Experience Design! Featured Event | Service Jam: Brainstorming a Better Philadelphia

September 24, 2013 | DesignPhiladelphia, 2013 Festival

Service Jam: Brainstorming a Better Philadelphia Through One of the 5 Senses

Tuesday, October 15 | 6:00PM to 9:00PM
A&G/Neiman Labs, 1619 Walnut Street
$10 - advanced ticket required

Join Natalie Nixon, PhD, Director of the Strategic Design MBA at Philadelphia University; Alex Hillman, Indy Hall; Rakia Reynolds, Skai Blue Media; Phil Charron, Think Brownstone; Jeff Friedman, New Urban Mechanics, City of Philadelphia; and Adel Abeid, Office of Innovation & Technology, City of Philadelphia for Service Jam: Brainstorming a Better Philadelphia Through One of the 5 Senses. A&G, the digital branding agency at 1619 Walnut, has graciously donated their space to host the event.

What's a Service Jam?
An example of service design, this workshop is a high energy, interactive, structured brainstorming session where a diverse group of people come together for a limited amount of time to collaboratively develop a new, innovative concept that can be applied to a public service; for example transportation, education, health care, etc. The Service Jam, organized for DesignPhiladelphia 2013, will be focusing on the Philadelphia public school system. In concert with this year's Festival theme, each participating team will be required to use one of the 5 senses - scent, sight, touch, taste, or smell - to identify a new way to innovate public school education. Also present will be "subject matter experts" - a few actual teachers, students, and parents - to give their perspectives as the teams generate creative ideas to innovate Philadelphia schools. "The point is to think 'big' and 'pie in the sky'," explains Dr. Nixon, "The most innovative insights often start from seemingly absurd, side-line places."

Disruptive Innovators
The event co-collaborators hope this engaging workshop will result in some actionable concepts to improve a city service that most would agree is in crisis. Dr. Nixon, who is inspired by Philly's diversity, grit, amazing green spaces, and arts & culture scene, tells me, "All of our respective organizations are stakeholders in Philly, who are committed to contributing to Philadelphia being a state-of-the-art city to live and work in. In the case of the Strategic Design MBA at PhilaU, we are an innovative MBA program that integrates design thinking and systems thinking. Indy Hall is a premiere co-working space. Skai Blue creatively brands a range of businesses. Think Brownstone is best in class in experience design; and the City's New Urban Mechanics and Office of Technology are creatively rethinking how city services integrate into citizens' lives. We are all 'disruptive innovators', each in our own creative way." Hopefully Service Jam participants will walk away with, "expansive thinking, creative problem solving techniques, and connections to other Philadelphians who want to contribute new ideas about improving our city." Dr. Nixon calls it, "a fun, creative, and cool bonding experience for all involved!" They also want to wet people's appetite and get them interested in participating in the Global Service Jam - where a team will represent Philadelphia. This event occurs in March 2014. Dr. Nixon says, "The future is about shared platforms." She envisions a future with more collaborations between higher education, the private sector and government, "hands on, applied projects are what we all thrive on - and we want more!"

DesignPhiladelphia’s 9th Annual Festival, EXPERIENCEdesign! kicks off this year on the evening of October 9th with PopUp Place and festival events running from October 10 through 18. As a signature event of the Center for Architecture, DesignPhiladelphia showcases Philadelphia’s strong design and creative communities through more than 100 exhibitions, workshops, tours, lectures, open studios, and parties that celebrate design’s many dimensions, dynamics, and applications. To give you a sneak peek of things to come, we will be featuring 24 events on our blog; discussing their details and introducing you to the people behind them. Join us on Facebook and Twitter – where you can catch all 2013 Festival announcements and info!    

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