How an egg-shaped room is helping the Danish Commerce Ministry to hatch dozens of creative ideas.

By Chris Morrison, Business 2.0 Magazine

(Business 2.0 Magazine) -- Some call it the egg; others, the submarine. Officially it's the Mind, a whiteboard-walled capsule where Danish policymakers and businesspeople brainstorm together.

Inside the 15-by 12-foot space -- the oval shape is somehow meant to convey a lack of hierarchy and encourage the free flow of ideas -- they discuss business initiatives, existing laws, and anything else that might benefit from public-and private-sector cooperation.

"We wanted to throw a hand grenade into the government process," says Christian Bason, director of the MindLab, an internal consulting group in the Commerce Ministry devoted to improving government efficiency. "Inviting businesses into our space kick-starts things. It makes them part of the government's creative process."

Cooperation and inspiration sound great, but they don't just happen. "We force people in," Bason says. "Not physically. We tell them, 'We want to see 70 to 100 good ideas before you leave.'" Top of page

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