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Program Updates

AGILITY Idea Shop a Space for Innovation, Collaboration

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Re-posted from UNews The AGILITY Idea Shop was officially unveiled recently at the University of Lethbridge, the latest in a series of innovation zones being put into place across campus. “The Idea Shop is open to all majors and is a space that students can use for collaborating on new ideas, getting advice and assistance on moving ideas beyond the concept phase, and taking advantage of mentorship from a range of leaders in the region as well as those visiting campus as part of AGILITY’s speaker series,” says Tyler Heaton, manager of AGILITY. Located on the second floor of Markin Hall, the Idea Shop gives all students on campus access to a comfortable and inviting room designed for active collaboration. In the Idea Shop, students can use tools such as a 3D printer for prototyping, wall-mounted presentation monitors and wall-to-wall whiteboards to enhance brainstorming and ideation sessions in order to…

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Week 5 and 6 Wrap-up

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In what felt like no time at all, the final two weeks of AGILITY’s first course came rushing up with deadlines and final projects. In week 5, students collaborated in their groups to create a prototype and presentation to be showcased in the last class. The four teams presented their final ideas to their peers, instructors, as well as community members, sharing the reasoning behind their projects and intended impact. Some even included business plans and additional marketing materials in order to further demonstrate their project’s feasibility. The ideas students developed included: • BookFarm by Sterling Clavelle, Jessie Neudorf, and Lisa-Marie Swanepoel • Fresh to You! YQL by Erin Gerrard-Evjen, Karen Ogilvie, and Michelle Boivin-Carriere • Reduce Food Wastage by Lindsey Nakamura, Shamria S. Latif, and Walt Barton • Restaurant Experience by Mikayla Kamiski, Doran Johnson, and Krysten Lumsden The idea behind BookFarm was to make it more feasible for…

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Themes in Innovation 2016 – Week 4 Wrap-up

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Ethics, a tricky but essential conversation to have when developing new ideas, was the main topic of week 4 in Themes in Innovation 2016. Dr. John Usher led students through a discussion on various aspects of ethics, including the implications of technology, philosophical underpinnings, and finding solutions to ethical problems. In relation to food, the class delved deeper on ethical implications related to food giants, pseudo foods, and supermarket strategies that influence shopper purchasing behaviour.  John also highlighted differences between ethical dilemmas, choices between right vs. wrong and right vs. right, the doctrine of double effect, and Type 1 and Type 2 problems. In the latter half of the week, students pitched their final project ideas to a panel of judges (as well as the rest of the class) that identified a potential food related issue requiring innovative problem solving. From there, students then chose the top three projects that they would dedicate…

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Themes in Innovation 2016 – Week 3 Wrap-up

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Students delved deeper into design principals in Week Three with Associate Professor Leanne Elias. As one of the faculty involved with the Fine Arts Data Physicalization Lab, Leanne charged students with a hands on activity to engage their critical making skills by coming up with solutions on how to bridge the gap between creative ideas and physical representations. The activity? Take four black boxes and arrange them in different ways to convey the meaning of a word. Data physicalization aims to help people explore, understand, and communicate data using computer-supported physical data representations. In the Fine Arts Data Physicalization Lab, U of L students and a variety of scientists work together to explore the intersection of art, new media, and scientific data. AGILITY students were able to sample the process that Data Physicalization students follow in order to gain an understanding that seemingly impossible constraints, once worked on, are actually not as limiting as initially thought….

