This week Mishaal and I had the opportunity to take our learning and reflections on Design Thinking on the road. We traded the ballroom for Ryerson University’s DMZ and Sandbox locations in Toronto and joined 21 educators from across Ontario as part of the Innovation in Learning Conference, as well the We Centre for Me – Toronto. Our sessions focused on looking at innovation and design thinking and their potential impact on our work as educators. This learning cohort, comprised of teachers, consultants, administrators, superintendents and directors contributed to the day through the lens of a persistent problem in their current context.

Highlights for us included;

Common metrics: The notion that you need a set of co-created metrics so everyone knows what the goals are in advance

Participant responses around Innovation in Education

Support for iteration: Iteration is messy, things will not always work out and as leaders we need to walk the talk when it comes to supporting people when things go wrong.

Solving persistent problems

Organizational immune systems: If you attempt disruptive innovation in most large organizations, it’s immune system will come and attack you. Large organizations are set up to survive. There isn’t anything wrong with survival, but it often comes at the expense of remaining relevant as contexts change.

Immune Systems

Falling in love with the problem: We all bring biases and assumptions to our problem solving work. We are human. The key is to be aware of that fact and intentionally check them by staying with the problem longer before jumping to a solution

Fall in love with the problem - not the solution.

Love the adopters: The world desperately needs designers, creators and mavericks, but the unsung heroes of innovation are the adopters. That is where the hard work of implementing innovative ideas in local contexts can bring innovations to scale.

Unsung Heroes of Innovation

For more thoughts or to visit the ideas and slides we explored, please click here.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: