Brainwriting can generate a lot of ideas by building upon others ideas. Using just pen and paper, this exercise asks participants to pass their ideas onto other to expand upon.
What you'll need
Brainwriting can help generate a lot of different ideas very quickly within just a few groups. It utilises the different ways people can think about a problem and encourages people to build upon others solutions.
First, you need a clear problem statement. What is the problem you’re trying to solve? Write that at the top of a pice of paper, or have it written on a whiteboard, so everyone can see it. On paper, draw a simple 3×3 grids with the horizontal axis boxes labelled idea 1, 2 and 3. Label the vertical boxes person 1, person 2 and person 3.
Ask your participants to write their possible solutions to the problem in the top row of boxes. If they come up with only one, that’s ok; give them up to 5 minutes. Then ask them to pass the paper clockwise onto the next person, and ask them to build upon the previous solution, or come up with a new one.
Download the brainwriting template (pdf)
The exercise can refine solutions to a point where they might be usable straight away, or can generate diverse solutions giving you a great basis for a separate exploring workshop, or the next stage in the current one.
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