Rio Salado College Ideation Session
November 18, 2021
Mindflower Studio facilitated an Ideation Session for a group of staff, think-tank members, and administrators at Rio Salado College.
Rio Salado College was established in 1978 and is dedicated to providing innovative educational opportunities through college bridge pathways, community-based learning, corporate and government partnerships, and early college initiatives.
The goal of our Ideation Session was to bring together a cross-functional group to help generate ideas to boost student enrollment at Rio Salado College, given the current state of education. The agenda was created to help Rio Salado College identify potential actions that Rio Salado college can take to better support existing students, better distinguish the brand, and identify currently unserved markets.
As always, we started the planning and discovery process by helping our client frame the challenge. When generating this "How Might We..." question, we want to make sure our challenge statement is right-sized (not too broad, not too narrow), gets at the real issue, is positively framed, and will encourage creativity when generating ideas.
Then, it was off to planning the day's agenda! At Mindflower, we believe in giving our participants the time and space to play, build skills, and connect with one another because the skills, techniques, and tools you learn in a workshop will extend far beyond the confines of the half-day agenda. For this group, we wanted to incorporate a variety of intentionally-crafted games and activities to teach and boost creative thinking skills while offering an opportunity to reconnect with one another. For many participants, this was their first time at an in-person workshop since the Covid-19 pandemic started in early 2020. We took the necessary precautions to ensure the planned activities would allow everyone to maintain a comfortable distance while collaborating, creating, playing, and socializing.
Throughout our half-day session at Rio Salado College, we guided the group through a series of exercises focusing on divergent thinking (we got hundreds of ideas up on the walls!) and convergent thinking (to make sense and sort the ideas into meaningful buckets). In the end, we drafted the first set of concepts that Rio Salado College can take forward, continue to refine, and use to accomplish their goals.
We are incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to work with Rio Salado College and other colleges within the Maricopa County Community Colleges District. We are firm supporters of community colleges and truly believe that community colleges provide so many of the necessary wrap-around services to enable educational and professional success for all.
Senior Software Developer
Rio Salado College
"Abby was an amazing facilitator. She was able to bring together Design Thinking and Improv techniques with her particular artistic style to give us a truly unique event that we wouldn't have achieved on our own."