Ideation Hopscotch

Ideation Hopscotch

Ideation Hopscotch is a high-energy activity focused on getting a large number of ideas from a group of people. It allows for independent reflection and ideation, but also encourages collaborative conversations and generative participation. This exercise can be easily modified and scaled as needed, but for purposes of this guide, we will assume that you have 24 participants and four “How Might We” (HMW) statements to explore.

90-120 Minutes
2 Facilitators
1 Notetaker
HMW Statements
Butcher Paper
Worksheets (optional)
Step One: Set up the space.

In preparation of the activity, you’ll hang large pieces of butcher paper around the room. Your pieces can be cut so three people comfortably fit writing and drawing at the same time. At the top of each paper, you will write a How Might We statement. If you have three people at each paper, and you have four statements to explore, you’ll end up with eight pieces of paper, and you’ll repeat each statement onto a second sheet.

Step Two: Rapid ideation.

After a proper introduction and creative warm-up, you’ll direct three participants to each spot — equipped with their trusty sharpie marker of course. This activity is split into multiple rounds, which you can explain as part of the introduction. For round one, each participant will spend 5-7 minutes responding to the HMW statement — they can draw, write, whatever they want. After time is up, have each group move on to another statement. Repeat until they’ve had a chance to respond to each statement (in this case four).

Step Three: Continue to explore.

For the second round of this activity, people will spend another 5-7 minutes on each HMW. This time, they’ll review what others wrote, build upon ideas, explore new ideas, or star and comment on their favorites. When time is up, they’ll move on to another statement.

Step Four: Refine ideas.

For round three, participants will pick the HMW statement that they are most interested in and spend some time talking with the others who choose the same one. Prompts like ‘what do you like about this topic?’ or ‘which idea are you most excited about?’ can help get the conversation going. If people want to roam around to another HMW you can give them the option to do so. Give space for conversation (at least 15 minutes), but you can be flexible with the amount of time spent.

Step Five: Discuss ideas with the group.

To wrap up the exercise, bring the larger group back together for a general discussion. How did they go? Were they surprised by anything? What ideas rose to the top?

Optional add-on: You can create a worksheet to help capture some of these thoughts or ask people to elaborate on ideas and score their feasibility.