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Themes in Innovation 2016 – Week 2 Wrap-up

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Dr. Bruce MacKay really kicked off the theme of this year’s class by giving a guest lecture titled “The Implications of Food”. During his discussion, Bruce talked about genetically engineered salmon, FDA regulations over modified animals, and the implications to the future of our food. One such case that was used was AquaBounty Technologies, the first company in the world to gain FDA approval in order to sell genetically modified food animals.  Bruce also brought up the real cost of pork production. Everything from the effects of hog manure in tailing ponds, the impact on a community from emphasized racial and poverty inequalities, and global export operations were examined by using case studies of large, tightly-controlled indoor hog operations. The main example came from Duplin County, the top hog producing county in the United States with 530 operations and the capacity to farm over 2 million pigs. The case highlighted just how impactful a…

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Themes in Innovation 2016 – Week 1 Wrap-up

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What a great first week of classes! We kicked off our course with a design thinking workshop modelled after the Stanford Design School design thinking virtual crash course followed by a prototyping facilities tour and ‘The Thing from the Future Game” in the second class. On the first day, students were presented with the challenge of redesigning the gift giving process, going through the entire design cycle in 90 minutes. Working with a partner, students learned to gain empathy through interviewing their partner, identifying their needs, and then created a custom solution. What made the class especially interesting was the diverse mix of majors. Almost every faculty was represented with students ranging from Fine Arts, Computer Science, Management, Biology, Language Studies and more. While the workshop was challenging for everyone that participated, the solutions created really demonstrated the ingenuity that comes from going through the 5 stages in the design process….

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Bruce McKillop: Supporting the Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow

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“To be an entrepreneur, you have to be open-minded and willing to take a risk,” says local business leader and University of Lethbridge alumnus Bruce McKillop (BASc (BA) ’70). “But — you have to be smart. You have to be inquisitive. You have to think things through. And you have to be able to execute on your idea.” After spending the last four decades in business in Lethbridge, you could say that being an entrepreneur is in Bruce’s blood. His father, Charles (Bud) McKillop, was the founder of McKillop Insurance & Registry. Bruce’s daughter (and fellowU of L alumnus) Sonya McKillop (BMgt ’01) followed in their footsteps and is currently at the company’s helm as president, making McKillop Insurance & Registry a third-generation family business. Having set his roots in Lethbridge, Bruce says supporting local initiatives is one way he gives back to the community that helped him along the…

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Cor Van Raay: Planting Seeds for the Future

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In a small shop in southern Saskatchewan, Dr. Cor Van Raay (LLD ’15) came across a sign that neatly sums up his approach to business: if you find a job you like, you’ll never work a day in your life. “Whatever you choose to do should be fun at least 80 per cent of the time,” Van Raay says, reinforcing the mantra above. “The other 20 per cent of the time it will be hard work.” It’s that balance between a passion for agribusiness and a strong work ethic that has established Van Raay as one of the area’s leading agricultural innovators and entrepreneurs. Originally from Holland, Van Raay began farming in Iron Springs, Alta., 50 years ago with a half-section of cropland and a small herd of Holstein cattle. Since then, he has built one of the largest and most successful cattle production and feedlot operations in the country….

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AGILITY Summer Course: Themes in Innovation 2016

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Are you a change-maker? An innovator? A problem solver? A creative dreamer? The University of Lethbridge AGILITY program is offering a new course for you! In Themes in Innovation 2016, you will learn about foundational ideas and principles of innovation, and gain skills in topics such as: Design thinking Creative thinking and problem solving Business planning and market identification Social Impact Teamwork and collaboration 3D Printing and digital prototyping This course is a combination of theory and practice, with time in the classroom and the workshop. Our goal is to help you build the collaborative and creative skills that will help you become an effective innovator. Innovation is a multidisciplinary endeavor, and we invite all majors to participate.

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Keeping Pace With Technological Change

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Thank you to everyone who attended the fourth lecture in the AGILITY Innovation Series, Keeping Pace with Technological Change with Mr. Paul Oss! As a Public Affairs Officer for the Government of Alberta, Oss was able to provide insight into the communication innovations that Government has adopted in order to stay connected to Albertans. Oss shared with students case studies from campaigns he personally worked on, such as Student Aid Enhancements and a traffic safety campaign named “No Fun Being Dead“, as well as outlined the steps needed to create a digital marketing strategy for your own advertising purposes. Weren’t able to attend the presentation? View the PowerPoint for Keeping Pace with Technological Change here! To view full event details, please click here.  

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