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 Rapid Idea Generation (RIG)

A process we learned from TELUS Spark, a RIG helps teams be creative together, generate new ideas, and look at a problem from different perspectives.

This Gets You
…to generate a whole lot of ideas; to consolidate ideas; to physically manifest the idea so that everyone can see the idea; to identify patterns and trends in ideas.

Keep in Mind
…it has to be connected to a real problem that you are actually working on. It has to be open-ended, something you don’t have a set answer to. A RIG is not good at providing specific, actionable answers but rather it helps groups explore design opportunities and generate new ideas.

How do you run a RIG?

  1. Set up the room with lots of making materials, tools, and space that allows participants to cluster in teams of three and remove all chairs.
  2. Divide group into group of 3-5.
  3. Go over the rules of the RIG and introduce to students the challenge they will be RIGing.
  4. Set the clock for 20-30 min and participants begin discussing and assembling their first ideas.
  5. When you call time, spend 10 minutes doing a round of presenting ideas/debriefing. Document each team’s result and then disassemble everything. (This symbolically detaches people from owning their ideas.)
  6. Assign new groups of three and set the clock for 20-30 min, then run it again.
  7. Call time and spend 10 minutes presenting, documenting and disassembling.
  8. At the end of the session there is a collection of ideas that can be drawn on later

RIG Copyright TELUS Spark.

What materials do you need?

A material rich environment is the most important element of a successful RIG. Raw materials can include anything participants can build with (cardboard, plastic tubes, bags, yogurt containers, fabric, bottles, wires, etc.


Rules of the RIG

  •  Everyone in the room and their ideas are equal.
  • Everyone participates in the challenge, even the facilitator or teacher
  • Everyone needs to trust everyone else. What happens in the room, stays in the room. Everyone must be allowed to fail, look silly, and know that they will be respected.
  • No one is allowed to mock anyone else or challenge anyone’s ideas.
  • No one owns any particular idea.
  • No distractions/interruptions are allowed once the RIG begins.