IC Week 3 (Nov 26-30)

The highlight of this week for me was organizing the first Imagination Catalyst peer critique. We had four presentations: Jess & Mark on TeamWave, Henry on LIFEbike, Stephanie on Thinking Different, and Mandad on Heal.X. It was the first time that I’d been in the room with all these folks at the same time, and in a few cases it was the first time IC participants were hearing about each others’ work in any detail.

We kept this first crit quite short, about 15 minutes per project. It wasn’t nearly enough: there were lots of questions, comments, suggestions and offers of help, and we had to cut each discussion off far too soon. Our next peer critique (in two weeks) will give each project 30 minutes, which they can choose to use how they like: 15 minute presentation + 15 minute Q&A, or 10 min presentation + 20 min discussion, or 30 minute user testing session, etc.

I also took part in the Career Development office’s Talent Lab workshop. The first part of the workshop was a self-assessment exercise based on William Bridges’ D.A.T.A. (desires, abilities, temperament, assets) model, from his book Creating You & Co.: Learn To Think Like The CEO Of Your Own Career. The second part was a business plan development process, in which teams of undergrad students had to pick a fictional “company” and then develop the strategy, financial, marketing and operations plans. The model was based on Jennifer Lee’s book, The Right-Brain Business Plan: A Creative, Visual Map for Success. (It’s a like Business Model Generation light!) I hadn’t heard of it before, but it seemed a good fit for the students, who weren’t familiar with business concepts. Each of the teams was made up of five undergrads who’d never met each other before and who had no business background. In just two hours they developed incredibly sophisticated plans. (It was yet another demonstration that an arts/design education is entirely appropriate for a career in strategy or business.) The final part of the workshop was by Carmen Jeffery, about using social media as part of a job search, and building a personal brand.

It was a valuable experience for me to see these students in action, to understand how they see their situations and the way they value entrepreneurship. It was also great to see the Career Development office staff (and their guest speakers) in action — it was their first time doing a workshop of this sort, but it flowed totally smoothly.

This week I also met with Christine (the Manager of Special Projects in the OCADU research office), who works on tech transfer and policy implementation — I expect we’ll be working together frequently. And Monica’s back from her trip, so I had my first meeting with her. Even rushing, we didn’t make it through all of the items we had to talk about — we’ll be meeting weekly, so we’ll be throughly the backlog before long.

Other stuff this week: I gave a guest lecture to a U of T architecture class, met with the City of Toronto public art office and Noel Harding about the Dawes Crossing project, chatted with Adrian about his Open Vancouver project and how to get the most out of this weekend’s RHoK Vancouver, and retired the Wireless Toronto server (consolidating for cost savings).

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