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Circular Brainstorming

Learn how to brainstorm ideas around the principles of circularity.

Concept creation is all about going broad, generating lots of ideas, and then narrowing down into what feels relevant to the challenge at hand. Initially, it’s important to keep an open mind without judgement, and apply a critical lens only after you have gone broad.

STEPS

1

Start by getting your core team together. Brainstorms are most effective when you have a group of people and are able to build on each other’s ideas. If you haven’t done too much of this before, check out the rules of brainstorming here.

2

To jump in, a good brainstorm always starts with a good question. Here are some example questions to get you started:

  • How might we make our product or service more modular/adaptable?
  • How might our product be inspired by living systems?
  • How might we turn our product offering into a service?
  • How might our product be refurbished over time?
3

Now that you have an idea of how this works, what questions might have arisen from your User-Centred Research that you want to explore? What else can you brainstorm that could make your offering more circular?

4

Using a concept sheet, sketch out ideas that come to mind as you brainstorm. Go for quantity. Defer judgement. Encourage wild ideas. Build on the ideas of others. Be as visual as possible. This isn’t the time to second guess your ideas. Just get them out there and keep going!

5

Once everyone has sketched out a variety of ideas. Put them all up on a board. Use something like post-its or stickers to vote on the ones you are the most excited about. What do people gravitate towards? 

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WHO'S DOING IT WELL

Structure your thinking

Brainstorming isn’t just a free-for-all. To get the best out of the team follow IDEO.org’s simple rules for encouraging collaboration to get the ideas flowing.

Read more >>

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The Circular Design Guide is a collaboration between the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and IDEO. To give your feedback, email us directly or join our linkedin group.

Copyright © Ellen MacArthur Foundation + IDEO 2017.