How We Got 160 People to Brainstorm on GroupMap.

When GroupMap was invited by digital creative festival organisers to take our online brainstorming tool out of meeting rooms and classrooms to the general public, we needed a fun, eye-catching way to get people’s attention.

The goal was to get people’s ideas about what would make a city more innovative.

Festival folk joined in on the day or online giving us their responses. Everything from changes to transport systems and single owner housing offices through to spaceports and community-driven designs was thrown in.

We ended up with over 160 ideas and even a thank you letter from the city’s CEO. Sweet. We also managed to collect creativity tips from industry professionals about what makes them more creative.


[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”15042″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” onclick=”zoom” css_animation=”fadeIn” title=”GroupMap Testimonial – City of Perth”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

We Get Creativity Tips from 5 Industry Leaders

What tips for creativity can we learn from 5 industry leaders?

In our very first public group brainstorming workshop, GroupMap joined the Pause Fest-Digital Festival during Innovation Month and had the opportunity to talk to industry leaders about what fuels their creative engine. From the head of the festival, to motion music masters and animation artists, we’ve asked them to contribute to our online brainstorming exercise.

Our question- What top creativity tips do you use?

Here’s what each of the industry leaders had to say.

George Hedon – PauseFest Digital Festival

When he’s not accused of being too photogenic on camera, George and his awesome festival crew run the digital festival in and out of Australia. Here’s what he had to say…
  • Surround yourself with talented people Being around other creative people helps you realize new ways to be creative. They challenge you with good insight or critique.
  • Curate interesting things Collecting interesting or new items can give you something to reflect on and “admire”. This can help some people clear their heads or spark new ideas.
  • Combine different things together Mixing and matching things that don’t usually go together can help to realise a totally new idea. If something isn’t working for you, try combining it with something else and see where it goes. (hmm… we wondered where kite surfing came from)

Robyn Fawcett – Shock records

Robyn is the Digital Marketing Manager for Shock Records in Melbourne. Pablo is the co-founder of the creative agency ‘Plenty’. They both sat down for a post-lunch chat to tell us their top creative tips.
  • Research your audience It may sound contradictory, but a little research effort goes a long way to focus your message. Creativity doesn’t have to be coming up with a wild idea no one understands, it just has to be one your audience does.
  • Fake it till you make it Trick your brain into believing you already have all the answers. If you can act or pretend to be creative, then perhaps the subconscious brain will follow suit.
  • Tap into a dream state Relaxing or dozing off can help to ease some stress from your mind and open it to new ideas. Be prepared for a little active dreaming.

Pablo Alfieri from ‘Plenty

  • PLAY and Brainstorm Make it okay to play, then brainstorm and map your ideas visually to help bring order to chaos. Seeing what you’ve been thinking can help you create new branches from existing ideas.
  • Set time limits and give yourself time. Some people work better when faced with a deadline. Putting a time limit on yourself can force you to get down to business and get the ideas going. Create both time and a timeline for creativity.
  • Meet people and work together. If you ask Pablo, he’ll say that he enjoys being with people. It gives him energy and it helps to create energy and inspiration. It fuels the time for self-reflection and private creativity.

Foo Ching Sung from Squint/Opera

Foo Ching Sung – or ‘Fooch’ as he is better known – heads up Squint/Opera’s Australian division, focusing on architectural films.
  • Teach/Give knowledge back Sharing what you know can open the door to a whole new set of thoughts and ideas. By mentoring others you reinforce that knowledge in yourself, while helping others. That’s a win-win win!
  • Steal ideas Using other people’s work as inspiration can stimulate your own creativity. By observing other people’s creativity, you can emulate them and create your own unique ideas.
  • Look back Pull out that old notebook, those high school sketches, or dust off a previous prototype. There might just be a treasure trove from a snippet of the past. What may not have inspired you then can quite possibly do so now!

