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NorisCityJam: the Nuremberg spin-off

Global Service Jam 2013

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The Global Service Jam is the brainchild of service design enthusiasts Markus Hormess and Adam Lawrence, founders of Work•Play•Experience. Started in Nuremberg, Germany in 2011, the two designed it as a global event where teams develop service concepts within 48 hours. This year’s NorisCityJam participants will go home on Sunday with a new sense of service design thinking. The location, the Coworking Space Nuremberg, will profit from more than just an inspiring weekend. Benefits such as attention and a rich exchange of experiences make up for the odd sleepless night or two spent on organizing such a big project.

The organizer, the coworking space, and the participants

Establishing a strong community and network for their paying coworkers is a backbreaking fulltime job for coworking enthusiasts. The occasional get-together in a café is by far not enough. Freelancers and firms need some time to take to each other, and that’s not including the task of finding fresh meat interested in paying for a free desk. That’s another challenge all in itself, and it is realized when your channels of communication reach a dead end and you suddenly need to reach new customer circles.

Attention for the coworking space means attention for the firms that are an integral part as well. But getting that recognition isn’t the be all and end all, for the active sharing of skills is what it’s really about. The open atmosphere found in a coworking space is the best possible show floor for offering potential customers an insight into core competences and methods of operating related to the small firms found in the space.

You don’t say “coworking” without mentioning “open knowledge transfer," which is a philosophy that follows "I teach you something, you pay me in terms of your knowledge." Using a coworking space was an intuitive choice for event formats such as the NorisCityJam: the Nuremberg spin-off of the Global Service Jam. The event starts today, the 1st of March and ends this Sunday. Participants from inside and out of the Coworking Space Nuremberg will spend their weekend learning about the foundations of service design thinking and will experience why design isn't just making stuff look all pretty and nice and why there’s design in every business model.

The NorisCityJam organizer, the innovation consulting firm Insight Innovation GmbH, definitely wasn’t restricted in their thinking. They won’t be earning money organizing the jam, however profit doesn't always mean money. Insight Innovation and the Coworking Space Nuremberg strive to share knowledge with the participants and see their profit therein. The buzzword is: self-promotion. All parties profit from that in one-way or the other: the organizer, the coworking space, and the participants.

Practical and cool!

It’s the local organizers that give events such as the Global Service Jam the breath of life. The Nuremberg NorisCityJam owes its life to Insight Innovation GmbH, a consulting firm aiming to help people collaborate and realize open (business) models. How does event organization fit in with their concept of counseling?

“We want to help establish service design thinking as a method and accompany its development”, says Tim Schikora, CEO and founder, a Global Service Jam enthusiast himself. “The Global Service Jam is a worldwide network. Insight Innovation is based in Germany right now; the network we establish, thanks to the jam, might be able to change that.”

You stand good chances of being the first and only to organize rather young events in cities outside the start-up hub Berlin. Integration into a worldwide event organization network is a first step towards internationalization. In all cases, you'll get local media attention and interaction with your own participants.

The decision for the coworking space as location was a matter of form for Insight Innovation. Being there daily, they knew well about the infrastructural benefits of coworking spaces. A conversation with the space owners Felix Böhm and Michael Stingl catered to the rest, after all, hosting events naturally brings attention to the coworking space. 

Love for service design thinking, a greater network and skill sharing was the first step towards internationalization All of those elements make up for great reasons to organize the NorisCityJam. And then there’s another reason that CEO Tim Schikora didn’t want us to miss out on: “because it’s cool!”

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