Contact usCareers

Listening to Good Ideas by Emily Spicer

This week I’ve been thinking about ideas. Where do the best ideas come from? Who do they come from? Does creative thinking just pop up from nowhere?

This musing has been very much grounded in my day-to-day reality over the last week. As part of the development of our new online courses (watch this space!), we’ve spent a week collaborating with some of our tutors and students to think big about how to produce a resource that really works for online learning.

Creative minds from as far apart as the UK and Armenia, Germany and India, came together to brainstorm, plan, and give feedback on ideas. As part of the initial brainstorming process we gave each individual space and time to write down and fully think through their ideas before sharing with the group.

The impact was incredible. With uninterrupted time and space to think, and to get ideas on to paper, without the loudest voices cutting in and overpowering, the group produced a fantastic array of diverse and high-quality creative ideas. Without that time and space, it is likely that the group would have focused in on one idea early on, led by the loudest voice, and we would have lost a wealth of possible innovative solutions.

Similarly, later in the process, when students provided feedback, they were asked to think individually within a small group guided context about their thoughts and ideas. Their ideas then fed into a collaborative map of suggestions for improvement and change, which we never could have produced alone.

This week has reminded me once again that a group of creative, critical minds is better than one, but only** if we really listen and give each voice space**. We want to keep putting our students at the heart of everything we do, so that our courses are not just developed for you, the student, but by you too. So we want to make sure that we keep creating space to listen to your voices, and your ideas.

Ready to apply for Oxford Summer Courses?

For a once in a lifetime experience, join us for summer 2023 where you can discover over 40 academic subjects taught by expert tutors. You’ll also meet other like-minded individuals from around the world and make friends for life! Apply today and choose from 3 stunning locations; Oxford, Cambridge and London.

Share this article


Discovering the origin of ideas and the power of collaboration. Oxford Summer Courses brings together diverse minds worldwide to generate innovative solutions. By providing space and listening to every voice, we create a creative and inclusive environment.

Get Our Newsletter

We deliver helpful tips, tutorials and thought-provoking articles to inform and inspire your professional development.

Our privacy policy states Oxford Summer Courses will use this information to contact you.

Oxford Summer Courses LTD

18 Beaumont Street, Oxford, OX1 2NA, United Kingdom

+44 01865 818403

B Corp Logo

Juniors 9-12


Oxford Summer Courses is an organisation which contracts with the colleges of the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and London for the use of facilities, but which has no formal connection with the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and London.
Oxford Summer Courses © 2024
Oxford Summer Courses is a company registered in England and Wales with company number 08011543