Welcome!

Welcome to the Innovation Hub.  Everyday, over 80,000 students engage with the spaces, communities, and systems of the University of Toronto. Today, the student demographic at UofT is vastly different from what it looked like a generation ago, and what it will look like a generation in the future. In the face of rapidly changing student demographics, questions arise around how we might design and re-design programs, services, and resources. That’s were the idea of an Innovation Hub comes in.

In May 2016, the Innovation Hub at UofT launched as a project of the Student Life Division, out of a desire to explore two questions: 1) Who are our students? and 2) How is the world changing for them? We wondered how the answers to these questions might shape the ways in which we design programs, services, and resources to support students throughout their time at UofT, from start to finish. To tackle these questions, we began by creating a diverse team that brought together over 100 students, staff, and faculty from across disciplines and departments to work in partnership with each other.

Innovation Hub Big Ideas Kick-Off

By Sneha Dasgupta, Innovation Hub Blog Editor

By early 2017, the Innovation Hub’s research survey of the U of T student experience was complete. We used this research to come up with  25 innovative ideas designed to create a better student experience. Of these 25, the following five ideas emerged as the most promising:

  • Chill Spots
  • U of T Concierge
  • Neighbourhood Communities
  • Future Readiness Course
  • Student-Faculty Exploration Cafe

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ILead’s ‘The Game’

Guest Post By Albert Huynh, Engineering Leadership Education Specialist at ILead (Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering)

Over the past few years, I’ve felt the need for us as a society to step up to bigger challenges (e.g. waste, energy usage, access to education, etc.). Having studied engineering myself, at first, I thought that the answer lay purely in improving our technical problem solving skills. However, the more I’ve learned, the more I’m convinced that solutions in the absence of self-aware leadership and deep humanity are destined to fall flat. With that in mind, I’ve tried to figure out how to bridge the technical knowledge of engineering with the human capacity needed to create positive change, particularly, not simply using one as an add-on to the other, but looking for ways in which the two amplify each other. This exploration has led me to direct, manage, and facilitate the ILead (Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering) social innovation program, The Game.

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Inviting Students and Staff – Get Involved in the Big Ideas Project Teams

Igor Meet the tea By Igor Samardzic, Innovation Hub Events Leader

Come one, come all!!

Last year I had the pleasure of participating in the Innovation Hub as a volunteer and this year I am leading the events team! This is an incredible opportunity to get involved and see change happen in real time!! I hope to see some of you folks join us on this journey.

The Innovation Hub at U of T is currently assembling teams of students and staff to explore the viability of 5 ideas that came out of an extensive consultation, ideation and prototyping process last year to discover ideas that will improve the student experience. This is a great opportunity to join a cross-disciplinary team of students and staff working together towards a common purpose, of creating a sense of community and connectedness among our students, staff and faculty.  The following ideas emerged and gained traction:

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Meet Our Team!

 By Apefa Adjivon, Innovation Hub Connector

Hello! My Name is Apefa Adjivon, and I am the current connector for the Innovation Hub. I have the great privilege of introducing myself and the I-hub team to you! Since August, we’ve all been spending time getting to know each other and working with one another to improve the student experience. Everyone on the team is extremely dedicated to their work, and excited to serve their peers and the greater UofT community.

So, starting with myself…

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Hult Prize October 12th Kickoff Event – Open To All Students And Staff

IMG_3411By Shonakshi Chaubal, University of Toronto’s Hult Prize Campus Director

The Hult Prize is the world’s largest student case competition for social entrepreneurs. In partnership with the United Nations, the Hult Prize Foundation hosts college and university events around the world in search of the next game-changing start-up. Each year, the Hult Prize awards one million dollars in start-up funding to the team of students that develops the most radical and breakthrough idea to solve one of our world’s toughest social challenges. The goal of the competition is to foster social entrepreneurship among the brightest, youngest minds across the world, and each year, wonderful solutions are developed and presented.

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Co-Curricular Opportunities at the Innovation Hub in 2017-18

 By Alexandra Rodney, Operations Team

The Innovation Hub is pleased to announce that the following Co-Curricular Record approved volunteer positions are available for students at the Innovation Hub for the Fall/Winter 2017/2018 academic terms. These positions will provide a rich learning experience to support students’ career development including training, practical opportunities to apply learning, coaching and feedback. In addition to this great learning experience, students will have the opportunity to be part of an engaging and inclusive community of diverse students. Students may join one of the eight teams in the Innovation Hub detailed below:

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Join the 2017-18 Innovation Hub Team!

By Clara Luca, Innovation Leader, Innovation Hub

This summer, I was hired to join the 2017 summer student team at the Innovation Hub. I worked with the UofT community to workshop and research the UofT Neighborhood Communities and UofT Concierge prototype ideas. I also had the opportunity to attend workshops and events around campus as well as several great training sessions to advance my knowledge of design thinking and develop my leadership skills. I also worked with the team as we created an amazingly colourful #DisplayYourPride piece. I’m so pleased to be continuing with the Innovation Hub into the Fall/Winter. Our team is growing and the Innovation Hub is now accepting applications for the 2017-18 team!

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Ideas Workshop

By the Innovation Hub’s Knowledge Management Leader Michelle Johnstone, and our Implementation Leader Clara Luca

 

 

 

 

On June 5th and 9th, the Innovation Hub invited students, faculty, and staff across U of T to offer feedback on our six prototyped project ideas. Toencourage participants to provide direct, meaningful feedback, they were arranged into focus group-like arrangements to ideate and co-create the prototypes which interested them most.

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