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Social brainstorming clubs as an alternative to bars

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Povilas S
Povilas S Jun 18, 2022
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Public establishments where anyone willing can come to do any or all of the following - socialize, get ideas for solutions to their problems, help solve other people's problems, get their ideas improved, help improve the ideas of others. It is a solution to this challenge, inspired by the creative contribution of Mikhail Korsanov.
Why?
  • An alternative to bars, where you can come to socialize without alcohol
  • A place to try solving your own and other people's problems
  • Publicly present any idea of yours for prescreening/upgrading
  • Get some original ideas from others, help improve them
  • Combine brainstorming with socializing
  • It's both a challenge and a social igniter to open up about your personal problems in front of unfamiliar people and helping solve each other's problems strengthens human connections
How it works:
A public establishment, anyone willing can come to. It is divided into two main zones - brainstorming area and "free" area:
Brainstorming area:
In this section, you can either present your idea to those interested to hear it or present a problem (personal or other) to solve. Alternatively, you can be an observer/listener and participate in the brainstorming process.
Such brainstorming sessions could be organized in two (or more) different ways:
Loose format sessions: There's a big table/lounge corner, etc. where anyone can come and sit at any time. You can also leave at any time. It is dedicated to brainstorming so you are not supposed to just chill or talk about random things. Once enough (two or three is enough to start) people gather there, anyone willing/daring should either present a problem to solve or share an idea. It might be good to make two separate areas/tables - one for problem and another for idea sharing.
One person shares a problem/idea, others try to brainstorm some solutions/give feedback, improvement suggestions, etc. After that, another person does the same, roles shift consequently or randomly. If it's a problem, the conversation goes on until either the person is satisfied with offered solution(s) or until the brainstormers feel like they have nothing to offer anymore (can't really solve it) and it's best to leave the problem and move to the next one.
Since people would be encouraged to present their personal problems, such sessions might seem like something in-between group therapy and socializing, which is, I'd say, a double benefit. It's a different case regarding ideas.
Organized sessions: Alternatively, someone who knows in advance what idea/problem they want to present, could one way or another announce that and wait for people who are interested in that specific problem/idea to come and participate as brainstormers.
It would perhaps be best to use an online system for this - the initiator announces the title of the idea/problem, a specific establishment, time, and table/area at which the discussion will happen, and invites people to join. People then mark themselves as interested/coming. The initiator then decides whether it's worth doing it or not (according to the chance that enough people will gather).
It would be best to have both the loose as well as organized sessions in the establishment.
Free area:
In this section, you can simply chill and socialize without the need to brainstorm about something. It would have a bar with soft drinks and food serving and a lounge area where you can sit and relax. Likely there would be some natural brainstorming happening around when people start talking.
I think the balance between the brainstorming area and free area is necessary to keep the "party going". Once you are bored in the free zone/can't find anyone to talk to or simply don't dare it, you could go do some brainstorming, once you got tired of that, you could go back to the free zone and chill, engage in loose conversations.
You could pay for soft drinks/food with a good enough, original idea.
Business model:
It would be best if sponsors fishing for good ideas and talented ideators would financially maintain the place (therefore the entrance would be free). The sales of soft drinks and food could also be a good source of income, maybe even sufficient to maintain the place. Alternatively, there could be a small membership fee or a donation box at the entrance.
2
Creative contributions

Repurposing the existing bars

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J. Nikola
J. Nikola Jun 22, 2022
What do you think about repurposing the existing bars? What would it take? Would it work?

I think it could work in a similar way to PubQuiz nights but in a way of themed brainstorming dinners. It could start like a fun event, but easily become a series of well organized company-financed events!
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Povilas S
Povilas S13 days ago
It could work, although the idea is to make those places alcohol-free as a solution to the challenge.
Alcohol might serve as a catalyst to brainstorming, but it might as well be an obstacle, especially in larger quantities, also the noise in the place with drunk people wouldn't help.
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J. Nikola
J. Nikola8 days ago
Povilas S Then just ban alcohol for the people involved in brainstorming.
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Povilas S
Povilas S8 days ago
J. Nikola It wouldn't work if it was the same establishment, as I said, noise and everything and too much temptation with drunk people around
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Entice participants with a free drink

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Michaela D
Michaela D Jun 22, 2022
To get it started, those who want feedback entice others to join with a free drink (beer, coffee, tea, etc) or by paying for half of their drink. Everyone can set a maximum of free drinks they can buy. It would be worth it to pay an extra 10 or 15$ to get the brainstorming session started. When multiple people want feedback they split the cost of participants.
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