Initiation & Ideation

Session developed by Visual Theatre and UWTSD

Authored by Amanda Roberts
and David Francis Moore

General Information

The first day begins with Ice-breaking session where students introduce themselves through a series of interactive exercises. This is followed by team building exercises that explore the experience of working in groups. At the end of the session, challenges arepresented.
Introductory design thinking strategies enable teams to decide and briefly present the idea they will be developing throughout the rest of the days. By the end of the first day the participants will be more familiar and comfortable working with their colleagues.
Participants will be in their working group for the week’s activities. Each group will have an idea to take forward to develop.

At the end of the session the learners will have:

  • Selected a challenge to address
  • Began to work in an interdisciplinary team
  • Generated a number of project ideas related to their chosen challenge
  • Started to engage in group discussions in response to their chosen challenge
  • Worked independently to select a project idea for development

Facilitators for this session will ideally have strong creative skills. Ideally they will come from an arts background. The generation of creative ideas is an intrinsic element of Art & Humanities education and the trainers need to have experience in helping students recognise how their imaginative and creative worldviews can be directed towards enterprise and entrepreneurial agendas.

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9.30 am – 10.30 am

1.00 pm – 2.30 pm

10.30 pm – 11.00 pm
introduction of

2.30 pm – 3.00 pm
Meet the

11.00 pm – 11.30 pm

3.00 pm – 5.30 pm
group work and mentoring

11.30 pm – 1.00 pm
Team building and ideation



  • Students organize into working teams (max. 6 teams of 3-5 students) and identify ideas for projectdevelopment through theweek
  • Eachworking group/team has an idea to take forward




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room/ equipment requirements


  • Large ventilated room with tables or work stations and sufficient numbers of chairs for all participants
  • 4-5 smaller work spaces/ tables/ work stations with sufficient numbers of chairs for each group of participants
  • Projector and Screen (PowerPoint compatible)
  • Masking tape or other appropriate way to attach paper to walls
  • 1 Pack of spaghetti pasta
  • 1 roll of tape
  • 1 roll of yarn or string, a bag of marshmallows (regular size)
  • 5 scissors



  • 4 -5 tennis balls
  • Large rolls of paper
  • coloured stickers


  • blank postcards
  • envelopes
  • Sharpies and felt pens, selection of colours
  • 3x Buckets or boxes for lucky dip (+ shredded paper?)
  • White board/ flip chart
  • Snacks and drinks

Outline of activities


To facilitate introductions to new colleagues.

To create a fun, friendly and open environment were participants feel comfortable, supported and encouraged to explore new ideas and processes with new peer groups.

A participatory introduction to creative team work.


Part 1: selected ‘ice-breaker’ group exercises (e.g. Speed drawing)

  • You have 30 secs to draw a portrait of the person next to you and ask them questions about themselves.
  • In the box underneath their portrait write 3 positive things about the person you have drawn.

Part 2: team building (e.g. The marshmallow tower challenge)

  • Allocated teams working with limited materials compete to build a tower with a marshmallow on top. Conclude the task with reflection on the structure and dynamics of teams with a consideration of strengths and difficulties related to team work.


Students are presented with a series of video challanges. Each team should chose one of the challenges to work on throughout the training week.


Students watch the videos and selected their preferred challenges. They are allocated in groups based on their choice of challenges and their different backgrounds to ensure multidisciplinary representation in the teams.


This session includes a series of exercises designed to help students brainstorm ideas to address the selected challenge, with the aim of:

  • generating ideas
  • facilitating discussions about ideas generated
  • resulting in a collectively agreed response to the challenge.


Exercise 1: Quality over Quality relay – generate as many ideas as humanly possible in 15 minutes

Exercise 2: The worst possible idea you can think of in 10 mins

Exercise 3: Optimism/Pessimism -Select an idea that you like the most and write it on a sheet of paper, send it to the next table. They say why this is a terrible idea and why it wont work. They send this to the next table who look at the objection and answer it by
outlining how this objection can be overcome and say why the idea is a good one- send to the next table and repeat. End back at the original table on a positive. Once a number
of ideas have been generated the students have time in their groups to discuss their responses and select an idea to develop through the programme.

All the modules

For a 5 day duration programme, with a group of 25 students, the recommended outline has been defined as follows.

Module 1

Initiation & Ideation

Ice-breaking session where students introduce themselves
and discuss their goals and expectations about the programme through a series of interactive exercises. This is followed by team-building exercises to define the working groups. At the end of the session, challenges are presented and, through design thinking strategies, teams should be able to decide and briefly present the dea they will be developing throughout the rest of the days.

Go to the module 1

Module 2

Creative Project Planning

During this day, the groups learn how to use project planning basic concepts and tools, namely the Creative Project Canvas, in order to develop their project structure/ business model (depending on the challenge they chose). The Creative Project Canvas is the tool suggested for the groups to during the entire training week, to plan and reflect on theproject/solution/prototype to be delivered at the end of the pilot.

Go to the module 2

Module 3

Intellectual Property and Strategy for CulturalProfessionals

Students will learn the basics of intellectual property (with special focus on copyright) and how such regulations can affect their work (projects, business or career wise).
In the second part of the session, through a series of examples of AH projects (businesses and non-profit), they will be introduced to other differentiation factors and how they can strategically use them in their projects in order to reach their own goals more effectively.

Go to the module 3

Module 4

Pitch and Communication

The Pitch and Communication session starts with some pitch warm-up exercises, so the teams can test a first approach to present their projects to each other.
They learn how to structure and deliver a good 5 minutes pitch and also about essential communication rules and techniques that will help them define the communication strategy for their projects.
As the day ends, a series of drama exercises allow students to learn and test their most natural and important communication tool: their own bodies.

Go to the module 4

Module 5

Body as Communication Device

In this session, participants are introduced to ideas and exercises that explore presence in relation to the body as a communicative devise and they are invited to partake in a number of exercises.

Go to the module 5

Module 6

Meet The Professionals

Depending on the chosen format/ duration of the programme, you can choose to include “Meet the Professionals” short sessions involving your guest entrepreneurs/ mentors.

Go to the module 6

Module 7

Final Pitch Day

In the final day, the teams will present their 5 minutes pitch to a panel of 5 juries, who will give feedback on the project and the presentation performance and decide which team is the winner.

Go to the module 7