Standing up to Intolerance


Date: Mon, 16 January 2017
Location: Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West, Committee Room 2, 2nd Floor

In light of recent world events, intolerance and hatred have increased in the public sphere. At this interesting and interactive session, we will hear from Toronto’s top experts on how to be an ally, and how to stand up to intolerance in all its forms.

Hear from two dynamic experts on the subject, the City’s own Human Rights Office, Catharinah Kim, and the Executive Director of Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, Debbie Douglas. This panel will be hosted by Uzma Shakir, Director of Equity, Diversity and Human Rights.

We encourage you to read this short article before attending:

Tracking Ticker Toronto

Ticker mock-up

What’s the story

Tracking Toronto Ticker was one of the Innovation Lab’s first projects.

Tracking Toronto Ticker was the winner of the first Lab Action process. It was highly supported by the judges, and the process rallied an army of motivated volunteers, ready to make it happen.

“The Ticker” is a way to tell Toronto’s story through live statistics about our society, environment and economy. It’s an innovative idea that uses data already available on the Open data catalogue, and applies the existing concept of the stock or sports result tickers. The Ticker instead displays dynamic statistics such as average house price, transit ridership, consumer price index, unemployment rate and air quality with up/down symbols indicating change in figures since last month, last quarter or last year (see sample strip below). Continue reading Tracking Ticker Toronto

Lab Action!

What’s the story

Action Justien Van Zele 2014
Action! Photo by Justien Ban Zele

In April 2012 the Innovation Lab put out a call for innovative ideas to all City staff. It was a way to generate and implement ideas collaboratively. Lab Action! was our first project of this nature, and included a process for generating, building, mentoring and selecting ideas for the Innovation Lab to work on.

Continue reading Lab Action!

Luncha Kucha

What’s the story


Two Innovation Lab members, Vanessa and Amy, were faced with a few interesting problems:

  • Employees across the City are doing so much interesting, innovative, and challenging work but don’t often get to share it with people outside their team/division
  • Employees have a ton of knowledge, ideas, and experiences that they don’t use in their day-to-day work (ex: experience doing improv, passion for photography)
  • Employees don’t always have a lot of opportunities to improve their presentation skills Continue reading Luncha Kucha



What’s the story

TEDucation is about thinking together. Innovation happens when ideas come together, and when people are ready to make them real. At TEDucation sessions, we beam in a TED Talk (or some other online talk) from some of the best speakers on the planet, and follow it with a frank discussion about how the ideas presented apply to City of Toronto work.These events are intended for the Toronto Public Service, but we welcome all participants interested in discussing public sector innovation.

Continue reading TEDucation

The Storytelling Project

What’s the story

Storytelling AcumenA group of City Staff wanted to learn the art of storytelling to improve their abilities to present connect with co-workers. Adam, Clara, Graeme, Joanna, Manjit, Steven and several others followed the “Storytelling For Change” course, offered free online by Acumen+ and the Ariel Group between 2013 and 2015. Participants shared the belief that humans are hardwired to understand stories. Stories powerfully capture attention, and help connect ideas with action. We are able to share perspectives and build empathy through stories. Practicing storytelling skills can help advance the goals of the Toronto Public Service.

Continue reading The Storytelling Project