• October 30, 2020

In early October 2020, four members of the Lemay team – Andrew King, Marie El Nawar, Robert Fiorino and Nina Boccia – took part in the Rotman-SDA Bocconi Global Executive MBA program’s Innovation Challenge. The program, conjointly offered by the University of Toronto and Bocconi University of Milan Schools of Management, focuses on leadership development for students.

Organized as part of the GEMBA’s Business Design course, this was the first in a series of collaborations planned between LemayLab and the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management’s Business Design Initiative.

“One of the Lab’s raison d’être is to explore the major issues affecting people and the planet right now and consider how we approach design problems,” says Marie El Nawar. “Systemic shifts need collective, and truly transdisciplinary actions. The collaboration with the Business Design Initiative is a perfect example of that.”

Invited as guest critics, LemayLab representatives asked students to reflect on the following question:

How might we put marginalized populations at the centre of our design processes, spaces and places?

Over four days, the 40 students enrolled in the program worked in teams to identify specific user groups and use a business design toolkit to propose solutions for the diverse challenges experienced by the end users. They later received feedback from Lemay team members.

For Professor Angèle Beausoleil, Academic Director of the Business Design Initiative, Lemay was an ideal partner. “Lemay is in the business of design and is offering deep design practice as a service to impact organizations beyond the conventional architectural practice,” Dr. Beausoleil said. “This approach aligns with the patterns of successful companies that actively adapt their business models to the ever-evolving landscape of customer needs and socio-economic climate.”

This contribution to the academic field is part of LemayLab’s commitment to research and collaboration. Relying on applied creativity to solve the most complex and diverse challenges, Lemay’s research and innovation cell is co-led by Andrew King and Eric Pelletier.