Randomised Coffee Trials

Read our reflection Medium blog after a year of the Randomised Coffee Trials.


Monthly paired conversations, arranged randomly. You meet online using a platform of your choice, equipped with a friendly atmosphere and a coffee. Other beverages are available.

They are a way of keeping connected with a community of mostly service designers but also practitioners from other related fields as well as people who are simply interested in connecting and sharing knowledge. We currently have over 85 people from different disciplines from across the world signed up. Some use the monthly chance encounter as a break in their busy working lives, making friends in the community, while others have embarked on collaborative projects from that single conversation. There is no requirement to be a service designer, to be a Scottish resident, or even to chat about work. Platform, time, and focus are entirely up to the pair, the only thing we ask of you is kindness – to each other.

We have adapted NESTA’s template for this iniative.


You are welcome to join as a one-off, or you can participate in as many months as you’d like. Simply email Barbara Mertlova at barbara@openchange.co.uk to join or to find out more. You can withdraw at any time. There is no cost.


“These sessions find a place in my gratitude journal. Made some friends and had some very interesting conversations through this forum and coffee trials in this community”

“I got ideas and content from so many people and made so many great contacts, both in the gatherings themselves and at the coffee catch-ups.”

“Thank you so much for arranging the coffee meet-ups so far. It helped keep me going as the weeks of lockdown went by and I’ve had some brilliant conversations with some very interesting people.”

“I have loved the virtual coffee trials and have enjoyed some really amazing chats with people.”