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Sometimes while working on design challenges at IDEO, we need a little bit of a nudge to push ourselves and our ideas further past what already exists. When we get to the ideas phase of one of our projects, the first round of ideas that our teams and clients come up with can be a bit safe, and might simply be small variations on things that already exist in the world. While small, unexpected twists can sometimes be enough to bring a big shift to a design challenge, we've found that pushing beyond the 'safe' ideas often frees us up for even better ideas. That's why one of our 7 brainstorm rules is, "Encourage Wild Ideas."

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Congrats on diving into our Ideas phase! Here's some tips on areas you might explore to develop your idea further and bring it closer to our big goal: real world impact.

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IDEO.org and Acumen ran an amazing Human Centered Design course over summer 2013 which offered great advise on creating social impact. As a community we can learn and use their materials on prototyping to create more impact.

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Here at OpenIDEO, we think that visualising your ideas is a significant step in engaging others to appreciate the goodness on all your switched-on thinking and get onboard to collaborate as you develop it further.

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Collaboration is the name of the game on OpenIDEO. To acknowledge the online nature of this co-operation, we developed the idea of Teams. Get the scoop on how to get your collaboration moves on.

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So you've made a great start with your concept and have made it through to our Refinement Phase. Way to go – but what next? Here's some tips so to get your ideating ninja-moves on!

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We're sometimes asked at OpenIDEO why we run the Research phase first and don't just dive straight into the Concepting phase to start generating ideas. So we thought we'd share some reasons on why we've found the inspiration approach to be success

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We happen to think idea generation is an art form. It's about setting a safe, creative space for people to feel like they can say anything, be wild, not be judged – so that new ideas can be born.

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