Innovate and connect during Fanshawe's Innovation Week

Research and Innovation Day is one of the many events happening during Innovation Week at Fanshawe College.

From March 18 to 22, Fanshawe College will be holding it is first Innovation Week, a special seven- day event that will feature a whole bunch of events focused on helping students and faculty learn how to be more innovative in the work force.

Though the whole celebration is a new tackle for the College, some of the individual events have been running for years now.

Research and Innovation Day at the College has been running for eight years and continues to showcase the amazing innovative ideas of faculty and students at the college.

The day's events include seeing the creative ideas of participants, as well as an award ceremony for those whose work displayed the most creative and inventive techniques, skills or ideas.

There will also be a Q&A session where participating staff and students are the ones asking the questions towards those wondering more about innovation practices.

Alexandra Jaworiwsky, LEAP Junction's outreach and events co-ordinator at Fanshawe, said that they have those participating ask the questions, instead of those coming to them for advice on entrepreneurship.

“I think that asking students and giving them the opportunity to share what they think is most important for innovation at the College, is a really important initiative that we have a platform and are able to ask students and encourage them and get their opinion on what they think,” Jaworiwsky said.

Research and Innovation Day will be on March 20 in the James A. Colvin Atrium, beginning at 10 a.m. and awards to be presented at 1 p.m.

On another weekday, Stone Soup will be hosting their fourth running speaker panel and networking event, which is tied together with soup on the menu for those participating.

Annette Markvoort, LEAP Junction's manager of Innovation Village at Fanshawe, said that the event, based on an old folktale, is used to help match people. ‘Ingredients' in this case, to other people who could be a techy chicken or creative noodle, those of whom have skill sets that compliments that of your own and others.

When asked about why networking at Stone Soup works well to connect others from different programs, Kelsey Currie, supervisor for entrepreneurship services and who runs LEAP Junction, had positives to share.

“The whole point of the event is to meet people who aren't in your program. If you ever had an idea for a business, maybe not now, this is really a great event for you. People tend to think because you are an entrepreneur that you have to work alone all the time and that's really not true. It's all about making connections and collaborations. No one is an island. So reaching out to any people with complimentary skills can really help you start your business,” Currie said.

Check out Stone Soup on March 19 in B Atrium from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The idea of Innovation Week was inspired to come together because of the forthcoming Innovation Village project. Fanshawe College is attempting to expand the knowledge and expertise they can share with others to help innovate and create new opportunities for work experience in entrepreneurship.

Innovation Village is a new project LEAP Junction is working on in partnership with other parts of Fanshawe and those businesses working in association with the College.

The project hopes to transform the space of LEAP Junction and some of the library and other places into areas where students and faculty can work together in being innovative in business.

Markvoort said that when completed, Innovation Village will become an “experiential learning space and a way to engage students in a way that will give them job skills in the future”.