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Workshop Instructions

rUN A Workshop to Generate Ideas:

1) Choose team roles.

Everyone is a Designer, and you’ll want to assign a Design Lead, who will keep the group on track, and a Note Taker, who will record group conversations.

Decide on these roles now. Ensure that young people who are participating are given the chance to take these roles, if they want.

2) Pass out materials. 

Each person gets a sticky note pad and a marker.

3) Share your HMW question.

Write out the HMW question you developed, and post it up in a way that the whole group can see. Everyone will need to be able to look at it for the next 15 minutes. 

4) Generate as many ideas as you can!

Working solo, have each person write ideas that answer the HMW question on stickies—one idea per sticky note. Don't worry about whether an idea is 'good' or 'practical'. Write down your wildest, most impossible ideas—they get you thinking and might lead to more ideas later on.

Spend 15 minutes generating ideas now. Be patient the first time you feel stuck. Give it a few minutes and more ideas may come to you. 

DESIGN LEAD: Gently remind the team that this is meant to be time to work solo—the space should be quiet for this step. 

5) Cluster the ideas.

Beginning with one of the designers, have each person share one idea and post it on a wall. Continue until all the ideas are shared. Working together, post the ideas on a wall and group similar ideas together to form clusters. The Design Lead can move sticky notes around on your wall, based on directions from the group. This will help the group form clusters quickly. Spend about 15 minutes clustering the ideas.

   Generate ideas (Step 4), cluster your ideas (Step 5), add new ones (Step 6), then vote (Step 7)!

Generate ideas (Step 4), cluster your ideas (Step 5), add new ones (Step 6), then vote (Step 7)!

6) Combine and extend ideas to create new ones.

Look at all the ideas the group has created. Often, you can combine two ideas together or add part of one idea to another to make it even better. Spend 5 minutes doing this and record each new idea you come up with on a sticky note. Add it to the wall. 

7) Vote on ideas.

DESIGN LEAD: Give everyone 3 small stickers. 

Each Designer uses their stickers to vote on their favourite idea(s) or cluster of ideas—this is the idea you want to move forward with right away. You can put three stickers on one idea or spread them around.

DESIGN LEAD: When everyone has finished voting, count up the total stickers or dots on each idea and identify the top 3 ideas. 

8) Reflect

a. What stands out as you look at the ideas on the wall?

b. Which part of your idea are you most passionate about? What worries you about the idea you've chosen? 

c. What did you learn about the problem by trying to come up with ideas? How was generating ideas independently different from the experience of combining ideas from the group? What changed about the ideas? What did you add?

d. What will you do differently after generating ideas in this way?


Congratulations—you’ve generated ideas!

Up next, you'll take the ideas you prioritized and create prototypes so you can learn about the ideas and gather feedback.