Democratizing Ideation: A Critical Need for Business Innovation


  • Sylvan Lobo
  • Bhaskarjyoti Das
  • Ravi Mahamuni



Ideation, Collaboration, Co-creation, Service Design


Businesses constantly need novel ideas to sustain and grow. Ideation techniques often rely on human skills. It is difficult for untrained participants to be creative and arrive at high-quality ideas in quantity. Service design aids businesses to enhance their product and service offerings. Ideation processes in service design and business context need special attention considering the variety of stakeholders involved and their limited familiarity with creative techniques. We aim to make ideation more democratic and accessible to business stakeholders with a focus on quantity as well as quality. Using action research and research-through-design methods, we explored several approaches to enable collaborative ideation. We did this by leveraging creative techniques to enhance participants’ abilities to ideate effectively across design workshops. We discuss key takeaways and challenges from our experience, pointing towards looking at ideation as a lifecycle and the need to integrate service design sensitivity to ideation.