Generating ideas

Through Creating our Future we want to co-create ideas to change the world.

The more ideas we generate from housing association staff and tenants, the better chance we have of coming up with the groundbreaking solutions we need.

So we need your ideas.

What are we looking for?

After speaking to people from across the housing sector, we’ve identified the following social challenges that your ideas should address:

  • Realising potential
  • Home of tomorrow
  • Prioritising people.

These social challenges are broken down into Eight themes.

Already got an idea that’s ready to share?

If you’ve got an idea to share, click here.

How to generate great ideas

In innovation, it’s important to distinguish between ‘thoughts’ and ‘ideas’. Thoughts are the list of things people produce during a brainstorm. Ideas are different, more developed. Here’s how to help others to understand how to bring an idea to life.

Our ideas need to have three elements:

  1. Title
  2. Description
  3. Drawing or image

We are keen for as many people and organisations as possible to share ideas. You can support this by running an Ideas Lab in your organisation.

1. Invite colleagues to your Ideas Lab

This poster-maker may help.

2. Show colleagues these introductory videos

3. Introduce our opportunity platforms

Download and share our eight themes.

4. Take a look at others’ ideas

The ideas shared so far are here.

5. Explain the behaviours of innovation

We have three behaviours to introduce to get the most out of your colleagues.

Expansive and reductive thinking

There are two main types of thinking processes that exist, and both are important:

  • Expansive thinking: also known as ‘thinking outside of the box’, this where you have no limitations and you’re free to propose any idea, no matter how crazy it sounds.
  • Reductive thinking: the most common type of thinking, where you take whatever has been brought up in the expansive thinking process and limit it and simplify it.

A great brainstorming session requires both processes in order to work. A great crazy idea probably can’t be translated directly into reality, but no awesome ideas ever came from thinking inside the box.


Far too often we kill an idea before it’s been fully explored. Greenhousing is all about positively building on each other’s ideas, in order to grow them to a stage where they are strong enough to be judged. This behaviour helps us to think expansively as a group.

The SUN technique

Use the SUN technique helps groups to greenhouse ideas as they emerge.

The ‘T bar’

As highlighted, ideas need to have a title, a description and an image or drawing.

Share your ideas

Once you have an idea that’s ready, share it with us.

Invite others to share an idea

Invite colleagues and contacts who are passionate about innovation in our sector to share their ideas.

Still have questions?

Please contact us on or 020 7067 1184.