Learning and innovation go hand in hand, especially when there’s a chance to co-create and collaborate along the way. As we navigate major world events, this important moment in history offers a new way to think about education. With infinite data at our fingertips innovating for good makes the impossible possible in times of uncertainty.

Collaboration is one of the key 21st century skills that will help transform science and education. Collaboration means working interdependently and synergistically to make effective and substantive decisions together, while learning from and contributing to the learning of others. This skill can be found at the core of the work done by three of the Inspired Innovators.

Inspired Innovator: Jacky Deng

Jacky Deng is a CST Graduate Award recipient, pursuing a Master of Science in Chemistry Education at the University of Ottawa. His work focuses on how science education can better teach students to use data to make important decisions about complex global issues like climate change and vaccination.

Deng has always been interested in the intersection between science and art and is using those two skills to transform his approach to science education. He’s collaborating with other science teachers and using lessons from researchers like Trevor Bell to work towards addressing collective problems that affect society as a whole.

Inspired Innovator: Trevor Bell  

Trevor Bell is a 2019 Governor General’s Innovation Award Laureate. He is part of the SmartICE team that researches the effects of climate change on northern Inuit communities and examines how declining ice conditions are impacting safety, travel and community wellbeing. The SmartICE team asked if there was a way that technology could be adapted to help people travel safely on ice roads, and then developed a special technology to empower communities in northern regions to monitor ice trails. At every step of the process he is teaching and learning from Inuit communities to innovate through collaboration.

Inspired Innovator: David Brown

David Brown is a Governor General’s Innovation Award Laureate. While in undergraduate school, he found his passion after taking a course in industrial microbiology. He learned there’s a business side to science that could help him innovate for good. Brown developed a mushroom based chitosan preservative that could be used in foods and beverages as a replacement to synthetic preservatives.

The Intersection of Collaboration and Innovation

Each of these Inspired Innovators are creating their own paths in their specific fields. They’re asking questions and working with others to find innovative solutions that solve 21st century problems. Working with science-based facts, they’re pivoting research, education and practices to provide hope in a rapidly changing world.

This blog post is one in a series of Inspired Innovator blogs, through Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation’s partnership with the Rideau Hall Foundation. We hope you’ll follow along as we share more about the Inspired Innovators and the 21st century skills they’re using to succeed in today’s rapidly evolving world. Tune in to our social channels @CSTConsultants and @cstspark or follow along at @RideauHallFdn and @Cdn_Innovation for more innovation news.