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Posted by Jutta Goldammer from Visionautik Akademie


Group size

1 – 500

Subgroup size


Is participant experience relevant?

It's okay if participants haven't seen the inside of a classroom in years.

Physical trust needed

Mental trust needed


Material Description

It takes some time and care to prepare a set of Tinspirations, but be sure that all the love and care you put into the preparation will automatically flow out when a Tinspiration is opened and spreads its good spirit!

What you need:

-20-30 little containers (tins, matchboxes, little jars, etc.) The shape is not important, but it is important that you cannot see what is inside and that they looks nice (It should be a delight and surprise to open one).

-A collection of little items that are of no practical use anymore but have the potential to inspire, e.g. a button, uncooked noodle, broken zipper, or feather.

Put one or two items into each container, close it properly and put them in a nice bigger box or a basket. Download and print out the step-by-step guide template and attach it to the box. Your Tinspiration set is ready to answer any kind of creative question.

Create materials quick and dirty

60 min

Create materials with love and care

4 hours

Available material for free




10 minutes – 30 minutes

Experience level of the facilitator

self explanatory, no experience needed


Level of activation


Hidden curriculum

-Don’t take the creative process too seriously!

-Problem solving is easy.

-There is no such thing as useless or unimportant. You can find solutions everywhere, even in the most unlikely situations, even if you think ”this has nothing to do with my problem.”

Woo-Woo Level – How touchy-feely is this method?

From 1.Rationalist-Materialist “No feelings here, folks.” to 5.Esoteric-Shamanic Bleeding Heart:

Innovation Phases:

2 Creating an Innovation-Friendly Culture
4 Idea Generation

Method Category:

Fun & Games
Idea generator
Problem Solving


Tinspirations are little tins or boxes that stimulate your creativity in a problem­solving or ideation process. Tinspirations are based on human curiosity and bring a touch of playfulness into your office, to your desk, or your seminar room.





You might know the tradition of Advent calendars: you have 24 little packages with sweets or small toys and open one per day to help children overcome the LONG time till Christmas. I grew up with this tradition and also prepared many Advent calendars for my children. It is a delight to witness this moment just before they open the package, this tension and expectation of surprise. So one December the idea occurred to us to make an advent calendar with inspirations for tricky problem solving.

Sometimes finding new ideas just happens and it is extremely uplifting. But sometimes the idea lurks just around the corner, almost there, on the tip of the tongue. Or a little further away. We dedicated the tinspirations for those cases: if the problem seems too huge to know where to start or if you come up with the same ideas again and again -- time for some playful ease.

This method operates on a very reliable human motivation: curiosity. In the moment of curiosity, mind and heart open to welcome something new. This basic attitude is extremely helpful to allow new thoughts to occur. Tinspirations then invites you to combine thoughts and find analogies you would not normally think of: the content of your tin will solve your problem. But what the hell has this little gear­wheel to do with my problem? Here you are ­ find out and you will see that it takes very little to lead you into a whole universe of new inspiring ideas and playful solutions.


Visionautik Akademie



1 Needing an idea

You want to have a good idea.

2 Find a guiding question

Find a specific question: What exactly do you need a good idea for? What problem do you want to solve? This step is really important. The clearer your question is the more likely you will find an answer.

3 Get frustrated

You don’t have a clue. You could get a little angry or frustrated about it. In fact it often helps to get a little bit angry about not knowing how to solve the problem.

4 Choose a Tinspiration

Think of your question while you intuitively choose a Tinspiration with your left hand.

5 Find the solution within the tin

Examine the content: What can you learn from the content of the container in order to solve your problem? How can the object be the solution you’ve been looking for? You'll find the solution within the tin. Really! If it doesn't show up immediately it is an especially good one.

6 Celebrate

Be happy about the idea, jump up and down and shout “Eureka!” or something similar. Celebrate your success!


Implement the idea. Ready.



-You can use other containers than tins. Adapt it to the style and culture of your organization. For example, for a textile company it is especially nice to use textile bags instead of little boxes.
-You can provide them in a modified chewing gum or cigarette vending machine: an Inspiromat. In some cultures it enhances the trust in the method and helps to set a clear intention if you need to pay for your Tinspiration. It is also a nice accessory in the lobby of your creative enterprise.

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