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HBAs reinvent the library experience for the Deloitte Innovation Forum

Apr 4, 2019

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Ivey Lecturers Kanina Blanchard (left) and Colin McDougall (right) with members of the winning team and Deloitte representatives.

Ivey’s HBA1s helped the Toronto Public Library to turn a new page for the fifth annual Deloitte Innovation Forum.

Kicking off on April 1, the three-day event sponsored by Deloitte challenged the students to find ways to enrich the experience for the library’s millions of users. Working in teams, they had just 30 hours to research, develop a strategy, and pitch to judges.

The winning idea presented a unique twist: Instead of focusing on ways to bring people to the library, why not bring the library to the people? The students suggested the library construct booths with dedicated librarians in Toronto parks so people can explore the books and participate in cultural programs, all while enjoying the great outdoors.

Rethinking the customer experience

“Everybody is stuck inside all summer during the week. They’re not going to want to go to the library on the weekends. They’ll want to go to the park to enjoy the beautiful weather. Why not give them another vehicle and bring the library to them?,” said HBA student Omri Chazot, who was part of the winning team.

Vickery Bowles, Toronto Public Library's City Librarian, helped judge the event and said she loved the idea and the thinking behind it.

“Reaching out to people and serving them where they are is a great concept. This was a fabulous opportunity to get some insight from people who are at school and thinking about innovative ways of doing business or providing service,” she said. “I found the whole experience inspiring and it really gets me optimistic about the future and future generations and all of the tremendous contributions they will be making to the world that we live in.”

Think outside the box

During the event kick-off, Deloitte representatives Greg Rogers, HBA ’15, and Akash Pasricha, HBA ’18, advised the students to try not to get caught up in numbers and spreadsheets and to instead think outside the box and focus on the human need.

“I want to challenge you to honestly change your mind about something when you go out into the world and chat with folks – to actually let the world tell you something new,” said Rogers, who is a Business Consultant at Doblin, the innovation unit of Deloitte.

Ivey Lecturer Kanina Blanchard, who co-led the event along with Lecturer Colin McDougall, said it was a great opportunity for the students to learn from Deloitte’s proven innovation process while addressing a real-world problem.

The Deloitte Innovation Forum is the capstone event for HBA1s in 2019. This unique event moves students to further embrace the ambiguity of the real world and focus on making something great even better!

Kanina Blanchard

Congratulations to the winners from Team 2 of Section 1:

  • Saad Afroz;

  • Omri Chazot;

  • Erica Hamilton;

  • Michelle Li;

  • Ryley Mehta;

  • Ross Vender;

  • Maximilian von Teichman; and,

  • Jane Wang.