Welcome to Ontario DIG Community Lab & Innovation Hub

The DIG Idea

Great Ideas need Great Partners

We look at the world differently. We hope you do, too.

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 where farmers from Ontario, Canada, and around the world can use and demonstrate new technologies that will 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 can travel, learn and build skills around new technologies, learn about and gain access to tools to increase productivity in farming, and mitigate 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.


Food Series

A test kitchen for those looking to transform the culinary world (while tackling the challenges from climate adaptation) through slow cooking ventures - to address the impact that a competitive hospitality industry is having on our climate and highlight opportunities within technological advancements in food-science.

Our onsite chef as well as visiting guest chefs will prepare a feast to remember.


Playground

We offer hands-on, project-based and purpose-driven educational experiences. Learners will gain the knowledge, skills and support to create physical and digital artifacts expressing their understanding and proposed solutions to mitigate challenges relating to climate adaptation.

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.

We aim to facilitate and foster inclusionary perspectives and participation on the impact of climate adaptation. We welcome everyone - including youth, newcomers, post-secondary students to come and learn with us.


Speaker Series

Climate change is often perceived to be “too big” of a topic to be understood and therefore addressed by everyone. The education design around it has contributed to the exclusion of this global issue. Art has the power to transform awareness in to something that is experienced. And it can be utilized as a medium for public engagement and consultation.

Learn from our artists in residence as they build their narratives, bring others along the journey, and to call others to take part in our future. Artists are free to use the lab, hub, the land, the input and any output created towards our future state as inspiration/as the backdrop of their work. Residencies can be self-directed or rented out for those who want to facilitate programmed residencies.

  • Science-fiction novel writers

  • Digital concept artists

  • Video game designers

  • Graphic novel writers

  • Film makers

  • Musicians

  • Muralists and street artists

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

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

Carolyn wants everyone to know that they can take part in solving problems through the ever evolving and growing digital world - not only because of her love for technology - but because of it’s ability help us understand the power within ourselves.

She believes it is our responsibility to use the modern technology we have developed and evolved to solve global issues.

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

Carolyn's business, entrepreneurship, leadership and technology 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 who was born and raised in Toronto, you can find Carolyn seeking out being the outlier in the groups and communities she chooses to be a part of - always looking to have her perspective expanded and her connection to life deepened.