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Image by Rick & Crinid (Access: 28.09.2009)

Short description

Brainstorming is a classic among creativity methods. A large number of ideas about a topic or problem is generated by spontaneously providing ideas without criticism.

Process description

  1. First, topics have to be agreed. The number of topics will depend on the number of participants. Studies have shown that the number of people talking in a group is about 7 and independent of group size. Therefore the size of the group should not be very large.

  2. Groups are set up, a person is designated to take notes and a facilitator is named.

  3. In each group, the moderator determines the topic.

  4. Participants spontaneously provide ideas for finding a solution which are being written down. The ideas should flow without restrictions and be combined with other ideas. The group should be in a productive and creative mood.

  5. All ideas are read out or presented by the group facilitator and then evaluated and categorised by the participants in order to identifiy different aspect of the concept and weed out extraneous ideas. The evaluation and analysis can be done by the participants or by other experts.

Required resources

  • pens and paper or transparencies

  • Mindmapping software


Studies suggest that even just mentioning an idea influences the generation of ideas by others. Therefore it may be helpful to have participants note down some of their ideas before they start with the actual brainstorming so they can report on them without having been influenced.

If yout get stuck, ask questions:

  • Who?

  • Why?

  • What?

  • Where?

  • When?