Chris Vik – Ethno Tekh

Chris is one half of the talented duo “Ethno Tekh”. They blend music and movement capture technology together seamlessly to create an amazing visual performance.
  • Collaboration It’s not just about blending music and tech. It’s about working with other artists and cranial mind masters to find new projects.
  • Try new things Keep an open mind by actively fueling it. What was your last venture into the unknown?
  • Change of scenery Sometimes creativity can be blocked by your environment. Taking a walk or moving to a different room can help to refresh yourself and get your thoughts going again. Don’t believe it? Try it.
And finally a few parting phrases from Mark Simpson MC and head honcho of design and animation house Sixty40criticise yourself constructively, persevere, and work hard! The GroupMap team wants to give a great big thank you to all our fantastic interviewees as well as the bunch of brilliant minds that contributed to our tips for creativity GroupMap. From the GroupMap Team. Want to create your own brainstorm with your team? GroupMap lets you create brainstorming templates to innovate, create, ideate and prioritise. trial it free at[vc_video title=”GroupMap at PauseFest” link=”″ width=”1/1″ el_position=”first last”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Big Brains for Science – How to get a group to work together

Australian Council of Deans of Science Breakout group brainstorm ways to improve pre-service teaching in an interactive workshop.

The Big Questions:
  •  What essential skills should secondary teachers in Science and Maths have?
  • What complementary skills should secondary teachers in Science and Maths have?
  • What can Science and Education Faculties at University do to improve this?
  • How can Science and Education Faculties collaborate to improve pre-service teaching?
We take for granted that much of the world as we see it is only possible through constant and sustaining scientific research. This knowledge transfer starts in primary and secondary schools and encouraging and engaging students in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics is a growing need. Broad scientific literacy is needed by the Australian community. Full stop!!
Dean Professor Jo Ward, Dean of Science, Curtin University
Following the Annual General Meeting of the Deans of Science across 30 Australian Universities, a plenary session was run by Professor Jo Ward, Dean of Science, Curtin University.

GroupMap was used by the Deans to respond to Treasury announcements targeting sustainable programs to improve pre-service teaching. The question style involved initial segregation between essential and complementary skills for pre-service teachers. Participants then moved towards the key question of what could be done at the Faculty level (Science, Education, and Combined) to best meet the criteria for the funding programs.
The outcomes ranged from statements of intent to suggestions of pragmatic initiatives that mirrored best practice examples. Common themes and goals were shared with the group in real-time and this then formed the framework for collaborative practice discussions. By being able to quickly consolidate information from the group meant that everyone could move through the questions quickly, leaving more time for lunch and networking.
GroupMap is very supportive of improving teaching and learning outcomes, so this initiative was one we could not say no to. It was fantastic to see ideation and sharing by a group of thought leaders who have the potential to continue to improve and enhance Australia’s scientific prowess. Our thanks to Professor John Rice, Executive Officer of the ACDS, and Professor Jo Ward, Dean of Science, Curtin University for choosing to use GroupMap at this event.

How smart are your kids?

Teacher looks for the “Smart” kids in class.

Most people know about IQ… but our kids can be smart in so many ways. In this example, Mrs Cotham explores the dimensions of intelligence and asks the students what they do to show off their talents. Before you know it, the GroupMap is filled with aspects of art, music, sport, writing and even concepts of social intelligence. Things like helping others to learn, playing fairly  and being kind to others were some key stand outs.

Watching them move ideas on the electronic whiteboard and working out where and how to cluster ideas was a joy to’s a shame lunch came around so quickly. Here’s how they did it:


They talked about what it meant to be smart… or to be good at something – it’s about breaking down the paradigm that if you can memorize and repeat that this makes you smart.

They talked about why it was important to have different types of “smartness” in a group, and in fact, the world, making sure that differences are valued. The students then formed teams and as a group had to start making a list of examples of different kinds of smart.

And whilst academic prowess remains in the foreground of assessment and provides at least evidence that satisfies moderators and auditors of a grade, it’s comforting to know that we can all be a little smart in our own way.. and in many ways.

Great job guys and gals! Great concentration, focus, and sharing of ideas.
Our thanks to Mrs. Cotham and Mrs. Kelly and the class for allowing us to share a GroupMap experience with them.