Global Service Jam 2016: Extending the power of design thinking

Once each month my classmates and I sit around the table of a rented Airbnb® and dream. At the table languages enhance the conversation, rather than extinguish it; varied backgrounds open a world of possibilities; we support and encourage one another. From the table we’ve changed jobs, started sabbaticals and moved to entirely new countries.

From the table, we planned a Jam: A simple way to bring the power of the table to others.

It started with a tweet …

Ibiza Service Jam_Tweet

Fast forward 114 days and our table suddenly got a whole lot bigger.

Ibiza Service Jam 2016_Group Photo

Jam attendees were diverse:

  • 85% had never put design thinking into practice
  • Nearly half had not heard of Design Thinking previously
  • More than half preferred to work in Spanish (a challenge for the two English-speaking mentors)

Yet, what resulted was truly an experience that transcended any cultural or language barriers. (Design Thinking has a way of doing that.)

One of the secrets of success was a mentor team who came together in “table huddles” to find ways to help teams navigate the design process, teamwork and the series of successes and challenges they encountered along the way.  This is the first in a series of posts featuring a collection of tips and tools from our team to yours.  


The Global Service Jam is a 48-hour global event exploring how a little service design and design thinking can have a big impact on the world in which we live. The event combines a little theory with a lot of doing including fieldwork, ideation and prototyping. The 2016 Global Service Jam happened simultaneously at more than 90 sites across the globe from Ibiza, Spain to Beirut, Lebanon to San Francisco, California. Learn more on the Global Jam Site >>