You and your friends get together all the time for game nights, movie nights, or Game of Throne marathons. Why not put some of that group energy to good use and host a fun night of brainstorming? You might be surprised by what you are capable of — you know, for the greater good.

What you will need:

5 – 10 friends, coworkers, cohorts
a ton of sharpies
endless amounts of paper

snacks
booze (optional)

1. Pick Your Topic

Start by choosing a real problem. Maybe it’s a challenge facing your neighborhood, or a new project at work that has you and your coworkers stumped. Pick something tangible, don’t overwhelm yourselves trying to solve conflict in the Middle East from your living room. Yet.

2. Warm Up

Time to get the creative juices flowing. Armed with sharpies, (the thick kind, perfect for loose sketching) have your guests spend 3 minutes sketching 50 different ways to reuse an incandescent light bulb. All ideas are valid — the more absurd, the better. When time runs out, take turns sharing your favorites and award bragging rights accordingly.

3. The Rules

Before you introduce your topic, have your guests solemnly swear  they are up to no good to follow the rules:

1. Sketch + Share
2. Maintain a judgement-free zone
3. Build on each others’ ideas to make them better
4. Keep going

4. Start Storming

Introduce your topic and have at it! If things slow down, try a new angle — or if you are so inclined, break out the booze.

5. Rank it Up

When time (or snack food) runs out, rank your favorites and define a course of action. Have everyone identify something they want to do and make a pact to take that first step by the end of the next week. Set a date to meet up again to compare notes on your progress– and maybe catch up with Game of Thrones.

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