Season 2: Episode 14 – How to Come Up with Great Ideas – Interview with Ewan McIntosh [Podcast]


In this episode, we are excited for you to hear from Ewan McIntosh author of How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both. Ewan is the founder of NoTosh, a company that makes accessible to schools and other organizations the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan was a French and German High School teacher before moving from the classroom into technology research and leadership as Scotland’s first National Advisor on Learning and Technology Futures. Ewan’s education projects are varied, working with schools on design thinking and developing leadership, helping create the world’s first TEDx event by and for eight year olds, and turning the textbook on its head through interactive developments. Ewan frequently gives talks and workshops around the world, trying to find new and better ways of using emerging technologies in education, and exploring the changing physical environments that are required to best harness these opportunities. You can check out Ewan’s TEDx London talk on the importance of problem finding. 

  1. What is the beautiful question behind your book: How to Come Up with Great Ideas?
  2. In your book, you outline design thinking strategies and tactics within a framework called the Three Horizons. Can you give us an overview of each phase?
  3. Talk to us about some of the work in education that you have been doing using the Three Horizons framework and design thinking. What are some of the challenges schools and districts are addressing using this approach?
  4. You talk about the need for leaders in schools to balance “business as usual” with the need to innovate? How might leaders address the challenge of time in order to design innovative work?
  5. Tell us about Rock Values and Whirlpool Values and how they are addressed in the Third Horizon.
  6. What is the role of prototyping in the Second Horizon?
  7. We were intrigued by your idea of mini-manifestos. Share with us the purpose and benefits of mini-manifestos in the design thinking process.
  8. What “beautiful questions” are you currently thinking about?

Join the Conversation

Each episode we leave you with a couple of questions to think about…with the idea of provoking conversation. This episode’s question:

  1. How might education be different if we applied concepts of design thinking regularly in our practice?
  2. What challenge would you like to tackle with the process Ewan has outlined for us today?

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