Idea Minimisation

Category: Ideate
Author: Anni Stavnskær Pedersen
Facilited by the teacher
The aim is to allow students to practise their competencies in making decisions within a tight timeframe and to recognise the relevance of intuitive decisions in the innovative process.
30-60 min
10-40 students 2-15 groups
A virtual whiteboard, phone and timer.


1. The teacher creates a timeframe for the selection of ideas by the students. Students must respect the timeframe set by the teacher. The purpose of the timeframe is to ‘force’ the students into making decisions quickly without reflection or discussion.
2. The students are asked to put all their ideas from the previous idea generation process in a shared document.
3. The teacher instructs the students that within the given timeframe they have to half the number of ideas in the document. The students may have 5 minutes to negotiate how they will select the ideas before moving on.
4. The students are given a set time to select the best ideas to add into the frame. If there are 20 participants, they each are allowed three minutes to select ideas and put them within the smaller frame.
5. The ideas, which are not on the new list of ideas, are discarded. The students now focus on the ideas on the new list.
6. The teacher now instructs the students to reduce the list once again. They are given up to 5 minutes to renegotiate how to pick ideas if they want/need it for the next selection.
7. The students are given a set time to select the best ideas to add into the smaller frame. If there are 20 participants, they are permitted one minute each to select ideas and put them on the new list.
8. The students present their thoughts on the ideas they have chosen for the last remaining list.
9. The following are issues that could be reviewed by the teacher in the conclusion of the activity:

  • The different ideas become secondary elements of a shared vision. The teacher guides the students to find a common vision which could incorporate most of the presented ideas. However, as students may have their own point of view, this may prevent them committing to different ‘niches’ within the common vision.


This activity is used after the idea-development stage. It offers a quick method for students to
select ideas which they feel most motivated to work on. The time allocated to each part of the
activity depends on the number of students and the timeframe that the teacher has.