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Smart mobility, Smart governance, Smart economy, Smart environment, Smart living, Smart people
Brainstorming is a method for generating ideas to solve a problem. It combines a relaxed, informal approach to problem solving and lateral thinking. It involves a group and a group facilitator. It consists of a period of freethinking which is used to articulate ideas and of the discussion which follows. It creates a free and open environment that encourages everyone to participate. This can bring new ideas on how to approach/sole a problem that a first can seem a bit crazy but can spark further ideas and some of them can be crafted into creative solutions to a problem. The general aims are to reduce blockages of saying out lout “wild” ideas and to stimulate thinking out of the box, and to permit various viewpoints to enter the discussion at early stage. Sometimes this helps to reduce conflicts as participants have the opportunity to see other points of view that might change their perspective. Brainstorming is useful to gather a lot of ideas prior to scenario analysis, problem solving, decision making or planning. Brainstorming can be used by an individual or as a group method. It can be used during problem solving or during developing phase. The group of five to seven people is usually the most effective. Where possible, participants should come from different disciplines and environments. Organization of a brainstorming session is not to complicated nor expensive.

Before meeting

- Decide on the problem you want to discuss. - Set the comfortable meeting environment and make sure you have the tools, resources and refreshments you need in the room.

Meeting execution

During the discussion, people should avoid criticizing or rewarding ideas as judgement at this stage can limit creativity. Ideas should be evaluated at the end of the sessions this is the time to explore solution by using more conventional approaches. To get the best result manage the process by the following steps, starting by preparing the group: - When everyone is gathered, decide on one person to record ideas that come from the session (it is not necessary this is a team manager) and to write them on the post-it papers and post them where everyone can see them (e.g. flip chart or whiteboard).- If participants are not familiar with each other use an appropriate warm-up exercise or an icebreaker. - Clearly define/present the problem you want to address/solve and lay out any criteria that must be met. Tell everyone that the objective of the meeting is to generate as many ideas as possible. - Give participants some (quiet) time to write down their own ideas. - Guide the group discussion to develop the ideas further; build on other’s ideas, encourage everyone to contribute, discourage from criticizing ideas. If the session is long, take breaks.- Remember to have fun during the discussion :)- Summarize the recorded ideas.

After meeting

- Organize ideas and find common themes. - Take action.
One time event, 60 min - couple of hours
5 - 7 people
Moderator skills required, moderator knowledge required.
Sector: Universal method