Collider Talks # 2 | A look inside the #Brainstrust

Regard Vermeulen | Graphic/Web designer

Franklin Roosevelt surrounded himself only with people he trusted to advise him. He trusted them so much that they were responsible for shaping many of America’s policies at that time. This group of problem solvers were termed Roosevelt’s “Brainstrust”.

While a Collider #Brainstrust cohort doesn't tackle world issues, they are responsible for helping each other solve the problems that are stopping them from progressing. The cohort uses community focussed design thinking, and - a lot of trust.

Each session is facilitated by Chris Jackson, who has 13 years experience exploring design studio practice, design thinking and innovation. Although not a literal design thinking process, he views #Brainstrust as a facilitated problem solving session using design thinking tools, drawing on his varied experience, which amplifies the collective ability of the group.

Each week a member of the cohort presents a problem they’ve been facing and the rest of the cohort discuss, map, brainstorm and employ design thinking techniques to deliver a whole new way of tackling the issue. Chris has found that some of the most challenging problems have also been quite personal. Consequently, trust has become a critical factor in the creation of the each group.

#Brainstrust has been one of the most insightful processes I have had the pleasure of being involved with.

From both an honesty (while feeling very secure) and ‘aha’ point of view, this design-led process has opened my eyes to new ways of viewing what sometimes feels complex - in other words, simplified and clarified situations.

Being able to contribute to helping solve other peoples’ challenges has been very rewarding.

- Peter Kerr | Message Maker, Punchline

As a result of Chris’s brilliant facilitation skills and the way he walked my cohort through some design thinking tools, I now have clarity and confidence as to the next steps my organisation should take.

- Helen Kirlew-Smith | Manager, Urban Dream Brokerage | Producer, Letting Space

It’s been exciting to be a part of the #Brainstrust experiment. I’ve learnt a lot – even the delivery has been an exercise in design thinking. If you’re feeling blocked or like you’re out of ideas DO THIS! I’ve met some great people, and come away with some inspired approaches to assist our community engagement.

- Joanna Matthew | Executive Director of LIANZA 

A #Brainstrust cohort is open to anybody curious about this out of the box way of problem solving,  and you don't need to have a problem to grow from this experience. A new cohort will be starting on Friday the 22nd of April, and will run for the next five weeks. If you're interested in taking part, please register your interest here