Welcome to Ontario DIG Community Lab & Innovation Hub

The DIG Idea

Great Ideas need Great Partners

Welcome to the Ontario D.I.G. (Disruption. Innovation. Growth.) Community Lab and Innovation Hub to showcase new technologies and techniques to support the Ontario, Canadian, and Global Agriculture Industry. We intend to create the Community Lab and Innovation Hub in Ontario, Canada, where agriculturalists around the world can learn, experiment and demonstrate the collision of traditional and modern technologies. Our goal is to provide resources that will help improve the lives of farmers, access to capital, access to technology, and build resilience into the global food supply chain.

The Community Lab is a working demonstration farm, similar to the National Institute of Rural Development, in Hyderabad, India - where farmers, students, and researchers from all over the world can learn how to integrate their skills with new technologies, gain access to tools and resources to increase productivity in farming while mitigating challenges related to climate adaptation.

The Innovation Hub is an incubator, accelerator, and commercial vehicle to scale or support the scale of ideas that will disrupt and enhance farming practices in Canada and around the world.


Goals

The Lab will focus on three pillars: Education, Skills Development, and Demonstration of new technologies.

Over the next five years:

• We intend to virtually train +100,000 people over the next five years through a virtual and asynchronous academic curriculum focused on Innovation with various sub-designations (e.g. poultry, dairy, etc).

• We envision training 1,000 people on site with advanced skills in supply chain management and innovation.

• Additionally, we intend to create a limited set of custom programs for 100 executives/industry leaders.

• Lastly, we envision welcoming farmers, students (elementary to university), as well as researchers and government officials from Southern Ontario and around the world to view and use technologies and methods developed or in use on the farm.

The Hub will focus on technologies around: AgTech, CleanTech, DesignTech, and FinTech.

Over the next five years:

• We intend to seed and launch 10 commercial ventures.

• Achieve one international success, one Canada success, one Ontario success, and seven local successes.


Education, Skills Training & Capacity Building

We believe in adaptation, the power of education, constant learning and knowledge sharing. Learners of our Lab will be able to gain the knowledge, skills and the support to create physical and digital artifacts and solutions to build awareness of and to mitigate challenges relating to climate adaptation. Learning experiences will hands-on, project-based and purpose-driven.

Facilitators will incorporate the farm land, equipment and research generated from the lab in their experiential learning activities. Learners will have the opportunity to learn from community leaders, artists, industry experts, researchers, technologists and lab members.

Education:
Learners will be able to earn a certificate in Applied Innovation from the University of Toronto. This certificate will be available through an online, asynchronous program available to distance learners around the world.  It will also be available to individuals with facilitated instruction onsite at the Lab.  

Skills Development:
Learners will be able to obtain professional designation in innovation P.A.In (Professional Applied Innovator) in concert with their existing P.Log (Professional Logistician) designation with the Logistics Institute. Programs will be available on weekends and during the week for individuals and corporate teams as they seek professional designation. 

Capacity Building:
If you would like to learn about being a Delivery Partner to bring this to your community, get in touch.


Community Engagement

We engage with communities through public gatherings and workshops because we believe that community needs are a key input of innovation.

Community engagement is a vital aspect of what we do by helping to build knowledge capacity around strengthening our relationship with food and stewardship. Engaging the public allows for diverse perspectives on the impact of food supply chain design, innovation and challenges to collide, expand, to be shared and to be heard.

Our Team

We are proud to work with a global team.  If you see our picture below, it is only because we are standing on the shoulders of giants.

 

Grayson M. Bass

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With a motto of "Imagine. Innovate. Build." he has formed and lead strategy initiatives and operations for start-ups to established multinationals around the world focusing on Innovation and Product/Portfolio Management.   He is a Teacher, Leader and Inventor.
 
A person of diverse interests and experiences, he has successfully worked with companies involved in Energy, IT, Private Equity, International Trade, Manufacturing, Licensing of Intellectual Property, R&D, Socially Responsible Businesses, Advertising, and Education.  This depth and breadth of knowledge has allowed him to bring a unique skill-set in how he approaches and leads organizations and a unique capability to find order in chaos.  

A native Texan and a global nomad, when he is not home in Toronto, you can find him on different parts of the globe seeking out innovative ideas and having conversations with interesting people.  He can easily be found within a large group of people by following the loudest laugh.  


Carolyn Van

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Carolyn believes it is our responsibility to use what we have to address global issues especially those that address our basic human needs. She also believes that in order to solve problems in this the ever evolving world we must harness the power of both traditional and modern technologies, tools and wisdom and to create space for more people to participate.

Carolyn has demonstrated experience in being able to mobilize and lead national initiatives through designing resources and programs and working alongside and building capacity in local communities.

Carolyn is a creative and strategic problem solver, an educator and a leader. Her ability to professionally connect the dots come from her diverse areas of interest and experience in a broad portfolio of sectors including healthcare, education, telecommunications, digital media and advertising.

Carolyn's accolades and deep insights have been recognized on public outlets including CTV News, Global Entrepreneurship Week, The Globe and Mail and The Financial Post.

A second generation Vietnamese-Canadian and child of war refugees, you can find Carolyn seeking out being the outlier in the groups and communities she chooses to be a part of - always looking to contribute perspectives, develop additional lenses and her connection to life deepened.

Aside from co-leading DIG, Carolyn is a sessional Post-Secondary Educator and a Strategic Advisor for Eschaton Solutions.

More at CarolynVan.com