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.
By Irene Duah-Kessie, Ethnography/Insights Expert and Research Lead for the First Nations House Project
Hello! My name is Irene and I am one of the Ethnographers on the Innovation Hub’s research team. I have a great interest in the social determinants of health and health equity and I am excited to learn more about students’ needs and experiences on campus. This summer I will be leading a research project with First Nation House (FNH) to explore the question: How do students engage and connect with First Nation House?Continue reading “Call for Participants: Help Us Reimagine the First Nations House”
By Danielle Lum, Project Assistant & Mia Sanders, Storyteller
Hello there! Our names are Danielle Lum and Mia Sanders, and we’re members of the 2018 Innovation Hub Summer Team. Danielle just started in her position of Project Assistant, and Mia is continuing their role as Storyteller. As our first public duty, it’s our great pleasure to introduce to you our amazing summer team. Since the Innovation Hub’s inception two years ago, hundreds of students, staff, and faculty from across the university have come together to tackle challenges around improving student life here at UofT. We’re indebted to everyone who has contributed their valuable time and energy thus far, and we’re excited to build on their work at this juncture of the Innovation Hub’s evolution.
Choosing the team for this summer was not an easy task, but we couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out. We’re looking forward to a generative, activating, and challenging summer at the Innovation Hub. Keep reading to get to know our team!
As the Innovation Hub enters its third year, we are excited to announce that there are some great opportunities for students to join our leadership team! This work can only be done for students, by students, so we welcome applications from students from across all disciplines and study levels at the University. Continue reading “The Innovation Hub is Hiring!”
By Michael Clark, Manager, UX at EASI and Innovation Hub Big Ideas Team Member – Student-Faculty Exploration Cafe
I initially heard about the Innovation Hub during a conversation with Julia Smeed. Through our conversation, I learned that the purpose of the Innovation Hub was to bring students, staff and faculty together in an effort to improve the “U of T Experience”. And, that’s where my involvement came in. Continue reading “Exploring Conversations Between Students and Faculty”
By Monique Gill, Innovation Hub Big Ideas Team Member – Neighbourhood Communities
Diversity is a quality that is celebrated widely across the University of Toronto campuses. Our Neighbourhood Communities team is looking at ways in which we can harness the diversification of our student population, and more specifically student neighbourhoods, to better cultivate student connection and U of T spirit. By collecting data on our student’s geographical areas, we are looking at the feasibility developing a platform that would allow U of T students to meet up in their very own neighbourhoods to facilitate student self-organization like social events, study groups, and ride sharing. Continue reading “Finding Community at U of T”
By Kevin Mak, Innovation Hub Big Ideas Team Member & Curriculum and Governance Assistant, Faculty of Arts & Science
What does the term “future readiness” mean to you? For one, it may be as simple as having strong technical competencies or a well-thought-out game plan to ace that interview or score that job with that sought-after employer. For another, it may be as complex as having the courage, resilience, and belief that they will succeed in everything that they do, knowing that when doors are shut on them others will open, notwithstanding their own disabilities and the world’s uncertainties. In an attempt to unpack this concept of “future readiness”, the Innovation Hub set up our team: the Future Readiness Team. Continue reading “Dear Future: I Think I’m Ready”
By Chelsea Kowalski, Innovation Hub Big Ideas Team Member & 4th Year English Student
Over the course of an undergraduate degree, the average student will spend four years here. I’m along that track right now. Four years of needs and wants, questions and curiosities, tricks and campus hacks. But I- like every student- have come to discover that four years is not enough to learn it all. There is always another resource, another group, another organization I never knew existed before that might have been helpful. This is where the UofT Concierge idea could make a difference.
It’s hard to believe that in a few months the Innovation Hub will be approaching it’s two year anniversary since our launch event in May, 2016. So much has happened in the past two years that I felt this would be a good time to reflect on this important work and what it’s meant to me and so many of the students, staff, faculty, alumni and other members of our community that have been involved.