Complexity: Medium
Time required: 1-2 hours
Material required: pen, post-its

Complexity: Medium
Time required: 2-3 hours
Material required: pen, post-its

The activity must be done in a group.

References: Nesta’s DIY Toolbox, diytoolkit.org

What is it for?

Thinking Hats is an interesting tool to use to uncover the many viewpoints that surround a topic. The activity stimulates conversations to take place that are structured around six clear functions and roles. This clear division of roles allows participants to have constructive conversations and discussions on the topic rather than endless, unfocused debates. The six hats to be worn in the exercise (factual, emotional, logical, cautious, out of the box and management) are useful also towards making a topic seem new and different and helps to create a shared understanding between the team.

How to use it?

Thinking hats can be done in two ways:

01 Everyone in the team wears the same hat and conversation is had from the same point of view. Once finished, everyone puts on the next hat.

02 Everyone in the team wears a different hat and conversation is had simultaneously from different points of view. The hats can be switched around during the discussion to force participants to change viewpoints.

Both methods encourage participants to organize discussion in a more effective manner. The hats can be worn in any order but might be easiest if worn in the order suggested in the template. If you don’t have hats, you can always wear badges with the themes on them.