The Ambassador meetings were a time and place to meet, bridge and connect with our new coworkers, the Innovation Hub Ambassadors. Walking into the room I see a number of faces of people I met with in the previous weeks. The clear enthusiasm they bring is warm and comforting. The meeting format is similar to the Innovation Hour format.It’s 9am at Cumberland house and we quickly settled into our discussion. The Ambassadors each split into discussion groups. The questions were designed to draw upon the experience of each Ambassador and help us get to know them and the strengths they might bring to the project. Quickly, personal experiences began to emerge from both students and staff. We heard about diverse student experiences, staff who want to create programs and services to better support students and even alumni who want to give back to U of T. I listened and learned so much as each person shared.
Afterwards, I consider what has just happened. Slowly, through sharing experiences, a community has begun to form. Through open discussion, without admonition or censure we together form the beginning of what should be lasting, substantive change. By listening to our stories, we imagine possibilities of how we can design a better experience for University of Toronto students.
The one thing we all share is that we can see a way for university to be better to be than it is. What struck me most from meeting all of these Ambassadors is how many people have already started designing solutions for some of the challenges they see here.
Each month we’re hosting Innovation Hours – we hope to see you there so that you can join in the conversation.