Mash-Up Idea Generation

Let’s take brainstorming to the next level.

If you’re not sure what kind of thing you could do to make a positive difference, this idea generation mission will help you come up with original ideas.

In the first steps, you’ll brainstorm around 3 different areas:

• What you like to do
• What places, people, things you have access to
• What issues and needs there are

You’ll then combine elements from those areas to create new, fun and innovative concepts.

Mash-ups demonstrate how fast and easy it can be to come up with innovative ideas.

You are going to do 3 brainstorms, ending up with 3 separate piles of notes. You could use small cards or sticky notes, or you could write onto paper and cut each word/phrase out when you’re done.

Spend about 5 minutes per brainstorm.

Step 1: Brainstorm everything that you like to do and that you can do.

For example, you may love photography, or organising events, or cooking, or be good at fixing things, or maths, writing, gymnastics, or love sleeping!… It’s a brainstorm, get everything down!

Step 2: Brainstorm all the places, people and things you have access to.

Where do you go? Who do you know? What do you use? Think about technology like WhatsApp and social networks. Places like malls, parks and schools; and people, including your digital networks, family friends and people you know locally. Even write down services you use like water and electricity.

Step 3: Brainstorm all the issues you think need to be addressed.

What global issues does humanity face at the moment, like climate change or inequality? What about Covid related issues such as young people’s mental health. And what about in your country or community? What do you think needs to change?

Step 4: The Mash-up!

You should now have 3 piles of words or phrases. Pick one from each of the 3 piles at random and combine them to see what ideas come up.

For example, you might pull out ‘football’, ‘Facebook’ and ‘bullying’.

So an idea might be to start a ‘keepie-uppie’ competition on Facebook to raise awareness of bullying. You could ask footballers to share their stories of bullying on a Facebook group or through a hashtag.

Or you might pick out ‘photography’, ‘teachers’ and ‘recycling’.

An idea could be to ask all teachers to get their students to take pictures of local waste, and then put up an exhibition in school about the need for more recycling.

Challenge yourself to think of at least 1 idea for each combination. Some of the ideas might seem impossible or a little crazy at first, but that’s OK.

Give yourself at least 10 minutes to come up with as many mash-up concepts as you can, but keep going until you have at least 5 interesting ideas.

Step 5: For every mash-up concept that you create, think of a name for the idea. This will help your thinking and help make the idea stick.

Step 6: If you want to, share your ideas to friends and family to get feedback. They might have some good ideas, and they’ll help think about what might be doable.

Step 7: Once you’re happy with your favourite or most realistic ideas, you might even want to start developing an idea into something real. Or at least think about what the first steps might be…

… and that is what the next mission is all about.

Take a photo of your favourite mash-up concepts and click below…