Recap of the Innovation Hub Presentation of Insights & Ideas

Headshot of bearded man with red hair and glasses in green checkered shirtBy Josh Hass, Communications/IT Team Member

The Innovation Hub Presentation of Insights & Ideas took place on Friday, January 27 in Desautels Hall at the Rotman School of Management. The event celebrated the unveiling of the opportunity canvases that the five domain teams had developed during the ideation phase, in consultation with the U of T community. Continue reading “Recap of the Innovation Hub Presentation of Insights & Ideas”

Join us at the next Innovation Hour!

The Innovation Hub has been talking to students about their experiences at the University.  We’ve also met with a number of faculty and staff to discuss their perceptions and insights about student experiences.  We need your insights.  Innovation Hub teams have crafted project ideas to help the University meet student needs. We would like to invite staff, students, and faculty to our upcoming Innovation Hours to learn about some of our ideas and provide insight and feedback.  We hope to see you there! Continue reading “Join us at the next Innovation Hour!”

From Research to Design: Six Key Insights from the Operations and Design Team

By AlexHeadshot of smiling woman with curly blonde hair in blue dressandra Rodney, Student Innovation Leader, Operations Team

At the Innovation Hub, the Operations and Design team is providing support to the five domain teams. Over the course of this project our team has switched gears from a focus on “research” to a focus on “design”. Why the shift? We purposely wanted to move the conversation to a focus on design-thinking in order to help team members break free from other research methodologies and approaches to problem solving. In this way we can encourage creativity by breaking free from our habitual practices and developing new ways of thinking. By encouraging a focus on design, we are contributing to helping the hub teams “undo” our learned problem-solving patterns and making way for innovation in both process and result. Continue reading “From Research to Design: Six Key Insights from the Operations and Design Team”

Positioning Students as Partners in our Academic Community

Headshot of smiling young woman with brown hair in pink top

By Jacqueline Beaulieu, Integrated Learning Experience Student Co-Leader

As a full-time PhD student in the Higher Education program at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, I study decision-making processes in student affairs and services and implications for shared governance in higher education. As the student leader for the Innovation Hub’s Integrated Learning Team, I thought it would be appropriate to contribute a blog post that integrates my own learning as a result of participating in the Innovation Hub with that from my thesis-related work. Continue reading “Positioning Students as Partners in our Academic Community”

Can Innovation Be Equitable?

Headshot of smiling young woman with red hair and lipstickBy Tamsyn Riddle, Student Co-Lead, Access for Every Student Domain

When the word “innovation” comes up, it usually refers to technological changes that make life more convenient: computers, smart phones, driverless cars. In equity-related classes, we often talk about the inequalities between the people who can afford such new innovations and the majority of the world, and we criticize innovation for focusing too much on capitalist notions of efficiency.

Continue reading “Can Innovation Be Equitable?”

Transfer Student “Tasha”

Headshot of bearded man with short dark brown hair  By Elvis Ibrahimovic, Fostering Connectedness Team Member

There is nothing more exciting than talking with students!  Almost as exciting, was spending a morning speaking with colleagues, students, and other stakeholders about students!  As someone who professionally identifies as ‘student-centred’, it was a thrill to focus in on a student (persona) during our Share back sessions. Personas are based on and represent real people, however all identifying information such as their real name and program of study are sanitized to protect their identity. Continue reading “Transfer Student “Tasha””

What will the University of Toronto look like in 100 years?

Headshot of smiling man with glasses and very short black hairBy Keita Demming, Executive Director of The Agency, UofT Alum, Social Entrepreneur & Innovation Hub Ambassador

Usain Bolt is the fastest man on earth, and as he ages he will inevitably lose that status. The opposite can be true for the University of Toronto. As time passes, it is easier for the University to maintain its position as one of the leading universities in the world. We have the resources, experience and expertise. Unfortunately, it is also just as easy to become complacent.

How does the University ensure that in 100 years, it will still be one of the leading universities in the world? Continue reading “What will the University of Toronto look like in 100 years?”

Respect and Reciprocity

By Bonnie Jane Maracle, Integrated Learning Experience Team

Being a student at the University of Toronto means that this person has been deemed capable of doing the work required, meeting the challenges of the coursework, and achieving success in career goals they may have in their sights. A student in studies at U of T is to be congratulated on gaining entry, and others in upper years, they too need to be congratulated for their success in managing to hang in there, or as they say, “surviving the rigors of academia.” Students at U of T might soon learn, or in some cases, not learn soon enough, of all the support services available to them. This may include the services of a learning strategist, or their registrar, or an academic advisor, or even a TA. Available to students are also career planning and accessibility services. Ultimately, there is certainly a wide range of services and supports to assist students in getting through their coursework. Continue reading “Respect and Reciprocity”

Are We Ready for the Future?

Headshots of two smiling young men with short black hair

By Vincent Tu and Ming Da (Tim) Li , Future-Ready Students Team


What does it take to help students gain a sense of preparation for their future? As part of the Future Ready Students domain, we embarked on our journey to listen to the voices of students who are preparing to enter the workforce. By doing so, we’re identifying common themes that echo throughout their stories, which will help inform us on what the University needs to foster future readiness for students.

We are undergraduate students ourselves, and many of our peers’ stories—with their dreams, distinctive life goals and concerns—deeply resonate with us. Continue reading “Are We Ready for the Future?”

Learning about Our Students from Those Working with Them

Headshot of smiling woman with shoulder-length blonde hairBy Denise Bentum, Organizational Learning Team Coordinator

By now you likely know that the Innovation Hub is talking to students in order to learn about their experiences at U of T. But did you know that we are also talking with staff and faculty to learn about their experiences working with students? This lesser-known aspect of the Innovation Hub is the work of the Organizational Learning team. Organizational learning refers to how knowledge is created, shared and preserved within an organization. We are trying to learn about how staff and faculty collaborate in order to share knowledge across divisions and how they collaborate in order to assist students. Continue reading “Learning about Our Students from Those Working with Them”