xFutures: Understanding Change. Leading Innovation.

xFutures Exhibition poster
Thursday, May 26, 2016 - 4:00pm to Thursday, June 9, 2016 - 10:00pm

Join us at the third xFutures exhibit, featuring the work of the students from the Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation (SFI).  Special focus will be placed on our graduating students and several of them will present their Major Research Projects in a Pecha Kucha presentation.

Opening reception on Thursday, May 26, 2016 - 6 to 9 p.m.

Venue & Address: 
49 McCaul Street
xFutures Exhibition poster

xFutures Exhibit

Thursday, May 26, 2016 - 10:00pm to Thursday, June 9, 2016 - 9:00pm

We are delighted to invite you to the opening of our third xFutures exhibit, featuring the work of the students from the Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation (SFI).  Special focus will be placed on our graduating students and several of them will present their Major Research Projects in a Pecha Kucha presentation.

I hope you can join us on Thursday May 26 from 6 – 9 pm at OCAD U’s 49 McCaul The exhibit continues until June 9.

Venue & Address: 
49 McCaul Street
xFutures poster with event info

OCAD University teams competing for $1 million Hult Prize

Photo of Team Zero members
Photo of Team Jade members
Friday, February 26, 2016 - 5:00am

Two teams from OCAD University’s Strategic Foresight and Innovation Program will soon travel to regional rounds of competition for the $1 million Hult Prize. The prize awards the best social enterprise that can double ten million people’s income by the year 2020.

Team members in the Jade Initiative, Courtney Cooper, Vincent Galante, Ziyan Hossain and Lisa Hart, are heading to Shanghai to pitch their idea to leverage the value of trash to create meaningful jobs and clean cities in the developing world. The city of Dhaka, Bangladesh, for example, has 100,000 people who make their living as waste-pickers. The Jade Initiative would take these people out of the dump and create franchise opportunities and networks for entrepreneurs around recycling collection, on-demand junk removal and waste aggregation services.

OCAD U’s second group, Team Zero, is travelling to the regional competition in Boston. Calla Lee, Melissa Tullio and Christine McGlade will be pitching their idea to manage food waste. The idea would employ women in developing countries to collect food waste from restaurants, compost it and then sell it to urban farmers as fertilizer. Most megacities in developing countries don’t have any municipal compost collection.

The Hult Prize regional competitions are happening March 11 and 12.


SFI Faculty Member outlines the potential of Experiential Futures practice in The Economist

Strategic Foresign and Innovation
Friday, December 18, 2015 - 5:00am

Professor Stuart Candy's article in The Economist's annual print/app/online look at the year ahead, "The World in 2016", outlines the potential of Experiential Futures practice for enabling public imagination and foresight in organisations, as well as in the wider culture.


SFI Alumn Featured in Huffington Post

Strategic Foresight and Innovation
Thursday, December 3, 2015 - 5:00am

Madeleine Ashby, graduate of the Strategic Foresight and Innovation program (MDes 2011), was recently featured in the Arts and Culture section of the Huffington Post.

Her short story (a spinoff of her Master's thesis), “By the Time We Get to Arizona,” published last year in Hieroglyph, a science fiction collection, was highlighted as an example of solution-oriented science fiction.

Read the article here: http://huff.to/1HtMTKW
Read Madeleine's MRP here: http://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/104
More about the SFI Program: www.ocadu.ca/sfi

SFI Faculty Commissioned to Host Electoral Futures Event

The Situation Lab
Monday, November 2, 2015 - 5:00am

Stuart Candy of the Situation Lab was commissioned by Elections Ontario to host an Electoral Futures event on September 26. The goal of Electoral Futures is to create an understanding of topics being studied in academia, projects being undertaken by citizens and research opportunities identified by electoral officials — and how we might bridge the gaps. The event was held to coincide with Democracy Week 2015.

(Originally published in The OCADU Insider).

Inaugural Sustainability Forum sparks dialogue

Making seed paper
Faculty Member Lillian Allen
Photo of woman holding up a sign
Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 4:00pm

The lobby of 100 McCaul St. was animated with papermaking workshops, musical performances, research presentations and other activities on Tuesday, November 10th.

The first-ever Sustainability Forum got students, staff and faculty thinking and talking about sustainability in their lives and in the OCAD University community.

Some highlights:

  • Strategic Foresight and Innovation student Ayomide Sami-Orungbe took individual portraits of 50 people and their pledges to commit to sustainability, which were then displayed in a slideshow. 
  • Faculty member Ian Clarke (LASS/IS) presented his project, the Passive Solar Greenhaus, and Roberto Chiotti (Faculty of Design) showed video of his eco-friendly, off-the-grid Straw Bale House.
  • Studio Management highlighted initiatives to reduce, reuse and recycle, and offered bins of free art and design materials available for reuse.

