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Energize your team and drum up a staggering amount of ideas.


Suggested Time

30-60 Minutes

Level of Difficulty


Materials Needed

Pens, Post-its, a large sheet of paper or whiteboard


Design team, partners, community members

Process Phase

At IDEO.org, we use Brainstorms to tap into a broad body of knowledge and creativity. Over the course of your project you should do them not only with your design team, but also with partners and the people you're designing for. Refer to Brainstorm Rules for the specifics of what make for a fruitful brainstorm, but remember that the best policy is to promote openness, lots of ideas, and creativity over immediate feasibility. Brainstorms work best when the group is positive, optimistic, and focused on generating as many ideas as possible.


  1. Pass out pens and Post-its to everyone and have a large piece of paper, wall, or whiteboard on which to stick them.
  2. Review the Brainstorm Rules before you start.
  3. Pose the question or prompt you want the group to answer. Even better if you write it down and post it.
  4. As each person has an idea, have her describe to the group as she puts her Post-it on the wall or board.
  5. Generate as many ideas as possible.