Brainstorm

How might we ensure children’s safety in social situations?

My General Ideas

I found a lot of my general ideas were similar or built off of the ideas that were shared in the in-class brainstorming session. I found a common theme of wearables throught this individual ideation session. I also used some of these ideas to help inspire the participants in the brainstorming session I hosted.

New Warm-Up Game: Dress Your Neighbor

My warm up game was essentially to create name tags. It tested the participants memory, encouraged them to be a little silly, lowering initial inhibitions, and was ultimately a way to familiarize them with the group. Everyone started with a blank notecard and were told to write their name on the bottom. Everyone then turned their chairs around and I explained the activity. The end goal was to draw how the group you as.

With their back to the group, the first person had to choose a person to start with and recall one article of clothing they were wearing (testing their observation skills) and then add an accessory, object or action to the chosen person (encouraging play and creativity). So for example, if Person A went first they might say “Person D was wearing a red shirt (the known fact) and is riding an elephant (the creative additive).” My favorite added action was the Keith’s leopard walking.

Session Organization

The session itself was hosted the afternoon of homecoming so we went off campus to the Minneapolis Central Library to avoid the chaos. Because of the nature of our topic, stress management for parenting, finding participants and coordinating a time to meet was a little more challenging than most groups. I ended up having 6 participants show up to brainstorm. To begin the session we did a round of introductions with names, professions and a brief statement on why they were attending the brainstorming session.

Participants:

Chris is a nurse by training. A resident of the Twin Cities area, she and her husband have four kids ranging from 10–19 years old.

James is an architect by day and artist by night. He and his wife have one eight year old son.

Keith, a senior technical content developer, a proud Chevy Volt driver and my former soccer team manager, is a father to two daughters, one graduated and one attending St. Thomas.

Pat is an occupational therapist and professor at St. Kate’s. Between her and her husband, they have six kids and thirty-five years of parenting experience. They’re youngest just started her first year at St. Thomas.

Randy, Pat’s husband, was a journalist then went back to law school and become a partner in a firm in Minneapolis. He is now an in-house attorney for a medical device company.

Terri, a newlywed, is the youngest of the group. She and her husband were just married this summer and have no children. Yet. She is a landscape architect in training working at the University of Minnesota.

(Randy was renewing his parking ticket)

For our warm up activities we started with Dress Your Neighbor to create name tags and then moved onto Word Ball, Reverse Word Ball and Look at Me. Before the actually ideation portion started, much to their delight, I introduced the dopamine enhancer: dark-chocolate almond Bark Thins.

The ideation session itself lasted for about 35 minutes, restrained by the library hours and people’s schedules, was slow to start. I found that our in-class brainstorming session was much faster paced and animated. My participants were notably more analytical and slower in producing ideas. I attribute a lot of that to their experience and the nature of their professions; they are all trained to be very rational in their thinking. I did find however, that the two who are in design professions, Terri and James, either produced ideas more frequently or came up with more creative and challenging ideas. I also found that the Pat and Randy, the only couple, had very similar or overlapping ideas on multiple occasions.

The strategies used in class, besides the dopamine booster, also helped keep ideas flowing. We did brute thinking, negative brainstorming, and role storming which pushed the participants to think wider. I also noticed that when I shared some of the radical ideas we came up with in class, a handful of more creative and interesting ideas would follow. Something else I noticed was the high frequency of piggy backing off each other’s ideas, especially when it came to preventative solutions that taught children skills about proper safety protocol and etiquette in social situations.

IPM: 0.38=(94 ideas/35 minutes/7 people)

Sorting and Voting

For the idea sorting portion of the session the group did a silent sort that lasted about 10 minutes. It also took awhile for them to start moving ideas around and I even observed what Barry had warned of: the hanger-backer. In the picture below Randy, the attorney, spends a lot of time contemplating before acting much like he did in the ideation session. After grouping and categorizing ideas together each participant was given 5 post-its to vote on their favorite ideas. Unfortunately we encountered a bit of a time constraint with the library closing and weren’t able to label the categories made as a group, so I had to do it on my own post-session.

Idea Sort

Caterogies

  • Kid Friendly Monitors
  • Tracking
  • Nutrition
  • Find My Parent
  • Protection from Physical Harm
  • Wearables
  • Parent Solutions
  • Language & Skills (Parent and Child separate piles)
  • Protection from the Elements
  • Vehicles

Top Ideas

  • Airbag Backpack. Protection from Physical Environment. Terri.
  • Kid’s Wallet for Crowds. Find My Parent. James.
  • Panic Button- discretely send message to parent. Find My Parent. Keith. 4 votes.
  • Smoke Detection Pajamas. Protection from Physical Environment. Randy. 1 vote.
  • Nutrition Glasses. Nutrition. Terri. 5 votes.
  • Flower Air Purifier. Protection from Physical Environment. Terri.
  • Toddler GPS Shoes. Tracking. Terri.
  • Stadium Safe Spot. Parent Solutions/Language & Skills. Chris.
  • Diaper Measure+ App. Wearables/Parent Solutions. Maia.
  • Kid Uber. Vehicles. Terri. 3 votes. There were a handful of very similar ideas (safety taxi etc.)
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