The event was coordinated by the Office of Diversity, Equity & Sustainability Initiatives in collaboration with the Sustainability Committee, AV Loans, Copy Print, Facilities Planning Management (Mailroom and Work Order Request), Studio Management and Marketing & Communications.

Strategic Foresight and Innovation teams sweep Association of Professional Futurists awards

Image of card game called the thing from the future
Friday, July 31, 2015 - 4:00am

SFI students and faculty received high praise at the Association of Professional Futurists awards in San Francisco in July. OCAD University’s teams picked up awards in four categories:

Most Significant Futures Works

Advancing methods and practice:

"The Thing from the Future" (game) Stuart Candy and Jeff Watson, Situation Lab

Illuminating futures through artistic work:

"Byologyc/Zed.to" (cross-platform) Trevor Haldenby and The Mission Business

Student Awards

Graduate team project, 1st place:

"The Futures of Democracy" (Foresight Studio report) Chris Connolly, Laura Dempsey, Ron Memmel, Amy Satterthwaite and Jill Sharrock

Alternative media, 1st place:

"The Next Familiar" (Major Research Project) Karen Maxwell and Shannah Segal

SFI graduate Kelly Kornet was also nominated for the final Most Significant Futures Works category (analysing a significant future issue) for her MRP exhibit "Causing an Effect.”

This follows last year's success when SFI teams placed first and second in the Student Awards.

The Association of Professional Futurists is an international community of professional futurists dedicated to promoting professional excellence and demonstrating the value of futures thinking.

"This is the second year in a row that the Strategic Foresight and Innovation program has picked up top honours," said SFI Assistant Professor and OCADU Situation Lab director Stuart Candy. "We as faculty and our students have been working to make some real contributions to the field where foresight and design intersect, both in the classroom and beyond. It is wonderful to have those contributions recognised by our colleagues in the professional futures community."

How do we get Canadians talking about death and dying?

Image of Karen Oikonen sitting at desk.
Monday, June 8, 2015 - 4:00am

Only 30 per cent of Canadians have advanced care plans for themselves.  These plans help doctors and families know what patients want when it comes to end-of-life palliative care.

OCAD University student Karen Oikonen has tackled this problem as part of her Strategic Foresight and Innovation major research project.  Oikonen focused on the issue of making it easier for families who live far apart to communicate and get better info about their sick loved ones.

She experienced the problems with the system first-hand when she lost her dad to cancer.  Oikonen flew to Thunder Bay almost every other weekend, leaving her two-year old son at home and often arriving back in Toronto at 6 a.m. and going right to work.

“As we move away from where we’re born we still want to be connected to our parents and their well-being,” says Oikonen. There are some big problems with the current system. Medical practitioners are only allowed to give details and updates to the patient’s power of attorney over the phone – so if you’re living across the country and aren’t your parent’s POA, you’ll have to rely on someone else for info or get on a plane.

“When my dad died it changed everything,” says Oikonen. “The world didn’t look the same for me anymore.”  She was mid-career and looking for a masters degree.  When Oikonen heard about the Strategic Foresight and Innovation program, “I knew, this was it,” she says. 

You can learn more about Oikonen’s project and the exciting work of other innovative Strategic Foresight and Innovation students at their graduate exhibition, xFutures, on now until June 17th at 49 McCaul Street, Toronto.

How Canada can be 100 per cent reliant on renewable energy by 2050

Strategic Foresight student Ryan Church
Friday, June 5, 2015 - 6:00pm

“If countries like Norway can do it, we can too," says OCAD University student Ryan Church. He’s created what he calls a realistic plan to get Canada completely off fossil fuels as his project for the Strategic Foresight and Innovation program.

Ryan used integrated cybernetics to create the plan that includes ideas such as switching to HVDC cables (high-voltage, direct current) for our long-distance power transmission cables and creating a biomimetic energy grid. 

Originally from Maple Ridge, BC, Ryan previously studied science pre-med and art history. He chose the Strategic Foresight and Innovation program because he likes to dabble in business, sciences and the design world, and OCAD U is unique in offering that combination.

Ryan’s renewable energy plan is currently in the hands of the federal and BC Green parties, and Ryan has already received some positive feedback. On top of school, Ryan has his own company, BiomeDesign which combines biomimicry, design and thinking about the future. His company’s latest project is developing a more efficient wind turbine.

You can learn more about Ryan’s project and the exciting work of other innovative Strategic Foresight and Innovation students at their graduate exhibition, xFutures, on now until June 17 at 49 McCaul Street, Toronto.