Meet the Hub’s Student Leadership Team and Join our First Team Meeting


Headshot of smiling woman with light brown hairBy Margaryta Ignatenko, Operations Team Student Innovation Leader

Imagine a University of Toronto where every student’s experience is seamless from initial contact to graduation and beyond. A place where students feel a sense of community and connectedness, experience both academic and personal success and feel well equipped for their futures.

The Innovation Hub doesn’t see this as a distant reality – we are seeking to better understand the unique needs of U of T students through the use of student-centred design thinking. We value listening and empathising with our students, we seek out their voices whenever we plan, program and make decisions. We have carefully crafted a team which will collaborate with a diverse range of U of T students, community members and staff to explore the future of student experience at the University of Toronto. The team members’ different experiences, skill sets and educational backgrounds will provide a constant, authentic and diverse presence of student voices throughout the project.

Let the Team Building Begin

Headshot of smiling woman with red hair in grey topBy Julia Smeed, Innovation Hub Project Lead

Happy Monday!  It’s the first day of classes for most students in our St. George community, so let me begin by wishing you an incredible start to the new school year.  Amidst the whirlwind of activity going on around campus this week, I hope you can take a few moments to breathe that crisp fall air and appreciate the beautiful campus that surrounds you!

I’m excited to let you know that our student leadership team is now established and you’ll have a chance to meet them later this week as they introduce themselves on the blog.  I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but I can say that we have a fantastic team of students to lead our Hub.

Recap – Hub Progress to Date

Headshot of smiling woman with red hair in grey topBy Julia Smeed, Innovation Hub Project Lead

We are so excited to launch the Innovation Hub blog to provide a space for dialogue about innovative mindsets and methodologies and to document the story of the Hub.  Over the past two months we’ve been busy identifying our domains for innovation and preparing to build the Innovation Hub teams.  I’d like to first take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to the hundreds of students, staff and faculty who were part of this process.  It’s been so wonderful to work collaboratively and I am so excited to continue this work with you!

Creating the Domains for Innovation

Headshot of smiling woman with red hair in grey topBy Julia Smeed, Innovation Hub Project Lead

Since the launch and the Day of Learning, our five Domains for Innovation have been evolving.  A team of over 30 Ambassadors continued this work which led to six versions of the domains for innovation.  We are so pleased to say that thanks to all of the input and feedback from the community, we have landed on the following five domains:

Innovation Hour – July and August

The Innovation Hour is an informal morning coffee hour for staff, faculty & students who are interested in learning more about the Innovation Hub and sharing innovative ideas that will enhance the student experience at the University of Toronto.  It’s a chance to chat with colleagues about where innovation is already happening, to learn more about the Innovation Hub and to brainstorm opportunities for innovation.  Hub updates will be provided during these meetings.

Celebrating Failure

Headshot of smiling woman with red hair in grey topBy Julia Smeed, Innovation Hub Project Lead

The University of Toronto is home to some of Canada’s most famous research, discoveries and inventions.  It’s important to remember, however, that these successes were often preceded by many failures. The Innovation Hub seeks to create a culture where failure is allowed, and even encouraged in the creative process.  Our failures spark curiosity and allow us to learn.  Failure propels us towards innovation!

There are so many great reasons to fail!  Just take the advice of businessman, engineer & inventor Elon Musk:

Elon Musk Quote: "Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough" #CNBC25 - Elon Musk in an interview with Fast Company.