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Creative Confidence Challenge Community Champion Update #7

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Hao Dinh is our current volunteer Challenge Community Champion. You'll see him popping up across the Creative Confidence Challenge with handy tips and words of encouragement – and posting community updates here like a true champion!


We are in week 7 of the Creative Confidence Challenge. With a little under two weeks into the Ideas phase, there have been awesome concepts posted. Keep up the great work!

Last week, I highlighted the Brainstorm in a Box toolkit, an easy-to-follow process to help you run a live brainstorm session. This time around, I want to highlight a brainstorm session video from Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies (HFA: SCS) in Detroit, Michigan. At HFA: SCS where design thinking is integrated into the curriculum, 12th graders used the Creative Confidence Challenge as a project in their Senior Design course. The students spent a couple of sessions looking through the Inspirations, and then interviewed someone in their family about creative confidence - a time or place when they felt creative, or solved a problem. During class, the students got into groups and synthesized the things they'd learned, looking for patterns. Fear of failure was a big theme. Then with assistance from their teacher, Lynne Nowicki, they reviewed the 5 OpenIDEO Themes, selected a Theme that interested them and collaboratively brainstormed ideas. There was pretty rich brainstorming from all the groups. One fun and inspiring solution idea was the Google Cube, a digital cube that helps writers and artists get “un-stuck” from writer’s/artist’s block. Below is a short video showing students building on each other’s ideas to develop the Google Cube concept.


I love how the team collaborated, built from each other’s ideas and was so excited when they realized their “Google Cube” name.

I had a chance to visit HFA: SCS. I was so impressed with how the school addresses each of the 5 OpenIDEO Themes in order to inspire their students to nurture their creative confidence. All of the learning studios have flexible furniture, and there are “design alcoves” and other spaces where students can create and work collaboratively in small groups. Design thinking, a framework to help develop and implement innovative ideas, is integrated into the curriculum. This type of teaching and learning enables “hands-on making” and is a true “creative catalyst”. HFA: SCS (6-12) and the aligned Henry Ford Academy: Elementary School (K-5) offer a continuum of innovative education, empowering kids to “take their first steps” in creativity early and setting a positive “attitude for openness” for the remainder of their pre-college years.

OpenIDEO community: I hope you are as inspired by the results of the Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies students’ brainstorming session as I am. The students’ work truly illustrates the benefits of running a brainstorming session – so much so that I’m planning my own brainstorm meeting shortly. Looking forward to seeing the results of your brainstorming sessions soon in our Ideas phase!

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Community Champions , Creative Confidence Challenge


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Great video! Great idea! Their excitement is contagious!

Photo of Erin Dragotto

Thanks for the brainstorm session video! Super helpful.

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I really loved this update Hao! It's amazing to see high school students working on senior design projects and simultaneously tackling the OpenIDEO challenge. Go GoogleCube!