Random words… words that give wings to our imagnation

What do we want to achieve with this exercise?

The participants 

  • break out of their traditional patterns of preconceived intervention strategies and let their imagination run wild with unusual associations between the project theme and a randomly selected word,
  • they open their minds and generate new ideas.
How will we develop it?

We draw up a list of 40 nouns numbered from 1 to 40 (see list below or in the padlet).

Step 1:   

We ask a participant to name any number between 1 and 40.

We write the randomly selected word on a card and place it next to the central theme of the project or our climate justice initiative. 

For example, if the project theme is “Food Security” and the random word is “Painting”, we place both words next to each other.

Step 2:   

We ask all participants to write down for the next 3-5 minutes any number of ideas that come to mind when associating these two words.

We ask each participant to generate at least 10 ideas, write each idea on a different card according to the visualisation rules.

We mention the key rules of the game:

All ideas are valid, no matter how crazy and unusual they may seem.

No idea should be discarded, because one idea can lead us to another important idea….

Step 3:   

Participants put all their contributions on a board, a blackboard or a wall and review each other’s ideas.

If they come up with other ideas from their colleagues’ ideas, they can add them.

Step 4:   

We can close by making the connection to our project:

  • What new ideas have emerged?
  • Which ones could we take up again to point towards the changes we want to achieve, to generate new products, to look for new strategies ….?
  • How did you feel about this exercise?
Step 5:   

We keep the ideas, if possible, we keep them visibly in a part of the room during the process of defining changes, products, strategies, etc.

Our first “random word” brainstroming

Here you can to the padlet and add new ideas to your initial brainstorming.

You can also RANDOMLY select another word to add new ideas making different associations.


Here the list of words. You can add words (only NOUNS, no verbs) to get new associations and continue developing your initiative.


Edward de Bono; ¡Piensa! Antes de que sea demasiado tarde