Big Ideas Fest offers a fresh perspective on problem solving, bringing a design thinking framework and an intense workshop format to an excited group of people working in education. It challenges the idea of conference participation and expects attendees to step up in a big way. ISKME hosted the event, making sure it was packed with problem-solving, positive thinking, creative people, and improv exercises.
- New goals: During the design process we were encouraged often to reflect on project goals, not our own. It sounds counter-intuitive but being goal-focused makes it easy to contribute and recognize innovative ideas.
- New measures of success: Problem-solving isn’t about being the first, the smartest or the best; it’s about respecting the wisdom of the group. Taking ownership of ideas inevitably creates friction, and it’s easier to be creative when you put the pressure on solving the problem – not on yourself!
- New behaviors: Be thoughtful and deliberate in the things you say, because having too many ideas can nominate you to be in charge of sorting them out. Though I was well-intentioned, I learned this lesson the hard way.
- Confronting challenges: Working through challenges is a hands-on exercise for all involved – including the group facilitators. Participating thoughtfully in a collaborative group can be difficult, and managing the many needs and perspectives of a group is even harder. Facilitators work with participants on the most important job – balancing the process, managing time, and resolving conflict.