Remixing ideas is the fundament of innovation and creative solution finding. Connecting ideas gives new ideas. How can we create the fertile conditions in our meetings and workshops to make this happen? 


I discovered this mixer during a dog walk in Friesland, The Netherlands. It stimulated my phantasy. I could remix lots of things or thoughts or plans or stories or people or places…

Imagine next time you enter the venue of the workshop, face-to-face meeting or conference you attend and the first thing you see is the oversized mixer. It’s standing right at the reception desk where you grab your nametag and workshop documentation. You walk in and the mixer is smiling at you: R E M I X

  • REMIX with other participants; connect and share ideas
  • REMIX your view with the perspectives of others
  • REMIX your last discussion with a discussion you will have in a minute
  • REMIX the stories waiting in the room with your own
  • REMIX your questions with new ones
  • REMIX your thinking, stir it up, shake it, think afresh

We need three mixers for inspiring workshops: 

A mixer for diversity in the workshop room

Connecting and combining ideas occurs organically whenever people from different backgrounds and cultures get together.
Tina Seelig in inGenius

A good colleague told me once the formula ‘ARE IN’ (thanks Marc!). It’s a formula for diversity in the workshop room. 

uthority to act (e.g. decision-making responsibility in an organization or community);
esources, such as contacts, time, or money;
xpertise in the issues to be considered;
nformation about the topic that no others have; and
eed to be involved because they will be affected by the outcome and can speak to the consequences.
Weisbord, Marvin: Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There!

A mixer to connect the people in the room

Connection drives innovation.
@timkastelle on Twitter shared by @hjarche

As facilitator it’s our task to create the right atmosphere that is inviting, connecting and arousing our creative thinking. A first chat is the best connector. The first conversation one-on-one with someone we don’t know yet allows us to get to know each other and discover shared interests. An inviting room and a clever seating arrangement, a good icebreaker adapted to the setting (I love the sociometric positioning as it gives a first impression who is in the room. KS toolkit);  all these helps people to connect. 

A mixer to connect the ideas and thinking in the room

Many have this idea of the true innovator toiling alone. But this is not true.
The reality is that the best creative is not made in a vacuum.
Creation of anything is always a collaborative process.

Once people are familiar with each other and first ideas and questions are exchanged, the 3rd mixer comes into action. It’s the mixer that connects ideas and triggers novel thinking.

  • My favorite and fundus for creative methods is Gogamestorming: There are many ideas for “Out of the box” thinking and many visual approaches.
  • And as always very valuable: Open Space, the big connector; and there are even humble bees and butterflies carrying ideas from group to group
  • Sketching at Work is very useful
  • Tina Selig gives further ideas in her book inGenius.

“An idea is nothing more nor less than a new combination of old elements” & hangs on the ability to see relationships
@Explorer on Twitter

What kind of mixer is standing behind your entry to the workshop room?

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