Group InVEntion Method (GIVEĀ©) by SPES: The method is a democratic tool to collect ideas in a very efficient way, also in big groups. It starts from a few questions. Each question is put on a flip chart sheet, which are attached to the walls or free standing supports and can be accessed freely. Every participant will write down his or her ideas and complement others. In a second step, all participants have time to read all answers and ideas and prioritise them. The highest rated results are then presented and discussed in plenary.

  • Determine a number of questions.
  • Write each one in the middle of a large paper sheet
  • Each sheet should be attached to a section of wall or a stand. Set up the stands so that a ring of people can stand at a distance of around 2 meters from the paper sheet with interfering with the next group around a paper.
  • Invite participants to respond to the question
    • We used a technique of buzzwords on Post-Its, each responding to only the central question
    • Others insist upon whole sentences, each circled and connected to the original question
    • Responses can then be attached to other responses by lines
  • After a suitable period, call upon the participants to stop writing.
  • The participants then respond by placing dots on the responses that they feel are most appropriate
    • We used the explicit question asking them to mark those that they felt most interested in talking about further in the next stage of the process
  • The resulting Heat Map can be then used for next stages.
  • Clustering can be useful if similar answers are appearing on multiple sheets.
  • We had groups from size 7 through to around 40, apparently much larger groups (100 or so) are easily feasible.

One of the strengths of this process is that it requires no verbal output, so there is no competition for attention. There is also a parallel creation of content, with each contributor active at any time. This works well for larger groups, also for groups who might have conflicts, with power dynamics or other silencing mechanisms.