Applying the creative process

St. Paul's GreenHouse logoFollowing the GreenHouse trip to the Felt Lab, the cohort held a meeting back in the GreenHouse discovery space to take the brainstorming process they had experimented with the night before and use it to examine each other’s ideas.

Members of GreenHouse in the Discovery spaceThe GreenHouse discovery space is a place where members of the program can come to brainstorm their ideas and connect with each other on issues relating to their respective projects. On any given day, its whiteboards are covered in the notes of GreenHouse innovators wrestling with ideas-in-transition.  Today, however, a different kind of brainstorming was occurring. The session started off with each member listing a specific challenge they were working to solve.  

Then the participants submitted suggestions to each other about how they thought their respective challenges should be solved. This exchange encouraged a discussion about all the ideas of this semester’s cohort.

Over a sea of sticky notes, the members took time to explain their business concept and subsequently receive helpful feedback from their peers. Some of the insights from that evening are captured below:.

Tina Chan is a fourth-Year Applied Health Science student. She is the creator of the PASS Kit (Panic, Anxiety, & Stress Support). She refers to it as “a first-aid kit for mental health and wellbeing.” Her challenge is addressing the increasing incidence of mental health issues among students. To overcome the stigma surrounding mental Health, it was suggested that her product should be promoted and openly distributed during Waterloo's frosh week and FEDS events.

Rachel, a fourth-year Health Studies student, is working on a project called Marlena. She expressed that her biggest challenge was offering leisure (mainly in the form of reading) to older adults with Alzheimer’s and dementia in order or assist in stalling their cognitive decline. Through this brainstorming session, she received recommendations that novels for seniors with cognitive diseases should perhaps be derived from classic works (i.e., Agatha Christie) that may remind readers of the series they used to read in the past.

James Klamut, who is currently in the exploration phase of his idea, is aiming to adapt the process of golf course landscaping to support biodiversity and to sustain natural spaces. Organic vegetable gardens and reservoirs containing endangered species were some ideas that emerged from this group discussion. After several notes were shared around the table, one of the suggestions made was to pilot this idea in small- and medium-sized golf courses who may be looking to diversify and/or restructure the layout of their courses.

Ideas boardAfter a few more exchanges, the night concluded with five essential questions that everyone was encouraged to answer in written form:

  1. What do you want?
  2. What do you have?
  3. What do you need?
  4. How will you get it?
  5. What will you do when you get it?

Here are a few useful resources for brainstorming that readers who are currently involved in the process of ideation may find useful:

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