Lassonde to participate in Ontario's innovation-enabled workplace initiative

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The BEST Lab at Lassonde has received funding from the Ontario Government to work on developing an Innovation-Enabled Workforce for Ontario. The project brings together an inter-disciplinary leadership team of experts in both workplace innovation and educational program design.

The director of this new initiative is Prof. Maxwell, who is also the Director of the BEST program at Lassonde. It is also co-directed by Dr. Thomas Carey, co-Director of the project and the Lassonde School’s new Executive-in-Residence for Teaching and Learning Innovation.

“Our ultimate goal is to provide every student in Ontario higher education with experiential learning opportunities to develop their Innovation skills, knowledge and mindsets. And we are doing this in partnership with innovation leaders from Ontario organizations (initially three corporate and three public sector) and with innovative educators from other Ontario higher education institutions (currently four universities and three community colleges).”

In addition to hosting the project team, York is also involved as a Workplace Partner. 

“One of our key ideas is to treat our teaching and learning environments in higher education as workplaces for learning”, says Dr. Thomas Carey, “Our students will be adapting research-informed learning practices in their work and partnering with faculty as contributors to research and innovation on teaching and learning."

Those experiences will lead into capstone innovation projects in work-integrated-learning with our workplace partners. 

The goal of this new program is to provide every student in Ontario's higher education system with experiential learning opportunities to develop their innovation skills, knowledge and mindsets. This is being accomplished in partnership with innovation leaders from Ontario organizations and with innovative educators from other Ontario higher education institutions.

Plans for future development of this new program include 

  • Collaboration to create an initial specification of the workplace innovation capability that higher ed can enable students to develop for their careers and life roles, now and in the future.
  • Building of adaptable learning resources to foster the capabilities within higher education programs, and
  • Testing and revising learning resources, including adaptation by academic and workplace partners.

Below is a list of participating workplace and academic partners.

Workplace Partners                                    

Emily Moore, Hatch Engineering; Mississauga ON        

Karel Vredenburg, IBM Canada; Markham ON             

Andrea Ross, Shopify; Ottawa ON                       

Dhaval Shaw, Bank of Canada; Ottawa ON                                                                                                        

Danah Beseiso, CMHC; Ottawa ON                                      

Oswald Zachariah, OMAFRA; Guelph ON       

Academic Partners                  

Carol McAulay, York University; Toronto ON   

David Potter, McMaster University; Hamilton ON

Eileen DeCourcy, Humber College; Toronto ON   

Tania Del Matto, University of Waterloo; Waterloo ON           

Colin Furness, University of Toronto; Toronto ON

Richard Wiggers, Mohawk College; Hamilton ON

Kate Carter, Wilfrid Laurier University; Waterloo ON

David Trick, David Trick and Associates

Evaluation Partners

Cathexis Consulting

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