Rose, Bud, Thorn

One of the most popular and effective of Design Thinking activities and Emotional Learning is called Rose, Thorn, Bud.

It is based off the idea of the Boy Scouts of America who are taught to be methodical, thorough and analytical about each situation they encounter.

Scouts and students in school are routinely encouraged to identify

• one positive experience (Rose),

• one negative experience (Thorn), and

• one new goal or insight (Bud).

Adapted for use as a design method and emotional learning, this structure provides an opportunity to analyze a project, process or problem and reveals areas for us to focus on and plan our next steps.

A simple way we can run this activity is by:

• Identifying a topic/ project for this exercise

• Gathering a diverse group of stakeholders

• Give each participant a marker and 3 post-it pads

• Explain the topic and color key

o Rose = Things that are positive (Pink)

o Thorn = Things that are negative (Blue)

o Bud = Things that have potential (Green)

• Get each participant to generate as many points as possible.

• Only include one issue, idea or insight per post-it.

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