Let the ideas flow
An exercise used to encourage creative thinking as well as creative confidence
What is it?
Let the ideas flow
Inspired by chinese whispers, this is an exercise used to stimulate creative thinking through collaboratively being creative together.
What is its context?
Where – an exercise that takes place at school but can also be used outside of school
Who – primarily aimed at school kids of a younger age (possibly in years 2 and 3) to get them thinking creatively at a young age to build on their creative confidence, but anyone in need of extra creative help can also use this exercise as well as mixing different classes and ages together such as year 1 with year 5 or business class mixed with the science department
When – takes place at the beginning of a project to get everyone’s creativity flowing or at a point when creative help is needed
How does it work?
1. Pupils in the class are split up into groups (at least 4 or 5 people per group)
2. Each group is given a theme to work on
3. Each member of the group is given a number (this will work out who gets to go first)
4. They are given a sheet of paper to draw/write their ideas on
5. The person with the number 1 will start the exercise off – based on the theme, they are to draw/write down their idea(s) and pass the sheet along to the second person in the group (the person with the number 2)
6. The second person will continue the idea by drawing/writing something different from the previous person – improving on the idea, continuing the story, etc and the sheet gets passed on to the third person in the group(the person with the number 3)
7. This goes on until everyone has had a turn each
8. At the end of the exercise, everyone from the group will get a chance to take a look at what has been drawn/written and this will lead to a creative discussion
9. Finally, each group will get to present what they have come up with to the rest of the class
If this was an exercise used for a project, the ideas gathered by the end of the exercise can be used as inspiration to spark new ideas to help build upon their project and a second or even a third iteration of this exercise can be used to encourage more creative thinking.
More about it
The idea behind this exercise is to get a group of people to work together being constrained by a theme. This will enable them to think more outside the box to come up with creative solutions.
This exercise could be put up on the school’s website to encourage students as well as other people to use this exercise when they are in need of creative help.
This exercise could be expanded so that anyone and everyone can have a go – for example, if you’re a music student and you’re stuck with the lyrics to a song, you can gather a group of students from your music class and get them to help add/edit words to your song. Another example, say if you're a business student and you have the basic idea of setting up your own business but you're not too sure about some of the details of your plan, you could ask some of your business school classmates to take turns to have a look at your proposal to improve on what you already have - making it a better plan and you will feel more confident that it will be a good proposal.
It could also be a collaborative exercise between different classes and age groups, so that they can learn off of each other, broadening their horizon to become more creatively confident.
*New* Refinement question: What will the future look like with your idea in it?
My idea will have a lasting impact on the way young people around the world will cultivate their creative confidence. It meets the idea of collaboration and encourages everyone coming from any background to participate. It's the idea of being inspired from a different perspective and to not be afraid of sharing your ideas, let others see what you think in order to improve.
In this challenge, we want to create ideas with young people, not for them. Outline how you’re planning to involve young people or other end-users (parents, teachers, etc) in designing, iterating or testing your idea during the Ideas phase.
To test this idea, I would gather people of the same interest together, so that they can have a go at this exercise. After, I would ask them for their feedback to see how they felt during and after the exercise to monitor how the exercise made them feel about their creativity and creative confidence.
How might you envision your idea spreading across geographies or cultures so that it inspires young people around the world to cultivate their creative confidence?
I would envision my idea being used across schools all around the world. If possible, I would like people of different interests to gather together to have a go at the exercise to see how it may help them with their creative confidence. Maybe a website could be set up so that people from all over the world sharing similar and/or different interests can get together to think creatively together - building on each other's ideas.
What skills, input or guidance would you like to receive from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?
I would like to hear school teacher's thoughts on my idea.
I would also be grateful for any comment and guidance from everyone on improving my idea, so that it can become a stronger and more effective concept.