What's a Jam?

48h to save the world!

Once a year, groups of people all over the world assemble for one weekend to make a difference. They come to create, to collaborate, share and learn. Its an event we call the Global Sustainability Jam.

This year more than 40 cities worldwide took part in the jam, from Cairo to  Sydney. Jams were also taking place across the UK in Manchester and Edinburgh,  with The Circular Jam the only London representative. Over the weekend more than 192 projects were created (with London contributing six of these).

It is to designers and anybody interested in sustainability, what a ‘jam’ is to musicians. It is about improvising, it is about play, and it is about action. We structure the day with events and activities, provide participants with tools and expert mentors, to guide, inspire ideas and solve problems. But most importantly we promote a ‘doing before talking’ philosophy. At the end of the weekend we share the ideas that we have come up with over the course of the Jam, by making a presentation to the rest of the Jam and post the projects on the global site with a creative commons license. Watch our video to see what happened in 2013 or read our storify to get a flavour of this years events.

What is Circular and why is it important?

We live on one planet with limited resources, space and capacity to support our population. At the moment we live with linear patterns of development. We take the resources, use what we want and then dispose of the waste. But the idea of waste is a design flaw.

Even if we reduce our impact we still need to create systems that reuse, or better restore, resources cradle-to-cradle and then find ways to continue those system within their limits. Its about systems involving water usage, biodiversity, renewable energy, money and people as well as materials and more.

It is about everyone in society working together to move resources around in a way that most closely mimics nature. To meet this challenge we need people from all disciplines collaborating.

Welcome to the Circular Jam!



This year we jammed at the Fab Lab London!

Fab Lab London

We were super-excited to jam at the new Fab Lab in London!

Fab Lab London is the City of London’s first purpose built digital fabrication and rapid prototyping workspace. They are a 4000 sq.ft. creative space that provides open and membership based access to digital fabrication tools, education workshops, making events and a vibrant community. They help individuals and companies learn about the application of digital technologies, rapid hardware prototyping, 3D printing and sustainable design practices. They’re also home to the RSA The Great Recovery initiative.

Find our more on the Fab Lab London website or Twitter

You can find Fab Lab London at:

1 Frederick’s Place
London EC2R 8AE

The closest stations are Bank,  Mansion House, Cannon Street and St Paul’s.


Check out our Jam follow-up below!


Join us for our first JAmbition Drinks!

We’re holding our first post London Circular Jam drinks of 2015 and you’re all invited.

We’ll be hosting an informal evening on the 24th of Feb at The Proud Archivist, where teams can share some of their activities since then in 5 minute slots. Others are welcome to join to hear and find out more.

You can sign up through our website or our Eventbrite page.


Thank you to our sponsors for 2014, without them we wouldn’t be Jamming!



The Design Special Interest Group, established by Innovate UK – the UK’s innovation agency, encourages and supports the better and earlier use of design in UK technology innovation. We do this by bringing together the UK design and technology innovation communities to reveal new ways of creating increased social, economic and environmental value through the early use of design in innovation. Membership of the Group is free.

At KYOCERA Document Solutions we have been pioneers in resource efficient design since we launched the first Ecosys cartridge-free printer in 1992. We’re passionate about finding ways to meet customer needs with maximum convenience and minimum use of resources and to encourage others to do so, not just in our own industry but across the whole economy. We’re delighted to be platinum sponsor of the London Circular Jam and look forward to seeing the innovations that emerge.


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The Team

Our 2014 mentors are…


Mark Shayler – Managing Director at Ape

Mark Shayler hasn’t decided what he wants to do when he grows up but he has been working on developing better products and packaging since 1989.

He works with mahoosive clients like Coca Cola, Proctor and Gamble, Unilever, Mars, RS Components and some really small clients too.  He has used design to save his clients over £100 million. He designs product, packaging, and services.

He forecasts environmental and packaging trends, and works on innovation. He is author of “Do Disrupt: Change the status quo or become it” and is a founding partner of the Do Lectures.

He keeps ducks, chickens and children (but not against their will).


Dr Frank O’Connor – Founding Director anois

Frank’s passion for responsible design and sustainability was ignited during his undergraduate degree. Working on something he believes in has taken Frank across the world, including a computer project with Apple in Cupertino (US), a capacity building project with the UN in Nairobi (Kenya) and a fish farming project with the European Commission on the Mekong River (Vietnam). Frank founded and led the award-winning Ecodesign Centre until 2013 and was also a publicly appointed advisor to the Welsh Government.

He currently divides his time between consultancy under his new organisation anois (which means now in Irish), pro-bono work and his past-times, which include haiku, real food, gardening, exploring nature, reclaiming materials as well as spending time with his wife and dog.




