Frequently Asked Questions

Why + What + How

A Jam is a weekend of collaboration, learning and having fun. For those who have never participated in a design jam, some things might not be 100% clear. Here are answers to questions that we often get asked. If you still have open questions, feel free to email

Why should I join?

If you are interested in sustainability, design methodologies, creativity and innovation, or all of the above, then this is your opportunity to learn, share, and most importantly, have fun! 

As a participant in the 2013 Oakland Sustainability Jam, you’ll be jamming for 48 hours on a concrete idea. You’ll move through the whole development process in one weekend. And you won’t just be talking about design or sustainability, you will be working with others on developing ideas, designs, and initiatives which could become real. The great thing about the Jam is that there are no boundaries.

What is the outcome of the Oakland Sustainability Jam?

The main idea behind the Jam is to exchange knowledge, experience, a user-centered design process, and to have a great time. The Jam does not focus on creating realizable projects that are implemented right after the event. Although a few startups have been founded out of projects of past Jams, this is not the focus.

What happens with the ideas and concepts at the end?

At the end of the Jam, you'll present your prototypes to your fellow Jam participants and judges, and upload your presentation to the GSJam website. This platform can be viewed by anyone who is interested. All your ideas are owned by you and your team, and published under Creative Commons Licensing.

Do we really work for 48 hours non-stop at the jam?

Every Jam has a different approach. At the Oakland Jam we think it's best to start fresh after a good night’s sleep. So we'll be starting in the morning with breakfast, and close the location in the evening.

How can I join?

Everyone is welcome at the Sustainability Jam! You don't have to be a designer to participate. We invite anyone interested in all types of sustainability - ecological, certainly, but also economic and social. Please join us and register for the event here. 

How big is the Oakland Sustainability Jam?

We plan to have around 40 jammers. That allows us to have a lot of energy but still be small enough so that everyone has the chance to get to know each other.

How much does a ticket for the jam cost?

We're asking Jammers to contribute $10 so we can keep you fueled, energized, and happy with drinks, treats, and dinner Friday evening.  The Jam is a non-profit event. If there are any remaining funds from our fees, together, we'll decide upon a local charity to make a donation. 

Will there be food and drinks?

We want you to be able to focus on the creative output of your work. That’s why we'll provide dinner Friday evening and snacks and drinks during the entire event. As the event is non-profit and we try to keep the costs low, we are always happy if Jammers also bring some food, especially for breakfast. So if you have homemade goodies you'd like to share, just bring them with you.