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We Jammed the world of public service

on Thu, 06/11/2015 - 22:40

As the Vancouver GovJam hits the upload deadline, we reach the end of an event that started in Wellington 67 hours earlier - the Global GovJam 2015. What a Jam it has been!

Like every Jam, it has been a great learning experience. People have tried new ways of working, new tools and processes. They attempted to built and test fast prototypes, instead of comparing opinions. They have done their best to add to each other's ideas, instead of championing their own. They have built what they could never have built alone.

Like every Jam, it has brought people together who would not normally meet. Citizens, public servants, business people and all kinds of experts have worked together and shared their views, experience and approaches openly. They have brought their creativity and their ideas, and tested them against a tough deadline and an unfamiliar context. They have hit the streets and talked to citizens and colleagues, testing assumptions and prototypes, opening their ideas up to failure, in an honest search to be better on the next iteration.

Like at every Jam, connections have been made. People did not just meet and exchange cards, but worked, disagreed, failed and then succeeded together. They made impressions on each other and forged collaborations which perhaps will continue.

If you were a supporter of the Jam, we thank you. The Jam is run by a global network of volunteers with no staff and a budget of almost nothing. Without your help, there would be no Jam.

If you were a local Host, Mentor, Juror or Helper, we thank you. You have given your time, expertise and energy for free because you believe in sharing. You are tired, but we hope you are happy. You did an amazing job.

If you were a Jammer, we thank you for giving your precious time and trust to this non-profit event. We hope two things. First, we hope that you found the Jam useful, We hope that there are tools and attitudes which you will take away with you - perhaps the importance of talking to users, the tools of co-creation, the power of impossible deadlines, the experimental approach based on prototyping, the old Jam rule of "Doing, not Talking", or perhaps the unique treasures your local hosts and fellow Jammers shared with you.

And we hope that you enjoyed the Jam. We hope that you had an experience which was pleasant, human, and rewarding - but which accomplished a huge amount of work. We hope you can see that having a good time and working very, very hard are not mutually exclusive. We hope you had fun - we certainly did. We hope you will come again, to the Global GovJam or another one of the global Jams. We hope this because without you, the Jam is nothing. YOU ARE THE JAM.

Thank you! //Jam OFF!