The Virtual Brainstorming that will Alter Your Students Thinking Forever

Creative brainstorming technique to set the tone for a judgement-free exchange of ideas by Daniel Cape.

All creativity could be said to be the combining or adding on to previous ideas. The modern day phone is just the combination of a computer, a phone, and about 100 other ideas. Wheels on luggage is a fairly new idea that combined 2 common ideas. It's that simple. Johannes Gutenberg combined the coin punch with the wine press to create the printing press - one of the most influential innovations in history.

This activity can be used as quick Ice Breaker or as a lead in to a longer Problem Solver session. Pairs of participants will be asked to combine two random objects or concepts to create something new.

For this activity, facilitators should prepare a list of random concepts or objects. These can be anything - a baseball, a nail, a cactus, customer service, employee retention, a dog, a zebra, a glass, a skyscraper, etc. If you include concepts specific to your group's challenge or goal, like 'increasing 4th quarter profits', 'strategic planning' or 'new product', be sure to have an equal number of random objects that are unrelated to the challenge/goal. Additionally, be prepared to easily assign each participant one of these concepts or objects while video conferencing, either by creating a list ahead of time or by messaging each person their prompt


1. Introduce the activity concept as described in the "