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Randomised Coffee Trials–Improved through Spark.

Spark Collaboration was built on the success of Randomised Coffee Trials (RCTs), a manual process co-designed in 2012 by Jon Kingsbury and Michael Soto at Nesta, the UK innovation foundation.

It sounds so simple. Grab a cup of coffee with a co-worker and talk, about anything you want. Now five years later, hundreds of companies around the world are experiencing first-hand the power of a Randomised Coffee Trial or RCT.

Through RCTs, organizations started pairing people at random; encouraging them to have a cup of coffee with someone they’ve never interacted with before or with someone they just wanted to get to know better. Organizations and employees realized through RCTs that there’s real value in stepping away from our technology and plugging in to real human interaction.

While technology can divide us, it can also bring us together. Spark took this idea of having a cup of coffee with a colleague and figured out a way to make this manageable in large organizations. As the concept gained popularity, HR managers around the world quickly realized managing an internal social network was pretty time consuming. That’s when Spark Collaboration was born.

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Widespread International Reach

Nesta’s experience with RCTs was documented in the ‘Institutionalising Serendipity’ blog series and received widespread attention, being adopted by a range of organizations, including UK government bodies, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the International Federation for the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

In 2015, Spark Collaboration and the International Federation for the Red Cross and Red Crescent won
‘International Project of the Year” at the Employee Engagement Awards.

Our work has been highlighted by Harvard Business Review, US News & World Report, Huffington Post, HRZone, and UX Collective.

When we first started the initiative it was easy to manage, but as the numbers started to increase from 50 to 200+ it started to become very time consuming and we couldn’t manage it anymore with existing tools. Fortunately Spark Collaboration came to the rescue with a holistic platform that automatically manages the initiative. This was a god send!

Shaun Hazeldine, International Federation for the Red Cross and Red Crescent

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