Mindjam: a creative sprint for the British Red Cross

Last Friday, a disparate team of researchers, behavioural science practitioners, psychologists and design thinkers came together in a creative sprint to help the charity improve the performance of its crisis response campaigns. As organiser Luke Battye put it, the day was intended to: “Fill a room with brilliant minds, give them a fast, one-day problem solving process and try to make a dent on a high impact issue for a charity."

My motivation to attend was twofold: as well as wanting to help with a worthy cause, I was curious to see how the event would work. Co-creation even with a small group can feel like herding cats: bringing 40 wildly different people together to attack such a big goal was going to take something special.



The team composition was vital: there were 8 teams of 5, each working on a related problem. Each had a couple of UX/design thinking people and a couple of BE/psychology/research people. They were led by a representative from the charity who steered things towards realistic solutions – in case of deadlock they were the nominated ‘decider’.


The day flowed: we had clear tasks, strict timing and strong moderation. It’s a hard balance to get right but Luke kept things focussed and welcoming. Let’s face it, the whole thing could easily have wilted and not reached any conclusions. But the day generated 200 solutions which were then whittled down to 8 thought-through prototypes.


Solutions covered real world and online interventions, all of which leveraged behavioural insight. The visual summary gives you an idea: each took 10 minutes to present, so there was a lot more detail included.


Feedback from the client team at British Red Cross was great. As well as workable prototypes there was a sense of re-found perspective. The “curse of knowledge” – being so close to an issue – was lifted and the team were left enthused, ready to re-evaluate intractable problems.


Luke has produced a great write up of the event here. Kudos to him for organising.


Simon Shaw, Director

Chris Handford