Dear Future: I Think I’m Ready

Photo of KevinBy Kevin Mak, Innovation Hub Big Ideas Team Member & Curriculum and Governance Assistant, Faculty of Arts & Science

What does the term “future readiness” mean to you? For one, it may be as simple as having strong technical competencies or a well-thought-out game plan to ace that interview or score that job with that sought-after employer. For another, it may be as complex as having the courage, resilience, and belief that they will succeed in everything that they do, knowing that when doors are shut on them others will open, notwithstanding their own disabilities and the world’s uncertainties. In an attempt to unpack this concept of “future readiness”, the Innovation Hub set up our team: the Future Readiness Team. 

So what does our team do? Well, we’ve talked to a lot of people from different parts of the University to get their perspectives on the concept of future readiness and the ingredients that would make for a successful  course offering for U of T’s students. We’ve also researched existing programs, courses, initiatives, and data that are available within U of T to see how students are being prepped to be “future ready”. In addition to this, we’re also attempting to explore questions like: Why have students not been utilizing all of the resources offered? Despite the wealth of resources available, why aren’t students more confident about their future?

I found the consultation that our team had with Nogah Kornberg from the Rotman I-Think Initiative very useful, because it really got us thinking about the intricacies of the concept of “future readiness”.

With the help of Nogah, our project leader Margaryta Ignatenko and Project Officer, Julia Smeed, we were able to draw a map of the elements valued by the University’s different stakeholders. I believe that session allowed us to identify themes we might have otherwise overlooked. It also helped motivate our current research. Here’s a picture of our map:

Photo of a brainstorming session on a whiteboard.

Working on this project has been a humbling and eye-opening experience. Right when you think you have developed a thorough understanding of the emerging trends, new pieces of information, arising from a quick one-on-one or team session, can inspire other dimensions to further explore. Although there’s still some work left to be done before we present our findings, one thing is for certain, we’re attempting to make a difference. And we hope that you will continue to cheer us on!

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