Cookhouse x Humber College — “Insurance, Innovation & Design Thinking” Lecture [Oct 3]

We hosted the fantastic Insurance Management post-grad students from Humber College at our downtown Toronto Lab space. Our Program Director, Ibeth Ramos Ayala, provided a tour of the Lab to our young guests and delivered an engaging session on “Insurance, Innovation, and Design Thinking”. 
 
A big thank-you to our student innovators and Humber College Program Coordinator, John A.F. McNeil, M.Ed, CIP, for joining us — we can’t wait to see you co-create at our upcoming WinterHack 2022: College & University Design Thinking Ideathon this November! 

Trend Hunter — Future Party 2022 [Sep 27]

We’re proud to be a chosen part of the Future Festival World Summit 2022, where we ran an innovation jam and facilitated a live Design Thinking co-creation immersive experience for attendees.

CxO InsurTech Summit 2022 [Sep 8]

CxO InsurTech Summit 2022 [Sep 8]

Our Program Director, Ibeth Ramos Ayala, was invited to speak about the basics of human-centered design and how to begin developing insurance products that truly meet your customers’ needs.

Location

Online, Virtual

Innovation Snack: Sustainability in Insurance — Global Ideation Session  [Oct 12] 

With recent alarming headlines around climate change, it has become more critical than ever for insurers to play our part and shift towards more sustainable practices. 
 
But what does ‘sustainability’ mean for the insurance industry? 
 
We’re exploring this question in our ongoing “Sustainability in Insurance” initiative, where we invite insurers from all around the world to share their ideas on how to make an impactful change in the following 3 areas: 

  1. Making and Implementing Practical Sustainability Changes  
  1. Increasing Awareness Around Sustainability to Incentivize Stakeholder Action  
  1. Establishing Sustainable Business Propositions and Transparency   

Join us for a 30-minute Innovation Snack ideation session, facilitated by our Lead Innovation Coach, Ibeth Ramos Ayala, who has trained in Design Thinking at Harvard and MIT and brings 10+ years of innovation experience to the industry! 

DATE: Wednesday, October 12, 2022 
TIME: 10 AM – 10:30 AM EDT 
LOCATION: Virtual, Worldwide 
FEE: Free for the community! 

WinterHack 2022: Q&A session [Sep 28]

Interested in joining this year’s WinterHack 2022 — a friendly innovation competition between colleges and universities?

Join our upcoming Q&A session to learn more about the event format, expected outcome, and exciting prizes!

DATE: Wednesday, September 28, 2022
TIME: 12:30 – 1 PM EDT
LOCATION: Virtual

Event Format  

  • 2 day virtual global event + 3 hour final pitch  
  • Facilitated ideathon following Design Thinking methodology in breakout sessions   
  • Ideathon period: Wednesday, November 16th and Thursday, November 17th, 2022  
  • The 2-day ideathon period will be held from 10:30 AM to 6:30 PM EST.  
  • Final Pitch Event: Friday, November 18th at 11 AM EST  

Questions? 

Please do not hesitate to reach out to Insiya Meherally, our Community Manager, at insiya.meherally@cookhouselabs.com

THIA Innovation Summit [Oct 19]

Back by popular demand, THIA is hosting its popular Innovation Summit in person this fall in downtown Toronto.

Join us on Wednesday, October 19th at Cookhouse Labs in Downtown Toronto from 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM EST for this one-day event to explore the leading edges of technology, business and insurance advancements, while meeting other travel health insurance movers, shakers, and doers. The all-day Innovation Summit will feature multiple keynote speakers, panel discussions, and a startup showcase of the next wave of insurance services. There will also be several opportunities to network with your peers throughout the day.

Some of our confirmed speakers are:

Erin Bury, Co-Founder and CEO at Willful — Erin has been named one of Bay Street Bull’s “2021 Women of the Year”. Her company, Willful, offers a platform that has helped thousands of Canadians create their estate plan online simply, easily, and for a more affordable price than a traditional estate lawyer. Erin is also a startup advisor and former marketer and technology journalist. Speaking about “How Technology Is Changing Legacy Industries (And Processes) From the Ground Up”, Erin will share insights into the key trends shaping digital transformation, highlight case studies of companies in legacy industries that are embracing the digital shift and illustrate how legacy processes are being transformed by technology

Neal Jardine, Global Cyber Risk Intelligence & Claims Director, BOXX Insurance Inc. — Neal has combined a decade of commercial insurance adjusting skills with a Computer Science degree to become a leader in executing best practices in cyber risk management, post-cyber-attack mitigation and cyber claim management. As Global Cyber Risk Intelligence and Claims Director for BOXX Insurance, he is a recognized leader in the complexities of responding to cyber attacks, including ransomware negotiation, privacy breach and data loss, and assists a wide range of industries to understand pre- and post-loss management and response to cyber events.

