The AGILITY Idea Shop was officially unveiled recently at the University of Lethbridge, the latest in a series of innovation zones being put into place across campus.
"The Idea Shop is open to all majors and is a space that students can use for collaborating on new ideas, getting advice and assistance on moving ideas beyond the concept phase, and taking advantage of mentorship from a range of leaders in the region as well as those visiting campus as part of AGILITY’s speaker series,” says Tyler Heaton, manager of AGILITY.
Located on the second floor of Markin Hall, the Idea Shop gives all students on campus access to a comfortable and inviting room designed for active collaboration. In the Idea Shop, students can use tools such as a 3D printer for prototyping, wall-mounted presentation monitors and wall-to-wall whiteboards to enhance brainstorming and ideation sessions in order to get their ideas out in the open and start working on them.
AGILITY staff, visiting speakers, local entrepreneurs and business leaders will hold workshops, seminars and office hours in the area, providing students with access to mentors who can help them shape ideas, business models and social innovation endeavours. Students are encouraged to flip ideas upside down and turn them inside out to see what new solutions are possible.
“It’s a small space for big ideas. The ideas that are built here today will be the foundation for the innovations of tomorrow,” says Heaton.
A generous donation by U of L alumnus and accomplished local businessman, Bruce McKillop (BASc ’70), helped make the AGILITY Idea Shop possible.
“Through AGILITY, students learn about entrepreneurship and risk-taking in a supportive environment that is strongly grounded in liberal education, and when they graduate, they will be ahead of the game," says McKillop.
AGILITY is a multidisciplinary program open to all students at the U of L that fosters an environment of creative discovery, nurtures entrepreneurial thinking and provides the supports needed for students to develop and implement innovative solutions that impact and vitalize society.
Numerous supports are offered to U of L students through AGILITY. An academic experience which ignites students’ interest in technology, business and social innovation through coursework, workshops and public lectures. Financial support from various sources, such as the contributions of Dr. Cor Van Raay and Bruce McKillop, provide scholarships to attract and inspire the next generation of innovators. Tools and infrastructure are being put into place so students will have collaborative, flexible and open spaces to design, create, collaborate and learn.