Brainstorming is a method for developing creative solutions to problems. It works by focusing on a problem, and then having participants come up with as many deliberately unusual solutions as possible and by pushing the ideas as far as possible. During the brainstorming session there is no criticism of ideas - the idea is to open up as many possibilities as possible, and break down preconceptions about the limits of the problem. Once this has been done the results of the brainstorming session can be analysed and the best solutions can be explored either using further brainstorming or more conventional solutions.
Brainstorming is useful in warming up a workshop and creating a sense of unity between workshop participants by 'breaking the ice' between them. (Source: http://www.mindtools.com/brainstm.html)
- Edward de Bono (1992) Serious Creativity, New York, Harper Business.
This page originally copied with permission from the Citizens Science Toolbox