Reverse Brainstorm

Category: Ideate
Author: Ilse Fraussen
Facilited by the teacher
The aim is to think of solutions which could make the problem worse, then reverse them by turning them into new innovative solutions.
20-30 min.
10-30 students
A virtual whiteboard, pen, paper and phone


1. The challenge is written on the virtual whiteboard in a simple sentence.
2. The challenge is then reversed e.g., if the challenge is ‘How can you reduce number of fatal car accidents?’ this becomes ‘How can we cause more fatal car accidents?’
3. The students think of ideas which offer a solution to this reversed challenge. How can you make the problem worse instead of better or finding a solution for it?
4. The students write down their ideas however they like phone/paper.
5. When the students have created a ‘more damaging ideas’ list, they then turn them around i.e., turn these ideas into positive ones. In this way, students will create a list of solutions for the original challenge.
6. The teacher discusses the ideas created with the students.


Additional help on using Reverse Brainstorm can be found at:


Inspired by: