Time to do some ideation.
Here are few things to keep in mind:

Ensure that everyone is comfortable with the tools you are using, whether Miro, MS teams or Zoom. People will have very fast and rapid ideation exercises, so they need to feel comfortable in the virtual setting. 

In this step, the focus of the exercises is not quality but quantity. The ideation space is a no-judgment space, so every idea is welcomed and encouraged. 

If there is any spot in the DevPolHack when you can go wild with your ideas, this is the one! Let your imagination flow and make sure to voice out or share all your ideas! 

a. Ideation Games

Dots Game

To get the creative fluids running, the ideation game we recommend using is the 9 Dot problem.

The nine-dot problem was invented in 1930 and requires that nine dots arranged in a square be connected by four straight lines drawn without lifting the pen from the paper and without retracing any lines.

So, to solve the problem, you need to join all nine dots by drawing no more than four straight lines. The straight lines must be continuous – i.e. you must not lift your pen from the paper once you start drawing. Don't read any further until you've tried to solve the problem 😊

How did you get on? If you managed to solve it, give yourself a pat on the back and read on. If you’re not there yet, here’s a clue to help you. If you’re like most people, you will have tried to solve the problem by keeping your lines inside the ‘box’ created 


by the dots. But if you look at the instructions, there is no requirement to do this. So have another go at solving the problem, allowing yourself to draw outside the box. Again, don’t read any further until you’ve either solved it or given up.

OK if you’ve either solved it or had enough, here are the solutions.

Video tutorial that can help to make it clearer:


Desk Yoga

Desk yoga is simply yoga that you can do at your desk! It’s a short, simple stretch or two to get rid of stiffness and get some blood into your muscles. It doesn’t take long, isn’t embarrassing and can be done by anyone at any age or level of fitness. 

A spot of desk yoga will help your delegates to focus and have physiological benefits too – not bad for just a few simple minutes of stretching! 

Don’t worry if you’re not a yoga instructor. Ask a professional to teach you a move or two so that you can use it safely or play a short video to your group and you can all do it together, like this video here from HuffPost or this 4 minute neck and shoulders stretch. 

Alternative Uses Game
  1. Take an everyday object, such as a paperclip. 
  2. Ask delegates to grab a pen and paper. 
  3. Set your timer for three minutes. 
  4. Ask participants to write down as many alternative uses for the paperclip as possible. 
  5. When the three minutes are up, ask delegates to count up the number of answers, and see the range of scores across the group. 
  6. Have some fun and ask people to share their most creative or entertaining response.

b. Double Diamond

Now that you have formulated the problem/challenge and digged deeper into it, we can start with designing the solution. For that, we will use the so called “Double Diamond” model, also known as a road map for people who want to create things. The Double Diamond design model has been around since it was officially invented by the British Design Council, back in 2005.

Few different representations of the Double Diamond model:

Source: Moblab

Source: Justinmind

It’s important to bear in mind  that this model isn’t linear in any way. In fact, creative people are encouraged to go back and forth between these stages in order to fully understand what the problem is and how they can either solve it, or improve on an existing solution. The official Double Diamond design model has four stages: Discovery, Definition, Development, and Delivery. Together, these stages work as a map that we can use to organize our thoughts in order to improve the creative process. The Double Diamond method is recognized for its advantages when designing an innovative project, especially during an agile workshop or a hackathon. It promotes the emergence and development of new ideas.

1. Idea Generation (30 mins – 1 hour)

Brainstorming Techniques

1. How to? Step-by-step

Before starting with brainstorming, make sure to repeat the HMW question and the challenge you are focusing on. Also, give a short description of the double diamond model and remind everyone that a new phase begind with these exercises


2. Check progress (checklist + possibly visual progress, with upload) 

Double dimond picture can be used to explain that we are in the first diamon, in the very beginning


3. Templates and tools  (incl. links) 

You can use the agenda as a checkpoint


4. Social Media

Leave social media and promotion of the event as 2nd priority so participants feel safe to ideate and create without being publically shared.

1. How to? Step-by-step

  • QUANTITY is a condition for QUALITY
  • THINK BIG / encourage wild ideas
  • Build on one another’s ideas: “Yes, AND . . .”!
  • Postpone critical thinking and judgment
  • Listen to other people’s ideas
  • Get all of your ideas out
  • Diversity leads to new ideas
  • Be visual!
Photo by Lala Azizli on Unsplash

1. How to? Step-by-step

Form pairs or threes

· Make up a story

· First line is: ‘On the way to venue this morning I…’

· Facilitator claps

· Next person adds the next line of the story, starting by saying ‘yes and….’

· Repeat.

3 mins to create your stories together; 5 mins debrief of lessons learn

1. How to? Step-by-step

In silence… Write as many ideas as you can, one per post it note, to answer the HMW question or tackle the challenge

You have 5 minutes.

2. Templates and tools  (incl. links) 

Link to board:


1. How to? Step-by-step

Take turns sharing your ideas. Cluster them if needed.

Build on each other’s ideas. Write new ideas on post-its.

You have 15 minutes.

2. Templates and tools  (incl. links) 

Same board

1. How to? Step-by-step

15 mins – What is the most evil or unconventional way to answer the challenge?

One per post-it.

Keep ideas separate from your others.

Link to board:


1. How to? Step-by-step

15 mins – flip them to positive solutions. Add those to your pool of ideas.

2. Templates and tools  (incl. links) 


2. Idea Mashup (20-40 mins)

By now, you have most probably generated over 40 ideas per group. The next step is to Mash-them-up i.e find creative ways to combine all the ideas together in categories or clusters that make sense. Furthemore, this step should allow you to think of other ways to solve your design problem.

With this exercise we are moving to the second part of the first diamond (orange spot)

Step one:

  1. Look at all the ideas on your post-its and discuss: which ones might combine; some may be smaller pieces of a bigger idea
  2. Dig deeper into the ideas making sure everyone can express and share what their ideas were
  3. Figure out if new ideas or solutions are coming up and write them down.

After mashing up, participants will be askes to share what are some of the ideas that resonate strongest with the group.

The whole exercise should take not more than 25 mins (including presentations).

2. Idea Selection (20-30 mins)

This will be the most challenging part of the ideation process for your participants. And it truly is!

After coming up with so many wild, crazy and fresh ideas, now the group has to make a decision of choosing ONE idea they will move forward with in this DevPolHack.

The ideal selection will happen in a session of 20 to 25 mins and it will guide groups how to make this “impossible” decision more easily 😊


  1. CLEAN UP work area to get overview of all ideas
  2. EVALUATE IDEAS using comfort zone tool

  1. DISCUSS ideas of interest
  2. Take RISKS! This is the time and space to experiment.
  3. SELECT TWO favorite ideas: one from comfort zone and one from discomfort zone & write up on big post-it. Dot vote using pens if you need to, two votes each.
  4. Choose the one you want to work on. Again dot vote using pens if you need to, one vote each.

Link to board: https://miro.com/app/board/uXjVM7sGeVo=/

Now you have your one idea, make sure to congratulate your team and go into a break! You absolutely deserve it 🙂