How is a co-creation session conducted?


    How do we begin a co-creation1 session?

    It is recommended that you begin each co-creation session with the following:

    • Introduction of the members of the Working Groups2 and the Facilitating Team3.

    • Explanation of the objectives of the session and the activities to be carried out.

    • Presentation of the Design Principles4 that will guide the work during the sessions (to learn more about these principles and their importance, review the Questions and answers section of Class 2, Co-creation Module II).


    How do we present the ideas or challenges identified during the listening process5 so that they will be helpful in the co-creation session?

    To provide a focus for the co-creation session, we can start by looking at a Topic Group6 or a specific challenge (selected because it is a priority, because it is the most important or because it is the most clearly defined, or the simplest to address ...) in order to generate more concrete ideas or solutions. For example: the "Crops" Topic Group, or the priority of water scarcity in a particular region or locality.

    The Facilitating Team will be responsible for choosing the Topic Group or the specific challenge.

    Additionally, the ethnographic profiles7 developed during the listening process can be presented again. In this way, we ensure that we keep in mind for whom we are designing.


    What tools can we use to generate more ideas and solutions?

    Design questions:

    This tool enables us to generate questions using the Thematic Groups as a basis and thus to look at potential solutions from a different perspective. It consists of asking questions in the form of "How is it possible..?” or “How might..?”.

    1. From the topic or groups of ideas we formulate a general question. For example: How is it possible to improve crops in the area of Andahuaylillas, Peru?

    2. Instead of looking to find an answer to the question, the Working Group8 has to come up with other ways of approaching that same issue, for example: How could we grow different types of mushrooms in Andahuaylillas? What other crops would be possible in that area? What crops have been introduced in nearby areas?

    3. Once the process is completed, three of these new questions are chosen to be used in the next brainstorming session.


    The aim of the brainstorm is to generate concrete ideas in a structured way, after having identified a specific challenge or need.

    It is an open process in which all ideas are welcome:

    1. Place the design question or challenge in the centre of the matrix.

    2. Discuss an idea based on the design question at the centre of the matrix for three or four minutes. Write the idea down on a post-it and place it in one of the empty boxes on the matrix.

    3. After reflecting on the first idea, the whole group must read the ideas that have emerged and develop them or generate new ones – by adapting the previous ideas or writing new ones. This process is repeated until each matrix is complete.

    4. When the brainstorming session is over, many new ideas will have emerged.


    What tools do we use to prioritise the ideas or solutions which have emerged?

    To prioritise the outcomes of the brainstorm, we will take a vote:

    1. Using the matrix with the outcomes of the brainstorm, each person votes for the idea or solution proposed which they liked the most and explains why.


    What tools do we use to develop ideas or solutions in greater detail?

    Concept poster:

    This tool allows us to make the ideas or solutions we are working on more concrete.

    1. Select which groups of ideas or specific idea are amenable to being developed.

    2. Begin by choosing a title that captures the essence of the concept.

    3. Briefly outline the aspects that should be part of that concept. What services does it include? What is new about it? What makes it original?

    4. Identify the target group at which this concept is directed and explain how it relates to the profile and needs of that particular group. Here, it may be useful to identify up to three target groups and describe them in detail.

    5. Outline the value and impacts that this concept or idea could have for the group at which it is directed.

    6. Start by making a list of the main actors involved: Who should be part of this? Decide which actors are crucial in order for this concept to come to fruition. They could be part of the team, people belonging to the public or private sector, or members of associations and organisations.

    7. Outline the business potential of this concept. Who would be willing to finance it? What new business model does it involve? What is its growth potential?

    8. Assess the strategic initiatives and existing knowledge on this topic.

    9. State the three most important next steps in order for this idea or concept to come to fruition.


    What tools do we use to assess the business model of a solution or idea?

    Business model canvas:

    There are several business model canvas templates available. One of the simplest is the one developed by Nesta in their DIY Toolkit (in English and Spanish).

    In the W4P India Platform, a more detailed business model template has been designed.

    Social business model canvas:

    In instances where you are developing a business of a social nature, you can use a social business model canvas.

    An easy to use version is the one developed by Tandemic, available in English by clicking here.



    1. Identify a challenge in relation to the work you have done with your organisation and discuss it using the format “How might ...?” Then prepare five additional questions (using the Design Question tool) for the challenge you have identified and share them with the learning community9.


    1. Co-creation: Process led by the community in which solutions are developed.
    2. Working group: Set of people participating in a co-creation or prototyping session, made up of different profiles of people, both from the community - in a broad sense - and experts. Its composition can be modified, and its number increased or decreased depending on the progress made as regards the idea being developed.
    3. Facilitating team: Group formed by, at least, one person from each organisation that makes up the W4P Platform of each country. Its function, among others, is to plan, run and monitor the process of co-creation and prototyping.
    4. Design principles: These are rules that enable us to keep the working values that we accept and share in mind during co-creation and prorotype process.
    5. Listening process: A set of tools and activities used to learn in detail about the needs, challenges and opportunities facing the community.
    6. Thematic group: Set of ideas or solutions, related in terms of topic or scope, identified during the listening process.
    7. Ethnographic profile: A simplified representation of the people, their main problems and needs. It allows us to translate the information from the listening process into a simpler and easily understood form.
    8. Social innovation: "New ideas (products, services and processes) which simultaneously satisfy social needs in a more efficient way than existing ones and create new and lasting social relationships or collaborations.They are innovations that are not only good for society, but also improve its ability to act."
    9. Community: Set of people from a territory or who share a common problem. In a broad sense, this concept includes various actors: informal (people), non-profit organisations (third sector), social enterprises, educational establishments, businesses, government and state organisations.