DIY Learn Module of the Month: Fast Idea Generator

Last spring, in partnership with the Open University we launched DIY Learn - a new online learning programme in innovation. Developed with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, DIY Learn features a collection of ten bite-sized modules that teach you how to use the tools and methods from Nesta’s popular DIY Toolkit.

We created the DIY Toolkit to help development practitioners invent, adopt or adapt ideas that can deliver better results, and DIY Learn is the next step in this support. With a lot of online content on innovation already out there, it can be difficult to know what is really useful. DIY Learn cuts through this, focusing on the most widely used tools in the DIY Toolkit.

Over the coming months, we will showcase each module from DIY Learn here on the Nesta website. The third Module of the Month is the Fast Idea Generator.

Fast Idea Generator

This tool allows a team to generate ideas by looking at a problem or opportunity from a range of perspectives. This helps come up with new ideas for potential solutions, and also strengthens current offerings. Comprised of nine different approaches, you can choose the ones that seem most applicable to take the topic at hand further and stimulate a discussion.

The aim of the Fast Idea Generator is to frame ideas, problems or opportunities in relation to different scenarios. This helps to stretch your thinking around a concept in different directions, providing a stimulating discussion that will further strengthen the concept.

The DIY Learn module walks you through the Fast Idea Generator and offers guidance so that you can make the most of using it. By taking the module, you will be able to:

  • Understand when using the Fast Idea Generator is appropriate and useful.
  • Explain why ‘thinking differently’ can help to generate new ideas.
  • Understand the nine approaches of the Fast Idea Generator, which help you to explore and challenge a wide range of perspectives on a problem or opportunity by challenging accepted conventions.
  • Identify and select the most useful ideas from the Fast Idea Generator process to take forward for further investigation or discussion.

Watch the Fast Idea Generator module introductory video below, or go straight to the module.

We estimate this module will take between two to three hours to complete for an independent learner with a good level of English. It is divided into smaller study sessions, each of which follows a standard pattern to make it easier for you to plan your time. As you work through the module there are some in-text activities to help test your understanding of the material, and it finishes with a series of self-assessment questions.

Feedback and further resources

We hope that you enjoy the module, and we’re always delighted to hear from our learners. Please send feedback on the module to [email protected]. We are particularly keen to hear what you have done with the skills and tools you have learned.

While the module has been designed to be studied independently this is not the only way it can be used. The DIY Learn Trainers Handbook also provides guidance on using all the modules as a basis for group training in a classroom setting.

Take the module>>

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Isobel Roberts

Isobel Roberts

Isobel Roberts

Content and Communications Manager, Innovation Skills

Isobel worked in the Innovation Skills team as Content and Communications Manager, helping to build Nesta's learning and development offering.

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