How do you plan for random encounters?

6. The power of serendipity

Optimizing exposure to others

The essence

Constant exposure to other people and environments is crucial for successful business development and adaptation to ever changing market conditions. Organizations “plan for” random encounters between people with different backgrounds and competences in order to increase the opportunities for innovative ideas.

“Today working life is arranged to cater for functions – in the future you might have ten different functions working together for six months and then dissolving and regrouping in another incarnation. There is an array of disciplines and personalities working together to innovate.”
– Ryan Anderson, Director of Future Technology, Herman Miller


This open-minded culture not only sparks vital ideas but also develops people on a more personal level, as they get to know people they would not otherwise have met.


There are concerns and risks with openness; it raises issues about company control and confidentiality. Introverts can also find this culture hard to thrive in.


In a networked society, connectivity is the starting point for new ways of innovating, collaborating and socializing. Our studies imply that the behaviors of the next generation workforce, along with market developments, will dramatically transform working life.

Next generation working life podcast

Explore the future of working life with authors of the report Tonny Uhlin and Mikael Eriksson Björling, Ericsson Consumer Lab.

Download the podcast

Networked Society

We are on the brink of an extraordinary revolution. A world connected in real time will place many new requirements on all of us while opening up opportunities beyond our imagination. Our new networked society essentials kit explores the emerging possibilities of a connected world.

Explore a networked society

Ericsson networked society film