Sparkademy’s neuroscience-based reskilling program helps future-proof business teams

December 1, 2021


facebook icon facebook icon

Adapting the roles and skills of employees to the post-pandemic world of work is crucial to building a resilient and competitive business. However, there seems to be a significant disconnect in how effectively executives and workers believe this issue is being addressed.

A recent IBM survey shows 74% of executives are confident that they have been helping their employees learn the skills required to work in a new way. But only 38% of employees agree.

Failure to close the existing gap can hinder companies’ efforts aimed at cultivating a sustainable workforce given that 50% of employees worldwide, according to the World Economic Forum, will need reskilling by 2025.

Of course the answer is education. But what employees truly need is an innovative approach to education.   

And this is where solutions such as Sparkademy come in.

Sparkademy is a digital-first institution that is helping companies train their teams to be innovators and future leaders through a science-based method that leverages the latest technologies and is designed for scalability.

Dr. Alan Cabello, co-founder of Sparkademy (Image source: LinkedIn)


Sparkademy is a digital-first institution that is helping companies train their teams to be innovators and future leaders through a science-based method that leverages the latest technologies and is designed for scalability.

“One of the things that make us stand out from similar platforms is the topics we’re focusing on right now, which are all around innovation. That’s our space for the moment,” Dr. Alan Cabello, co-founder of Sparkademy, told The Sociable on the sidelines of Web Summit, Europe’s largest tech conference held in Lisbon in early November.

In addition to innovation, Sparkademy is heavily focused on helping employees develop skills for creativity and leadership.

The emphasis on these areas seems quite relevant considering that the World Economic Forum says the top skills of entry- to mid-level employees by 2025 will be analytical thinking, innovation, active learning, complex problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, originality, leadership, and social influence.

Neuroscience-based research

Cabello said another distinctive feature of their program is that it is based on research in the field of neuroscience.

“We’re really trying to adopt a very personal approach to every learner. So every learner has a personal profile upon which we build to try to help them develop their skills. We’re working on areas of the brain that are neuroplastic,” he said.

Cabello was referring to neuroplasticity—the brain’s ability to modify its connections or re-wire itself in response to new information, sensory stimulation, etc.

Another unique aspect of their program, which he is very proud of, is that they offer “qualitative learning which is still measurable and scalable and involves very fast feedback loops.”

Impressive accomplishments

Sparkademy has trained teams in 54 countries across more than 10 industries and nine different business areas. It is an affiliate of ETH Zurich and also the NeuroDesign Research Lab, which is part of Stanford’s Center for Design Research.

The digital-first institution fosters transformation by identifying the right people for the right job, empowering teams with the right tools and skills, and connecting like-minded people in cohorts.

Their holistic approach follows three main methods of learning: experiential, social, and formal. The program includes online courses, practical assignments, knowledge checks, and access to the method kit they have developed.

Sparkademy also helps clients define clear learning objectives and effective inputs, which helps measure learner progress and provide feedback.

In 2020, its services helped a client generate over $8 million in revenue from new business, save more than $5 million through cost cutting, and gain 300 days in efficiency. As for the benefits for the learners, 89% feel the program impacted their responses to business challenges.

The co-founder of Sparkademy said they are growing fast in the U.S. market, which will be their main region of focus in the coming months.

Web Summit experience

Asked about his experience during Web Summit, Cabello said it would be an understatement to describe it as “very interesting”.

In his opinion, the event, which drew over 40,000 people to the Portuguese capital, provided a great opportunity for his team to bond after pandemic-related lockdowns.

“It was also very inspiring to see what other startups are doing and discuss collaboration opportunities.”

The co-founder of Sparkademy also noted that his team was not focusing on engaging the participating investors because “we’ve gotten so far under the realization that we need to look for clients first and then, if it makes sense, investors.”

The clients come with money, he added, noting that he thinks startups will be more successful if they adopt this perspective.

When asked if he has any suggestions for organizers of Web Summit, the entrepreneur said it would be great if they add new features to their app so that it can “better filter connections or better structure how people connect.”

But overall it was a “wonderful” experience, Cabello commented.  

Disclaimer: This article mentions a client of an Espacio portfolio company.



facebook icon facebook icon

Sociable's Podcast