Mark Morissette, CEO & Co-Founder, Foxquilt — Mark’s company Foxquilt is an insurance technology company established to address a common problem for small business providers: having access to customized insurance solutions at a fair value. Foxquilt’s technology and products empower small businesses and B2B networks to build their own a la carte product at a fair value and price in minutes. The company’s Insurance-as-a-Service platform is complemented by a unique data and machine learning underwriting infrastructure.

High-Level Agenda:

  • Breakfast & Opening Remarks
  • Keynote: Erin Bury, Willful – How Technology Is Changing Legacy Industries (And Processes) From the Ground Up
  • Coffee Break
  • Presentation: Neal Jardine, Boxx Insurance
  • Presentation: Mark Morissette, Foxquilt
  • Lunch
  • Presentation: Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA)
  • Presentation: Mitch Gross, 12 Squared Growth
  • Afternoon Break
  • Presentation: Mike Delorme, Manulife
  • Startup Pitch Program
  • Closing Remarks

MARK YOUR CALENDAR AND SECURE YOUR SPOT TODAY to learn from some of business’s brightest minds about their experiences, predictions and aspirations for the next wave of innovative advancement in our industry.

Pricing:

THIA Members:

  • $150 – Early Bird Pricing – (Extended through September 16th, 2022)
  • $200 – Regular Pricing (September 17th, 2022 onward)

Non-Members

  • $200 – Early Bird Pricing – (Extended through September 16th, 2022)
  • $250 – Regular Pricing – (September 17th, 2022 onward)

Thank you to our sponsors. If your company would like to sponsor THIA’s Innovation Summit, please contact Ryan Lee at ryan.lee@globalexcel.com.

Innovation Snack: Sustainability in Insurance — Global Ideation Session  [Aug 24] 

With recent alarming headlines around climate change, it has become more critical than ever for insurers to play our part and shift towards more sustainable practices. 
 
But what does ‘sustainability’ mean for the insurance industry? 
 
We’re exploring this question in our ongoing “Sustainability in Insurance” initiative, where we invite insurers from all around the world to share their ideas on how to make an impactful change in the following 3 areas: 

  1. Making and Implementing Practical Sustainability Changes  
  1. Increasing Awareness Around Sustainability to Incentivize Stakeholder Action  
  1. Establishing Sustainable Business Propositions and Transparency   

Join us for a 30-minute Innovation Snack ideation session, facilitated by our Lead Innovation Coach, Ibeth Ramos Ayala, who has trained in Design Thinking at Harvard and MIT and brings 10+ years of innovation experience to the industry! 

DATE: Wednesday, August 24, 2022 
TIME: 11:30 AM – 12 PM EDT 
LOCATION: Virtual, Worldwide 
FEE: Free for the community! 

WinterHack 2022: Final Pitch Event [Nov 18]

Cookhouse Labs is delighted to announce the return of WinterHack, this time with a brand-new ideathon format focused on young talent!  

This year’s ideathon aims to provide a space for students and university/college insurance programs to show their talent, knowledge and skills related to Creativity, Innovation and passion to #MakeInsuranceBetter. This is a friendly competition between universities and colleges – are you ready to represent your organization? 

In partnership with the Insurance Institute of Canada and Humber College, WinterHack 2022 is open to North American universities and colleges as an opportunity to showcase their innovative young minds and for students and staff members to learn/apply the principles of Design Thinking to real-world business challenges.  

This year’s theme is #MakeInsuranceBetter, and we can’t wait to see what our teams come up with! 

Each institution can register 1 team to represent them — with limited spots, be sure to secure your team’s spot as soon as possible! 


 

WinterHack 2022: Global Design Thinking Ideathon [Nov 16-17]

Cookhouse Labs is delighted to announce the return of WinterHack, this time with a brand-new ideathon format focused on young talent!  

This year’s ideathon aims to provide a space for students and university/college insurance programs to show their talent, knowledge and skills related to Creativity, Innovation and passion to #MakeInsuranceBetter. This is a friendly competition between universities and colleges – are you ready to represent your organization? 

In partnership with the Insurance Institute of Canada and Humber College, WinterHack 2022 is open to North American universities and colleges as an opportunity to showcase their innovative young minds and for students and staff members to learn/apply the principles of Design Thinking to real-world business challenges.  

This year’s theme is #MakeInsuranceBetter, and we can’t wait to see what our teams come up with! 

