Mash-Up Innovation

2-40 people

Mash-ups is a method of generating ideas through collaboration, where participants combine various elements to create innovative concepts. The process involves brainstorming around different areas, such as technologies, human needs, and existing services, and then rapidly combining these elements to produce new and exciting ideas. This approach highlights how quickly and effortlessly innovative ideas can be generated.

Workshop steps


First, initiate a brainstorming session: Gather the entire group and focus on brainstorming in these three areas: 1. TECHNOLOGIES (e.g. telephone, 3D printing, GPS) 2. HUMAN NEEDS (e.g. love, transportation, waking up in the morning) 3. EXISTING SERVICES (e.g. Google Translate, Spotify, Candy Crush) Allocate 3 minutes for brainstorming each area. Instruct participants to write one idea per sticky note (physical or virtual). Keep the brainstorming lively and quick. Encourage participants to announce each idea as they post it on the wall. By the end of the session, there should be three large groups of sticky notes on the wall (or virtual board), one for each area. Aim for as many ideas as possible!


Mashup Activity: Divide participants into small teams of 3-5 members. Inform them that they have 12 minutes to generate as many mash-up ideas as possible. A mash-up idea combines 2 or more elements from the wall to form a new concept. Each team must assign a catchy name to their mash-up and record it on an A4 paper, along with the combined elements (e.g., iPads + Doing Laundry + Paypal = Launderfy). For online sessions: Set up breakout rooms for the teams to collaborate and document their ideas either on paper or digitally. Periodically send time reminders to the breakout rooms to maintain a fast-paced atmosphere.


Presentations: After the allotted time, ask each small group to share their mash-up ideas with the rest of the group. Display all the ideas on the wall to showcase the variety of concepts created. Online instruction: Gather all the ideas and display them in a single location to exhibit the range of concepts generated.


(Optional) Refine: An additional optional step involves having participants select their preferred and/or most viable combined idea and spend 30 minutes enhancing it. They should delve into the specifics of the concept, its features, and a potential business model. Each team should use a flipchart paper to illustrate their idea and then showcase it to the rest of the group.


Discuss the experience by asking participants to ponder on the following questions: - How did working creatively like this make you feel? - What aspects were simple? Which were difficult? - Describe your feelings, actions, and reactions. - What self-discoveries did you make? - What did you learn about developing ideas? - How will you utilize these learnings in the future?

Need help with this workshop?

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Anna Lundqvist
UX Designer and AI Ethics Strategist guiding innovative product development and educational workshops
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Eddy Salzmann
Design lead and team culture enthusiast driving products and design processes
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Ola Möller
Founder of MethodKit who has a passion for organisations and seeing the big picture
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