How to survive a creative Hangover: Global Service Jam


The original is often the best .. but the sequel is not always a bust.

About 3 years ago, I was invited last minute by 2 friends to join some weekend long ‘’thing’’, where we get to have fun. “Just come”, they said. Like most people in their late 20’s, I had a day job and felt like _____ (fill the blank) that Friday evening.

Little did I know, that weekend would change my life. Somehow this event dislocates egos, agendas and expectations. It is nearly impossible to describe, you must go through it. Simply put, it’s an eye opening experience that enables you to connect with perfect strangers and leave with an outcome that you could have never expected nor predicted.

The hangover

The 3 days following the Jam are the polar opposite of the 3 days of ecstasy experienced during the event. You’re left wondering; “what just happened?” “I have to go to work now?” and finally “how could I possibly do this as a job?”

The extended hangover
But that feeling didn’t go away. On different levels, it stayed with me for the next 2 years.

“I don’t know how, but I have to find a way to get paid to do this”

I thought. I had a great, stable job on paper. But the Jam opened me up to something better out there, the magic of collaboration. While telling a friend about it, the best way I could describe it was like falling in love for the first time; you didn’t know you could even feel that way until it actually happened.

Earlier this year, certain changes in my life led me to abruptly quit that job and move to Berlin (contact me if you want juicy details!)

I am still developing a niche for my personal ideal and vision for Service Design. It hasn’t been always rosy, but the the process is incredibly gratifying.

Oh hey, one night stand…

Then one day, i saw a post on Facebook. An invitation for the Global Service Jam, this time in Berlin. The feeling resembled that of a very memorable person you had a one-night stand with. It cannot be as good as the first time, I thought. Everything pointed towards just keeping a positive memory from the first time and not doing it (if you don’t believe me, read this other medium article from a key member of the Berlin community . It was 50 Euro vs. being free in Montreal. Whatever, I went for it. It was great, maybe even better than the first.

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Photos: Jam Berlin

The Jam is a blur. Anyone, who has the awareness, capacity and openness to observe (and question)their surroundings and the will try to improve them should go.

I woke up this morning and I wasn’t hung over. Instead, this time I feel reassured that i’ve make the right decision and am on the right path.

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Photo: Jam Berlin

What you will learn during a Jam:

  • Talk is cheap; Produce it, prototype it, iterate it, pitch it. It’s one of the best exercises to practice lean and agile methods.
  • To connect with the people you may want to be surrounded with. Same thing goes for the companies you want to work with/for.
  • Finding the best tools to showcase your concept: Polished presentations can be half as effective as rough & dirty prototype. It’s amazing what 5 brains can do with limited time, resources, good mentorship and an awesome story!
  • Sometimes your ego is a F****g Ass****e.
  • Creativity is not exclusive to “creatives”.
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Photo: Jam Berlin  Global Design Jam 

Jam Berlin

Thank you!


Vieran: a curious mind, world traveller and masters 4 languages to a degree where some people think he is a spy. He is trained as an Architect. While pursuing his studies, he did multiple consulting commissions in Canada, Mexico and in Europe. He developed a passion for marketing and communications, which he found to be not only complimentary but necessary for communicating design intent and getting different through the different layers of approval to get a project or product going. He is an amateur photographer, scuba enthusiast and has a healthy obsession for hospitality/ tourism.

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