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Second Mercier Seminar: Building Innovation Competencies


On November 9, more than 60 students heard insights into the future of university education from Dr. Thomas Carey (previously VP of Teaching and Learning at the University of Waterloo, now Executive in Residence for Teaching and Learning Innovation at the BC Association of institutes and Universities).

Dr. Carey shared his insights on how students can learn and integrate practical Innovation skills, “Big Picture” innovation knowledge and “Critical Friend” innovation mindsets to be prepared for increasingly competitive, fluid and challenging work environments. He stressed the importance of enabling all post-secondary learners to develop Capability for Workplace Innovation: the social process of creating enduring value by successful mobilization of new ideas in the workplace.

Dr. Carey suggested students should consider the following strategies to build innovation competencies for careers that don’t yet exist, undertaking jobs that don’t yet exist, in organizations that are yet to be created:

  • gain experience by engaging & reflecting with innovations in post-secondary ‘workplaces for learning’
  • extend experience by work-integrated learning in innovative workplaces
  • on-site and online learning in key skills for emerging economic opportunities
  • learning partnerships in Employee-Driven Innovation to shape changes in the workplace

Dr. Carey explained the interaction between these pillars, and that the bedrock of innovation is built upon competencies, capabilities and capacities which all go hand in hand in our increasingly connected world.

Dr. Thomas Carey gave a talk on innovation competencies at the Lassonde School of Engineering in Toronto

Dr. Thomas Carey gave a talk on innovation competencies at the Lassonde School of Engineering in Toronto

Dr. Andrew Maxwell (left) and Dr. Thomas Carey (right)

Dr. Andrew Maxwell (left) and Dr. Thomas Carey (right)