Skip to main content


Field of application #Ideation
#Creativity skills development
Resume / Brief description

This is a brain warming up game that tests people’s ability to explore and identify the relations that can be constructed from a specific concept. This capability is fundamental at the time of bringing up ideas. It is one of the bases for something we know of as Inspiration.
The game ask the participants to write as many words related to a image, as they can. It´s a joyful exercise that helps to move the attitude of the participants towards a more flexible and open one.
Category Brainwarming
Target group Entrepreneurs
I&D teams
Innovation teams
Group size 1 to any number of participants.
Objectives Increase mental flexibility and get the group ready for an ideation session.
Material Required (Physical version) 1. Printed Expansión format
2. Pens
3. Cards for inspiration. These can be the Toolbox deck of cards, a set of WakeUpbrain game cards or a collection of pictures depicting an object or person.
Material Required (Digital version) 1. A word processor. Each participant can also have its own personal paper and pen.
2. Digital version of the set of inspiration cards. The images can be shared using the sharing function of the communication or collaboration platform used. 
Duration - Time 4 minutes.
Implementation - Overview The steps are:
- Preparation: Everybody ready to write
- Instructions. The facilitator explains the challenge and sets the time assigned.
- Presentation of the inspiration image
- Word writing by participants
- Counting and winner definition
Implementation - Guidelines 1. Preparation. Everyone must have its own paper and pen or word processor ready. For the physical version, the Expansion format is a good help.
2. Instructions: The facilitator explains the scope of the activity: to test the mental speed and flexibility of the participants. Although this is not really a test, this presentation generates a kind of expectation and joyful attitude. The basic instructions are:
- Everyone will have 1 minute to write as many words as she can in the paper.
- Everyone will see an image. Once the image has been presented, the time will start.
- All the words must be related in some way to the image presented
- Participants can write sentences, but they will count as just one word, so...

3. If the session is being conducted physically, each participant can take its own imagen or card and, without looking at it, place it, face down, in the middle of the page. The Expansion format has a special space for it. For the digital or virtual version, the facilitator can share the same image to all the participants. Having the same image to play adds an extra element of competition, as the difference between the amount of written words cannot be assigned to the image being more or less inspirational.

4. Once everybody has their card, explain that they will have 1 minute to place the card upside in the center of the paper sheet and write around it the largest number of words they can, related to the image.

5. Once time is over, ask them to count the number of words. The sentences count as just one word.

6. The game can be repeated later to take a look at the evolution in their capability to expand or connect concepts.

Now you have a group of people ready to generate ideas and use creativity in a more effective way.
Example of application: The teacher of a class in an Innovation Máster program used the Expansion game to "warm" the students' brains.
The teacher hands out a Expansion format to each student and puts the WakeUpBrain deck on its desk. He instructed the students to come to her desk and take a random card and, without turning it, to place it in the format. Once every student has her card, the teacher explains the exercise: They will have a minute to write down as many words related to the hidden image as they can. They will have to wait for the signal to turn the card and start writing.
Once finished the activity, the average count was 13 words. The game allows the teacher to talk about how ideas are born and the capacity that every brain has of finding relations and connection between concepts.
Interestingly, the teacher repeated the game three times more along the semester. The average on the final game was 22 words.
Templates, Graphics for download
(pptx, jpg,...)
Expansión format
Toolbox cards
WakeUpbrain digital game cards