This week I hosted a brainstorming session with these five wonderful people:
5 Wonderful People(From left to right - Kevin, Marc, Ashlely, Beth [with cat], and Arden)

Before we jumped into the actual brainstorming, however, we played a few improv games to get inspired and start feeling creative. We started with "Look at me!" This game did not go over too well, some members were grumpy about participating. However, I think that this facilitated a lot of laughs within the rest of the group.

Next we played a game of my invention. It's called "Wiggle Wobble." The object of this game is to get people into a positive mood and moving around a little bit. To play, one person in a circle starts off by saying "wiggle wiggle, wobble wobble, wiggle, wobble, wiggle!" After the person says this, the rest of the group must clap twice, turn around in a circle and repeat it. The next person in the group then makes up two alliterative sounds/words of his or her choosing (for example bubble & bagel, higgle & howl, etc) and puts these words into the format (bubble bubble, bagel bagel, bubble, bagel, bubble) which the rest of the group must repeat after clapping twice and turning around in a circle. The game then goes on like this until the group decides to stop. My group of brainstormers played this game for a little while before moving on to our third and last game.

Our third game was the Samurai/"wah" game that we played in class a few weeks ago. This game went over best - just take a look at the joy in these faces!
Samurai Game

I turned my problem statements into the following "how might we" questions -
1. How might we help people to feel safer when traveling on New Year's Eve?
2. How might we make midnight a more exciting and inclusive moment on New Year's?

IMG_1303.JPGSo we began brainstorming. Here are the top five highest voted ideas regarding how we might help people to feel safer when traveling on New Year's Eve.
1.Thumbnail image for Inflatable Headband
(Ashley) If you get hit by a car or in the head for any reason - automatic deployment! It's an airbag for your head!

2. Location App for Parents
(Ashley) Kids won't like it, but protective 21st Century parents will love it. Every ten minutes (or customizable increment) the parents get a text about the whereabouts of their child.

3. Vomit-Proof Boots
(Arden) Walking home and afraid of getting thrown up on? Not anymore!

4. Blood Alcohol Content Bracelet
(Kevin) On a more serious note, multi-time DUI offenders could be required to wear The BAC Bracelet monitoring their BAC on nights like New Year's Eve.

5.Glow-in-the-Dark Road Salt
(Beth) Spreading Glo-in-the-Dark Road Salt will allow for cars to see where there is a lot of ice and to better see the road.

Our ideas per minute came out to be about 3.12 or about .62 per person.

For the second 'how might we,' productivity slowed slightly, but we still came up with 5 interesting ideas. Again, the topic was how might we make the midnight moment more inclusive and exciting on New Year's?

1. New Year's Mystery Champagne
(Beth) Mystery Champagne at midnight is a great way to get involved!

2. Fireless Fireworks
(Arden) Fireless fireworks could be used indoors, outdoors, and regardless of weather. It's an extra fun way to ring in the New Year!

3. Blindfold the Moments w/shutter shades
(Arden) Wear these glasses and kiss blindly at the 12:00 hour. Flip open the shutter shade and see who it is.

4. Beer Mug w/ Instructions
(Kevin) Every half hour until midnight, the mug gives new instructions. Great game for those looking to pass the time.

5. Indoor Bounce House w/ Fireworks
(Marc) Get the kids involved and tire them out so they sleep great!

IMG_1301 - Version 2.JPGOur ideas per minute fell here and our number was cut almost in half. For the group our IPM was 1.85 - that's .37 ideas each. This could have been due to the difficulty of the topic, a dwindling interest, and tiredness.

Overall we had some great content in addition to having an enjoyable time.


Hi Ellen,
It was great to note that you had them play 3 different warm up games including your invented one.

Regarding your first problem statement regrading safe traveling during New Year's eve, are we targeting a particular problem in general during New Year's Eve? Because as I see the ideas you have posted most of them just fit for safe travel in general and not really specific for New Years Eve such as DUI, snowy and slippery roads, location tracker etc. May be rephrasing the problem statement to focus on a particular issue of travelling in New Year can help narrow down the ideas?

You have noted that for the second session there was a slow down. It is quite reasonable that this happens. You could have easily brought them on track with another quick session of warm up game, calorie dose with candies etc? I really like the Blind Fold the Moment idea, can really bring in some interesting moments.

-- Shiv


First off, great job getting your group energized at the beginning of the session, lots of good improv games and fun activities. I saw that you IPMs dropped off at the end. As moderator, you could help improve these numbers by trying to re-energize the group somehow. Maybe by pausing to play more creativity games, playing fun music, or even just challenging the participants to work faster.

I also noticed you didn't write about how you chose the "best" ideas, it would be informative to see how these were selected and it may be beneficial to see some that didn't make the cut.


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This page contains a single entry by wall0752 published on November 17, 2013 8:25 PM.

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