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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(Deadline: Nov 1) Cor Van Raay AGILITY Awards in Agriculture

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AGILITY serves students in all disciplines and faculties, with a focus on providing students with resources to enable transformative and innovative research with cultural, social and economic benefits for Alberta and beyond. One such support is the Cor Van Raay AGILITY Awards in Agriculture. The Cor Van Raay AGILITY Awards in Agriculture are for qualified continuing undergraduate students with current involvement in agriculture or agribusiness or an interest in innovation and/or entrepreneurship related to agriculture or agribusiness.  Applicants are invited to submit the paper application in addition to one of the following options: A one page description of their current involvement in activities related to agriculture (e.g. Junior Achievement, Canadian Youth Business Foundation, Community Futures, 4-H, self-initiated, family business, etc) A proposal for a project or research in an entrepreneurial endeavour or innovative development in agriculture or agribusiness. The Cor Van Raay AGILITY Awards in Agriculture are valued at $1,500 each. Up to five scholarships will be…

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From concept to reality: Charmed Playhouses

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  A local Lethbridge family is taking imagination to a whole new level by bringing to life childhood fantasies with their company, Charmed Playhouses. Husband and wife duo, Tyson and Audrey Leavitt, stumbled upon viral success after entering the market of luxury playhouses in early 2015. “It’s crazy. . . . We’re in Lethbridge, Alberta,” Leavitt told The Calgary Herald. “It’s a Prairie town, population of (about) 90,000 people, and here we’re building the most expensive and luxurious playhouses in probably all the world. “It’s one of those niche markets that no one else is really doing.” Quote from Huffington Post   Before founding Charmed Playhouses, Tyson owned three landscape-related businesses while Audrey was a Registered Nurse, fitness instructor, and stay at home mom. After consistently seeing backyards with straightforward and uninspiring swing sets, Tyson hatched the idea to design beautiful, high-quality playhouses where children can dive into their imagination while…

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What is a Social Entrepreneur? | ChangeCreatorMag

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Written by Adam Force, Founder and CEO of Change Creator magazine app,  April 23, 2016. To read the full article, please visit: Change Creator Magazine.  The terms social entrepreneur and social entrepreneurship were used first in the literature to social change in the 1960s and 1970s. The terms became more popular in the 1980s and 1990s, promoted by Bill Drayton, the founder of Ashoka, and others such as Charles Leadbeater. Before the term gained traction, those who fit this description were outsiders or radicals that seemed to bring positive change to deprived communities single-handedly. Characterized as extremely optimistic visionaries who had infinite willpower, they use entrepreneurial skills and innovation to address significant social and/or environmental problems. Profit did not motivate this free-thinking and inspirational group. Years ago they didn’t have a name but today we call them, Social Entrepreneurs. Similar to the way business entrepreneurs change the face of business, social…

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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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No Film School | Learn the Camera Philosophy of VR’s Most Cinematic Studio

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Written by Oakley Anderson-Moore from No Film School on May 19, 2016. From tinkering on their own cameras in the pre-VR days of 3D cinema to creating VR experiences like award-winning Inside the Box of Kurios and Lebron James: Striving for Greatness, creative team Félix Lajeunesse and Paul Raphaël of Felix & Paul Studios have set a high water mark for the cinematic experience of virtual reality. Their latest project, Nomads, now out on Gear VR and coming soon to Oculus in 6k, is a three part series following nomadic tribes of Maasai in Kenya, sea gypsies in Borneo, and the yak herders in Mongolia—and it’s absolutely breathtaking. No Film School sat down with Paul to talk about everything from his philosophy of composition in VR, to the fragile sense of presence, to taking on fiction in his next VR projects. NFS: People characterize VR as a medium where there’s no cinematographer, because…

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Agriculture: An Uber Moment For Entrepreneurs

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Written by Tom Taulli, a contributor on Forbes / Entrepreneur. As Uber and Lyft have demonstrated, there are huge opportunities in applying new-fangled technologies to traditional industries. Entrepreneurs do not even have to necessarily have domain expertise. Hey, Uber co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick had no background in the taxi industry – other than he disliked the customer experience! So then what are some other categories that are ripe for disruption? Well, one to consider has actually been around from the beginning of civilization – that is, agriculture. “We are at the doorstep of a new era in agriculture that will accelerate innovation and empower more innovators,” said Matthew Crisp, who is the co-founder and CEO of Benson Hill Biosystems. His firm is focused on cloud biology, which involves the intersection of big data analytics, cloud computing and biological expertise to address significant global issues like drought tolerance of crops…

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