Objectives: to quickly generate a list of ideas; to enhance creativity
# of Participants: 4 or more
Time: 5-10 minutes
What You’ll Need: Flip Chart Paper & Markers


  1. Introduce the 4 Guides to Brainstorming:

 a. QUANTITY: the more ideas produced, the better. The group records all of the participants’ ideas as they come up. This does not mean that every idea will work or prove totally useful, but it is a way to bring as many good ideas or combinations of ideas as possible out into the open. It also means that everyone can participate, no matter what their level of “expertise” in a particular problem.

b. PLAY-GIARIZE or build on each other’s ideas. Including  even those from fields totally different that the one the group is looking at. “Stealing” ideas is taboo in a culture that puts so muych emphasis on private property, yet groups need ways to develop ideas (problems, solutions, plans) together.

c. CRAZY OR WILD IDEAS help the generation process. These ideas are often just slightly off the norm, and yet they can “threaten” the status quo – that’s why they’re labelled crazy and wild.

d. NO EVALUATION OR CRITICISM until the brainstorming is finished. This guide, perhaps the most diffiucult to follow, can make sure you produce as large as pool of ideas as possible. One of its many side effects is that it makes sure participants don’t use evaluation as a means of controlling or judging other people’s ideas. It also makes the skill of evaluation explicit rather than leaving it as a submerged process.

2. Focus the group on the subject of the brainstorm and invite contributions. Note these on flip chart.


  • Brainstorming works best when it is done quickly and lightheartedly. Humour helps keep ideas flowing.
  • It can help to point out that brainstorming is different than decision-making which follows.

Download PDF of this activity from here.

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One Response to Brainstorming

  1. Pingback: Take Back the Economy – An Ethical Guide for Transforming our Communities | Catalyst Centre

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