Today, we cover the technology behind the event, speaking with Hasbro Director of Technology Mark Brightman, Director of Digital Technology. He and his team are based out of the company’s Pawtucket HQ.
“In particular, we are coordinating a specific event for the Global Day of Joy: Mission Kindness,” he said. “We’re really partnering with the philanthropy team [to do] random acts of kindness in the community. We partnered with them on other things – what if we gamified it? We’re a toy company, right? This just sort of snowballed from there.”
He explained how 15 teams out of the Rhode Island office go out into area communities, looking to serve people through random acts of kindness as they fulfil shopping lists for families through the Boys and Girls Club. They have a Bingo board with suggestions for the acts, as well as an appointed “social maven” who captures events on the ground and reports back to the tech folks at HQ.
Back at said HQ, the tech team has a command center with six-foot long tables and a game master (DevOps Manager Jim Peluso) awarding points to each team.
“In order to do all those things, we need some sort of collaborative tech,” Brightman said. He added that they use Microsoft365, using its Teams program.
“Basically, we asked both of the mavens to post their image within the teams,” he continued. “We’re tracking that all here. Developers to build these … leaderboard[s] to submit those images in a mosaic style on a stream behind us.”
Then there’s the global element to the day. Employees from all over submit their own photos and videos from their various services projects via Sharepoint, and the company uses a hashtag to track what’s going on in places like Hong Kong and Ireland.
“There’s a really a lot of people who are involved with this, it’s not a single person thing; it’s a group effort.”
“There’s a heat map displayed behind us,” Mark said. “Something that happens in Spain?” It pops right up. That way, “you get a greater sense of the size and scope of all the volunteers and stuff that’s going through the day.” Employees can like things and comment on them, too.
At the end of the event, the winning team of the Mission Kindness bingo game, which tech has been tracking all day, is announced. They then donate $1,000 to the charity of their choice.
The fact that the digital tech team and the philanthropy team is a “match made in heaven” helps the day run smoothly, Brightman said. “There’s a really a lot of people who are involved with this, it’s not a single person thing; it’s a group effort,” he continued. “[There’s] a lot of people who are very skilled, and we are fit together and make a great little puzzle.”
He added that employees, like those at the tech HQ, use their free time months ahead to get things ready to go for the big day. “It goes to show how people are passionate about this.”
Brightman emphasized that the results of the day are worth all the hard work. “There’s a human connection that’s being established, and we are affecting peoples’ lives in a positive way,” he said. “It gets someone to think about something in a little different way, or be a little more kind to someone. It may not seem like a big thing, but those things add up.”