Imagine you took a group of Japanese undergraduate students, added a group of international peace scholars and placed them in a campus chapel for two hours, with post-it notes, sharpies, a Brainstorm in a Box toolkit and a big bowl of pop corn. This is exactly what happened at International Christian University (ICU) in Tokyo last Wednesday evening.
The brainstorm was a student-led initiative and part of the newly established Social Hub at ICU, which strives to bring Japanese and International students closer together. The students took the OpenIDEO Amnesty Challenge off-line and used it as a platform to bring students from four continents together to share their ideas and personal experiences.
Initially students were introduced to the IDEO brainstorming rules. From there, the Amnesty Challenge was introduced, followed by three rounds of brainstorming, which were occasionally diverted when somebody just had to tell a relevant story drawn from their personal histories. In the end the group were given three stickers each and asked to vote for their favorite ideas. The five ideas, which got the most votes were then uploaded to the OpenIDEO platform, ready for feedback and to be build upon by the global OpenIDEO community:
Former OpenIDEO intern Anne Kjær Riechert facilitated the workshop which included a photo journalist, disaster response worker and State Department employee (all from the US) alongside Japanese undergraduate students. “OpenIDEO is great tool to activate and circulate the knowledge which can be found at universities globally. Not to mention that it's a lot of fun when students from all around the world build ideas together," Anne reflected after completing the workshop and bringing the chapel back to normal.