In March 2021, the Innovation Hub and the Centre for Learning, Leadership & Culture will launch a Design Thinking Experience Program (DTEP) for students and staff. Building on the success of the Innovation Hub’s student and staff DTEP bootcamps, this program will continue to address challenges in the student experience at UofT while providing participants with hands-on training in design thinking; moreover, it will bring staff and students together to encourage dialogue and broaden perspectives on what is possible at UofT.
As we approach the month of February, the Innovation Hub will be recognizing and honouring Black History Month, a period dedicated to celebrating the centuries of traditions, heritage and achievements made by African Diaspora across the world. This upcoming month, a new chapter of history will be added to this powerful novel, based upon the series of unfortunate events that transpired over the past year. The previously existing racial injustices and violence faced by Black communities were for the first time observed on a world-wide scale. But most importantly, what was clearly observed was the concern of not only the past and present, but the future to come.
‘Silence ensures that history repeats itself’Erin Gruwell
With restrictions in place in many of our communities being flexible and responsive to new ideas has become essential. By finding creative ways to work around limitations, design thinking has come to the forefront. Organizations (like the Innovation Hub) are using design thinking to solve their own unique set of challenges, and nurture mindsets that inspire change. Since the lockdown, our Leadership Team has been navigating and responding to internal challenges in new ways and are continuing to do so – many of which are explored in this post.
No matter how many times failure comes knocking at your door, it can feel like a stranger you don’t want to welcome in. Failure looks different for everyone, but the way we perceive it is often similar – a feeling of defeat after expending time and effort on a specific task. Although it sounds cliché, failure is a valuable learning tool. It presents an opportunity to put yourself out there and be vulnerable by attempting something for the first time. In fact, many organizations are beginning to adopt this practice of ‘failing forward’, a term coined by John C. Maxwell, as a mindset of separating mistakes from self-worth and intentionally stepping into unfamiliarity to seize more from life. At the Innovation Hub, failure has not only been welcomed but embraced in the work that we do. It is an essential part of solving complex problems to help us expand on our ideas and pivot towards the side of innovation. Much of our work won’t be where it is today without embracing failure.