Dr Emma Jefferies - Founder of The Design Doctors

Emma, who is also a freelance consultant and Associate at Design Thinkers, has 10 years of professional design experience which has seen her practice in a range of design areas from workshop facilitator, service design, design thinking, organisational development, design research and interaction design working in both public and private sectors.

She has worked as a designer in a range of locations, from UK, India, Chile, Brazil, Norway to The Netherlands. Currently she is working with a UK innovation company to help develop the culture, brand and develop how services are delivered to their clients, and is co-authoring a book with a forward by Tim Brown.


Madeleine Lewis - Storyteller at Virgin Unite

Madeleine is a creative content and communications specialist, working across multi-media production as well as advising on strategic communications.

She has twelve years of experience across public and private sectors, including being a broadcast journalist and assistant producer at the BBC in radio and online, and has a Masters in sustainable development.

Madeleine has won ‘Best campaign’ at the Global Green Awards for Creativity, and ‘Best campaign’ at Climate Week.




Katherine Gough - Director of Kitchen Table Design Research

Kat works across academia, design agencies, international companies, and public sector organisations providing user-centred and Inclusive Design approaches to product development. She writes regularly about how to enable user centred approaches in global and local product making, most recently collaborating with colleagues in Nokia and STBY to describe how to bring everyday people’s needs to life for multi-disciplinary teams and in the boardroom. Her company Kitchen Table Design Research specialises in Inclusive design and user research for digital and physical product development.

Chris Thompson – Founding Partner of Viadynamics

Chris takes a human centred, systemic approach to innovation and is concerned with how to develop the practice of innovation to address difficult challenges. Chris’ career spans engineering, accountancy, design and innovation. Prior to founding Viadynamics in 1998, Chris spent 13 years in the global design consulting industry; he was Group Chief Operating Officer of Fitch plc and Managing Director of PSD Associates. Over the last 16 years at Via, Chris has led over 200 consulting assignments working for large corporations (e.g. Unilever), start-ups (e.g. Sugru), government departments (e.g. Innovate UK) and universities (e.g. University of York). Chris likes to champion big ideas and the people who have them.





Our 2014 organisers are…


Rob Maslin

Rob is founding director of We All Design. He takes a human centred approach to addressing environmental and social challenges. His work is driven mainly by understanding peoples behaviour and finding solutions that consider all of the stakeholders in a solution including the end user. He is an expert on the circular economy and passionate about treating social and sustainability issues as mutually inclusive, describing his work as design for good.

Loves food, daydreaming and Arsenal.

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Sharon Prendeville

Sharon is a design researcher, whose experiences range from advising businesses on design strategy and service innovation to serving as a Welsh government advisor on eco-innovation.

She has a PhD in sustainable design and works as an independent consultant to a variety of partners, including long-term collaborators Orangebox. She is a friend of SustainRCA at the Royal College of Art.

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Jenni Parker

Jenni is a designer interested in social innovation and pushing the boundaries of ‘design’.

Since 2011 Jenni has been working as a consultant for non-profit organisations (such as the Nike Foundation, United Nations and BBC Media Action) in order to bring ‘design thinking’ into their process and to develop solutions through co-creation with users and other partners.

When she’s not busy working – and sometimes when she is – Jenni loves climbing, travelling, and dancing around her bedroom.

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Rosemary Willatt

Rosie is the Sustainability Coordinator at London College of Fashion where she works to integrate sustainability across all areas of the college, working with colleagues, students and collaborators. She has always been interested in making and remaking, from textiles to pinhole cameras.

Rosemary has a PhD looking at Polar Climate and loves a bit of data analysis.

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Erica Purvis

Erica is a Sustainable Design Engineer working under the name TechnicalNature.

Her passion and areas of work support – Engineering Sustainable Impact through Design – seeding ideas, building knowledge and connecting organisations and individuals across sectors to create positive impact. This could be product, behavior, system or policy change.

She enjoys dabbling in photography, cycling round London and getting to know materials!

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Emma Jonsson

Emma is a Product Designer just graduated from Central Saint Martins where she spent her last semester co-designing with communities in London to create Empathic Design with Socially Responsive Design and Innovation Centre. Her creative motto is: People are the reason, Products are the components and Design is the experience.

Currently a research assistant at Design Against Crime, Emma also tries to find some spare time for swing dance!

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Rodrigo Bautista

Rodrigo is senior advisor of the System Innovation Lab team at Forum and is an award winner designer from ICSID and AIGA. Rodrigo has worked with many different industries, including media, technology, design, healthcare and telecommunications. He uses people-centred design and future thinking to generate concepts for services, products and businesses models that will lead industries and change systems.

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Contact Us




Email: londoncircjam@gmail.com