initiative, not their own event. (All Jams are welcome to use the Global Jam logo, or may choose to make thier own local logo which is visibly based on the Global original.)
  • Agree to police participants rules: The organizers agree to make sure the GovJam rules for participants rules are followed (see above).
  • Be part of the organizers community:At least one organizer from each location must be take part in all email correspondence with the global organisers, participate in the Base Camp and make sure that all due dates and deadlines are met.
  • Publish your event on the GovJam website: All locations participating in the GovJam will need a profile on the GovJam website.
  • Handle registration and communications with your participants: You might want to set up a super-slick web platform, or use Facebook, or write names the back of a napkin. It's up to you.
  • Keep deadlines: There only are a few deadlines, but these are vital for the whole concept: publish the theme and restrictions not before Tuesday 15:00 (local time) and close active development on Thursday 15:00 (local time, when the uploading should have started). Within these limits, it is certainly possible to hold a shorter event, if desired.
  • Provide site contact during the jam (phone and internet): The fun part of an international event is that you’re not alone but have a community to share your ideas with, or ask questions of at any time. The global team will be there for the whole 48 hours to answer your questions (or those of your participants). On the other side we need you to be reachable in case of changes to deadlines, technical problems etc.
  • Provide internet connectivity for the participants: Many of your participants will need reasonably speedy internet connectivity.  Make sure you have WiFi, or enough landline plug-ins for all participants.  Sponsors might be able to help.
  • (Optional) Provide video streaming from your location