Each institution can register 1 team to represent them — with limited spots, be sure to secure your team’s spot as soon as possible! 

Event Format  

  • 2 day virtual global event + 3 hour final pitch  
  • Facilitated ideathon following Design Thinking methodology in breakout sessions   
  • Ideathon period: Wednesday, November 16th and Thursday, November 17th, 2022  
  • The 2-day ideathon period will be held from 10:30 AM to 6:30 PM EST.  
  • Final Pitch Event: Friday, November 18th at 11 AM EST  

Questions? 

Please do not hesitate to reach out to Insiya Meherally, our Community Manager, at insiya.meherally@cookhouselabs.com

Partner Stories: Meet Megan from the University of Toronto

At Cookhouse Labs, we work closely with young talent from around the world to introduce a fresh perspective to real industry challenges. One of our favorite (and longest!) partnerships is with the University of Toronto — here’s an insight into our collaborations with Megan Whitehead-Douglas, Assistant Manager, Employer Relations & Career Development. 

Megan, thank you for joining us today! Before we dive into the story behind our collaboration, let’s start with a quick introduction of yourself and your role at UoT. 

I’ve worked at the University of Toronto for more than 14 years, and I’ve been in the Department of Statistical Sciences for almost three years. In my role as Assistant Manager, Employer Relations and Career Development, I get to support students as they navigate the world of work and career development and help them with their next steps once they decide what they would like to do. 

Thank you for that intro! So, part of this career development work is our partnership, where your students can work closely with insurance professionals within our community, which is always a pleasure for us. Could you speak more about how the collaboration began? 

I first met Ibeth and Sven at the downtown Toronto Lab space, somewhere in the Fall of 2019. They had reached out to me at the department to see how we could collaborate and invited me to visit the space so they could give me some background on the Lab. I was lucky to also be invited to their holiday party, and I still have the apron they gave me as a holiday gift! They began to save room for undergraduate students at their innovation events to aid the students in their career development. I really appreciated that gesture, especially because I was new in my role and trying to find ways to engage students. Our partnership has just grown from there, and the students now participate in many of the other activities you offer, such as the Summer Bootcamp. 

Oh wow, what a great story! Since then, how has this partnership evolved and improved? 

At the beginning of any collaboration, you’re trying to understand what the other party is about and build trust. Now we have a better sense of just all the amazing things that Cookhouse is doing to make insurance relevant and inclusive, which is onboard with how we want our students to work in the world. Your team has a good grasp of the industry and what employers want.  

The improvement is that it feels like we’ve known each other for a long time, because it’s so easy to work with each other. The partnership has evolved in the sense that we now have a better understanding of what each group can do, and we know how to use our skills to support students even better. 

After these activities and events, what type of feedback have you received from students? 

They’ve always enjoyed the events! Any time a student has had the opportunity to participate — nothing but positive comments. What they’re most surprised about is what Ibeth and the team can get out of them. Students are pleasantly surprised to learn that when they trust themselves and the Design Thinking process, they can practice clearer and more empathetic thinking. They are more creative than they expect, and they enjoy the experience, because they get to exercise their technical skills and improve upon their communication and other soft skills that employers demand.  

Yes, they get to put a hackathon on their resume, for example. The part I hear most about is how much they learn about themselves in the process, and that’s really helpful too. This is a key component of experiential learning, which is where our department and the university as a whole is headed. 

Happy to hear that you received that kind of feedback! Coming to your own perspective now; when you look back, what is your favorite memory from this collaboration? 

I always leave meetings with the Cookhouse team with a smile on my face and ideas flowing in my head, so it’s tough to pick a favorite. If I can be sneaky, I have a tie between two.  

The first meeting was fantastic. Not only were we inspired by your space, but I had also brought along a student worker who the team was so welcoming and respectful towards, which stood out to me.  

The second memory is of the recent Summer Bootcamp. Not only from a logistical sense, but also working with your team is very pleasant. I know everything will be handled professionally. I know it takes a lot of work, so thank you! Seeing the journey of the students and what they came up with while working with amazing mentors was just heartwarming, and you could tell how much it meant to them. It made me proud of them and proud of the program! 

We really enjoy working with you too! Final question: Is there anything you would like to add? 

I just want to thank the Cookhouse team. The ideas that come out of the Lab are incredible and the enthusiasm is infectious. We enjoy playing in your space. This is a collaboration that I hope we can continue for a really long time! 

Megan, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us. We enjoy collaborating with you and University of Toronto, and can’t wait to see the exciting solutions that come out of our upcoming Bootcamp!