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OCAD U one of the partners of upcoming CivicLabTO Academic Summit

A poster that reads "CivicLabTO Academic Summit: Collaborating on Renewal & Resilience" with a blue background and light blue illustrations of Toronto city buildings. The bottom of the image includes logos from participating organizations including OCAD U and the City of Toronto.

CivicLabTO Academic Summit

The City of Toronto is partnering with eight higher education institutions, including OCAD University, for a two-day, free and virtual CivicLabTO Academic Summit: Collaborating on Renewal and Resilience, hosted by York University.

The two-day virtual gathering on November 23 and 24 will bring together more than 60 presenters through 13 sessions and will also feature student-led arts and cultural programming.

In-depth discussions will take place with leading experts on issues related to post-pandemic recovery, renewal and resiliency, building on the collaborative efforts of the city and its academic partners York University, University of Toronto, OCAD University, Ryerson University, Humber College, Seneca, George Brown College and Centennial College.

“This summit is an excellent example of what can happen when we collaborate and how together we can contribute our expertise, experience and creativity to supporting our communities and the City of Toronto in building back better from COVID-19,” says OCAD U President and Vice-Chancellor Ana Serrano.

The summit will highlight how collaboration between academics and city government can ultimately lead to stronger public policy in the ever-changing urban environment with a focus on greater equity and inclusion.​

Sessions will concentrate on strategic priorities for the next chapter in the areas of public health; planning and adapting public space; stronger, safer, more just communities; arts, culture and recovery; transit and transportation; technology, innovation and equity; housing and health; climate change and green recovery; and economic resiliency.

Sessions featuring members of the OCAD U community

On Tuesday, November 23, at 1:30 p.m., Dr. Glen Lowry, Executive Director and Advisor to the Provost, Partnerships, Outreach and Research, will introduce the panel members who will be discussing policy, practice and publics in Toronto’s cultural sector. Dr. Alia Fortune Weston, OCAD U Associate Professor of Creative and Business Enterprise, will be among the panel members.

Four OCAD U students will present work about OCAD U LiVE on November 23 at 3 p.m. as part of the cultural performances of the program. The students are Charlotte Durnford-Dionne, Elmer Bauman-Enriquez, Vladimir Kanic and Chris Markland.

On Wednesday, November 24, panel discussion at 9:30 a.m. will explore the theme of public health, specifically addressing the disproportionate effects that the pandemic has had on the city’s most vulnerable citizens. Among the panel members is Maya Mahgoub-Desai, Associate Professor and Chair of OCAD U’s Environmental Design Program. They will explore questions such as, How can research collaborations with higher education institutions prepare public health officials to better understand the needs of these communities and design interventions that address inequity?

Also on Wednesday, November 24, a panel discussion at 2 p.m. will on address imperative issues around (re)adapting public spaces towards an inclusive and equitable COVID recovery. Among the panel members is OCAD U graduate Zahra Ebrahim from the Strategic Foresight and Innovation Program.

Registration for the two-day virtual event is free, so register today.

As part of setting the stage for the CivicLabTO Academic Summit, there were five CivicLabTO Discussion Series conversations hosted earlier this year by Humber College. The summit and discussion series are part of the broader CivicLabTO programming, which brings together students, faculty, researchers and city staff to share information and best practices, as well as to identify opportunities to enhance coordination, collaboration, research, and program innovation.