They say “You cannot shoot for stars with your feet firmly on the ground”. The same thing goes for innovation – the only way to innovate is to break away from how we are doing this now. And so in 2013, Liberty Global launched the Spark “space shuttle” to tap into the innovation spirit bubbling in every nook and cranny of its global footprint. Since its launch, the shuttle has flown to more than 15 countries bringing with it the power of collaborative innovation.

Spark’s Odyssey

As far as innovation programs go, Liberty Global’s internal innovation platform Spark is breaking out of its adolescent phase. In just 4 years, Spark has flown through many adventures and even experienced turbulence. Flying through the clouds of uncertainty, Spark today has emerged to connect over 42,000 employees across the world to foster innovation. In these 4 years of incubation, more than 1000 ideas submitted by our employees have been implemented generating more than 10 million Euros as return on investment.

Watch this short video that celebrates Spark’s milestones in the last four years.

Shooting for the stars

Spark feeds not only on the innovation spirit but also on the motivation and enthusiasm of the employees and the business. All of this combined with real business challenges leads to successful campaigns like the Energy2020 campaign which was recently awarded the “Best Innovation Campaign” at the European Innovation Impact Summit 2017. The aim of the campaign was to reduce the dependency of our nodes on the energy grid by 10% using alternate energy solutions and/or make them self-sustaining to tackle power outages. Connecting more than 20K employees over 12 countries where Liberty Global operates, the campaign generated more than 70 ideas which were then processed through the innovation funnel. Out of these, 34 ideas were selected and combined into 8 concepts which were further elaborated upon. In the final round of evaluation, one concept was selected as the winner and is currently being validated in a controlled environment.

To infinity and beyond

With the transformation now finished, the Spark shuttle is already gearing up for its next journey to VTR, Chile. The Spark team is also setting up a global community of innovators which will not only facilitate and accelerate knowledge flow in the organisation but also create insights and catalyze actions that have real implications for Liberty Global operations.