institutionalising serendipity (and randomised coffee trials)

A clever reminder to mingle with your colleagues and infuse a little serendipity into your life. Seems so straightforward and alarmingly simple when you look at it, but let’s be honest with ourselves, how many of us actually take time out to do this on a weekly or monthly basis even?

NESTA is currently undergoing an informal survey of 60+ staffers. Hot damn. More on the initiative below. 

“Inspired by Pedro Medina’s discussion of serendipity*, Nesta’s Randomised Coffee Trials (RCT) initiative responds to Pedro’s dual challenge of appreciating the benefits of serendipity and the need to ‘build new fishing systems’.

Nesta staff that have opted-in are sent a weekly randomised match with another Nesta staff member and the two are invited to grab a coffee together.  There are no requirements or obligations regarding the topics discussed, some RCTs are spent entirely on work-related matters, others are entirely personal in nature. 

It is just a coffee, but at the same time it is much more.  RCTs give staff from across the organisation an ‘excuse’, an opportunity to meet, catch up and build connections with the people around them.  This has resulted in staff from different departments learning about unexpected synergies between their work, as well as created an increased level of comfort for subsequently approaching others regarding potential collaborations.” 


Well done, NESTA.

More at Institutionalising Serendipity via Productive Coffee Breaks.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s