• To enable brainstorming and idea generation.


  • Papers
  • Pencils/pens/markers

Basic Structure:

  • Present a broad question or problem that is likely to result in lots of different ideas or opinion.
  • Have the participants generate responses by writing ideas on sticky notes (one idea per note) and placing them in no particular arrangement on a wall or whiteboard.
  • Once lots of ideas have been generated, have the participants begin grouping them into similar categories.
  • Label the categories and discuss why the ideas fit within them, how the categories relate to one another, and so on.


  1. Have the participants do much of this exercise—recording their ideas and arranging them into categories—without talking at first.
  2. Participants are asked to re-combine the ideas into new, different categories after the first round of organization occurs.

Adapted from: