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The Innovation Process
Activity 4.2 B

Generate initial ideas

The exercises in this activity will help you start generating ideas using structured brainstorming exercises to encourage creativity and group discussion.

With a bit of inspiration, the participants in your invention process will be ready to start generating ideas. This is generally done in some form of ‘brainstorm’, when participants either call out or write down on sticky notes as many different ideas as possible. However, it can be difficult to start generating ideas from nothing, so we provide a couple of structured exercises to help.


The aim of the 6:8:5 game is for each participant to come up with 6-8 ideas in 5 minutes. This is a great starting point, and you can adapt the number of ideas and the timeframe to create more or less pressure and competition for participants to come up with ideas. You can also run a number of rounds to encourage more ideas and a cycle of refinement.

How Might We?

How Might We? is another simple exercise that can help generate initial ideas. In this game you are looking at the problems identified in your design criteria and asking the question. ‘How might we…….?’, identifying a specific design criteria or challenge area and asking how it might be solved.