Inviting Students and Staff – Get Involved in the Big Ideas Project Teams

Headshot of smiling young man with short brown hair and glasses By Igor Samardzic, Innovation Hub Events Leader

Come one, come all!!

Last year I had the pleasure of participating in the Innovation Hub as a volunteer and this year I am leading the events team! This is an incredible opportunity to get involved and see change happen in real time!! I hope to see some of you folks join us on this journey.

The Innovation Hub at U of T is currently assembling teams of students and staff to explore the viability of 5 ideas that came out of an extensive consultation, ideation and prototyping process last year to discover ideas that will improve the student experience. This is a great opportunity to join a cross-disciplinary team of students and staff working together towards a common purpose, of creating a sense of community and connectedness among our students, staff and faculty.  The following ideas emerged and gained traction:

  • Chill Spots: Based on the student needs identified by the Whole Student Development domain team, Chill Spots could use spaces that students already frequent to set up community spaces that could include charging stations, couches and microwaves, and be facilitated by community animators.
  • U of T Concierge: Based on the student needs identified by the Fostering Connectedness domain team, the U of T Concierge could act as an initial contact point for wayfinding and referrals. The concierge could also have an online component, connecting students to a 24-hour response tool.
  • Neighborhood Communities: Based on the student needs identified by the Fostering Connectedness domain team, Neighborhood Communities could be set up to virtually connect students who live in the same geographic area so that they can self-organize activities such as ride sharing, social events and study groups.
  • Future Readiness Course: Based on the student needs identified by the Future Readiness domain team, the Future Readiness course could be a customizable course that incorporates career education and skills development, placement opportunities, and partnerships with U of T alumni for mentorship and career learning.
  • Student-Faculty Exploration Café: Based on the student needs identified by the Integrated Learning Experience domain team, the Student-Faculty Exploration Café could re-purpose an existing central space on campus to act as a hub of activities that support engagement between faculty and Teaching Assistants and students.

Each one of the 5 teams will be tasked with researching and prototyping the idea, getting feedback, completing a viability analysis of the idea and presenting their finding to members of the university’s senior academic leadership in early spring 2018. This is a great opportunity to meet new people, learn from other perspectives and contribute to a common purpose.

Diverse group of people mingling at a workshopChart paper with lots of sticky notes on it



If you are interested in learning more and getting involved please visit:

Deadline: Oct 31st 





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