Reflecting on Innovation Hub’s Evolution

Julia photoBy Julia Smeed, Innovation Hub Project Leader

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.

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Innovation Hub Big Ideas Kick-Off

Headshot of young woman with dark brown hair in a red shirt 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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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.