Iterative Project Ideas

This is effectively a merge between ideation and development of an idea. We suggest 3 rounds of iterative idea exploration. This allows groups to explore multiple ideas as well as different future collaborators. Each round creates groups of mixed expertise, with different pieces of stimulus, or a seed of an idea, or a pool of options to choose. Usually, the stimulus is converged content from the days’ work. The goal of the group is to outline a possible project. Participants are stewarding ideas for the whole group. It is not until after the iterative rounds before we ask people to put a stake in the ground and form a possible project team.

Ideal Time

120-180 minutes; minimum of 30 minutes for each round of project time, 2-4 minute present backs, 5-10 minutes of group forming.

Resources Needed

  • Flipcharts
  • Sharpies or markers


There are multiple ways to form teams for these rounds. Below are a few suggestions. We highly suggest varying the formation so that individuals do not stay with the same people each time.

  • Let any teams form by selecting the topic they would like to discuss. We recommend the only constraint being a team size of no more than 5.
  • Let teams form and select the stimulus for them to work on. You might consider only assigning the stimulus
  • Form groups by diverse expertise (we often use lanyard color or colored sticky dots on nametags)

Example Feedback Template

We recommend for these rounds that the feedback be brief (2-4 minutes per group), which is why we often suggest using flip charts. It keeps it informal and gives a sense of exploration and stewarding, not ownership. A sample template is below.

  • Overview
  • Opportunities for novelty
  • Key Barriers and / or Challenges
  • Expertise needed and approaches that might be taken
  • Recommendations to any team that might choose to pursue this project

Last updated byzachstapletonjones