Winter Bootcamp 2022 Final Presentation [Mar 14]

This is a VIP, closed virtual event. Only members with access who are working closely with each student team and the team will present their final solution and participate in a live Q&A session with organization members only.

Winter Bootcamp 2022 [Mar 9-11]

After the success of last year’s Summer Bootcamp, we are excited to have you be part of Cookhouse Labs’ next Bootcamp in collaboration with University of Toronto, Dept. Statistical Sciences. This event is a great opportunity for students to innovate with their peers and learn a new methodology that can be part of your resume and skillset for the rest of your career.

Most important, it is an event to support our member organizations in finding a solution to an existing challenge they currently face in their organization.

Join us for unforgettable days of innovation and a final presentation this March 2022 — contact us today to learn more!

DATE: March 9, 10, and 11, 2022



Recap: Our First Hybrid Event ft. University of Amsterdam!

Earlier this month, we ran our first-ever hybrid event in our Toronto Lab space! 

We were delighted to host an in-house day on November 3rd for a large group of students from the University of Amsterdam as part of the VSAE International Study Project 2021, where Actuarial and Econometrics students visited Toronto for a week to immerse themselves in the Canadian business world. 

Our team was very excited to welcome them — check out how we prepared the Lab space for our special guests below! 

The Setup

We had fun setting up the Lab for our special guests from The Netherlands!

As we continue to grow internationally, our team has been exploring opportunities to run hybrid events that allow participants to join both in-person and virtually. In 2020, we even invited students from the University of Applied Sciences in Würzburg-Schweinfurt, Germany (FHWS) to develop their own solution for a hybrid event model. Check out the cool robotic solution they came up with here

To test out our hybrid concept, our Lead Innovation Coach, Ibeth Ramos, led the day’s events remotely, while our Co-Founder Sven Roehl and our intern Niklas Bortzler were present in the Lab to greet the students and facilitate the on-ground activities. 

The Welcome

The student group arrived promptly at 9 AM and received a warm welcome from our in-house team. After they found their nametags and poured themselves a hot cup of coffee, the group settled in the main Lab space to begin their exciting day with us. 

Our Co-Founder Sven gave a brief introduction of Cookhouse Labs and msg global solutions, our parent company. Director of Cookhouse Labs Utrecht (The Netherlands), Rian de Heer, joined the introduction virtually from France to provide more insight into msg global solutions, beginning with the company’s origins in 1980 and how it grew to over 8500 employees in 28 countries today.  

Sven continued his presentation with a deeper dive into the history of the insurance industry, sharing challenges along the way and how Cookhouse Labs is playing a part to #MakeInsuranceBetter by facilitating innovation, collaboration, and co-creation. 

The Introduction

After a quick coffee break, Coach Ibeth gave the students a virtual introduction to Design Thinking, walking them through the fundamentals of the human-centered innovation methodology. The students were also introduced to her lovely puppies, who joined the session briefly as well! Then, they set off for a quick lunch break before they began to apply their learnings in a short sprint. 

The Sprint

The students were split into 4 teams and invited to tackle the challenge of how the insurance industry can help combat climate change. They began the first step of Design Thinking: Empathy, which required them to learn about current perspectives on insurance and climate change.  

During step two, Define, they mapped out their findings on a whiteboard empathy map. Using these key insights, the student teams defined a persona and created a journey map. For example, one team chose the persona of a 28-year-old salesperson who was inspired by a climate change documentary and mapped out the persona’s experience of getting in touch with their insurer to see how the organization could make a difference. 

Coach Ibeth continued to guide the teams, visiting each room virtually and interacting with the students as they moved to the next step, Design. The students ideated solutions they could develop within various timeframes, such as 1 week and 1 month.  

After voting on the top idea to develop, the teams dove into the next step, Create. Coach Ibeth had prepared special prototyping boxes for the students the day before their visit, with various fun materials to use during this stage, such as feathers, stickers, pipe cleaners, and popsicle sticks. She invited their inner child to come out and play, providing the space for them to express creativity and have fun. 

During the final step, Test, the teams presented their prototypes to each other, such as an information app and smartwatch to help customers monitor their carbon footprint. The presentations were creative, fun, and all unique — we were absolutely blown away!  

The Wrap-Up

As the clock struck 4:30 PM, we began to wrap up our in-house day with positive feedback and final comments. Co-Founder Sven and Coach Ibeth encouraged the students to always trust the Design Thinking process and to stay connected to our global community by joining future opportunities to co-create with insurance thought leaders. Our team then presented the students with special gifts ahead of the holiday season, and the whole group posed for a few photos before a little networking and final goodbyes. 

Before we concluded the day, we asked Michelle Mutsaers, who is a board member of the VSAE, to describe the in-house day experience: 

“During the in-house at Cookhouse Labs, our students learned to solve problems by using more creative and out-of-the-box thinking. The day was well-balanced with a short theoretical part and after that, immediately using this in practice. In short, it was a highly educational and fun day!” 

— Michelle Mutsaers, Board Member on the International Study Project Committee 2021 

A big thank-you to VSAE for spending a day in our innovation space, and to msg global solutions Canada for being the sponsor for the day! We enjoyed meeting and hosting the students and look forward to seeing all of you continue to achieve big things in the near future! 

Want to be the first to hear about our next young talent event? Join our community and receive updates directly to your inbox! 

Staying Connected No Matter Where You Are – Cookhouse Labs Hybrid Experience

Innovation Project Summary Cookhouse LabS

Staying Connected No Matter Where You Are - Cookhouse Labs Hybrid Experience

How can we maintain our engaging innovation experience combining virtual and in-person participants?






University students




Define solutions to keep innovators connected, despite being in different rooms or geographical locations, either at home or in the office.


Understanding differences between virtual and in-person experiences






Some participants find the virtual experience convenient, but are seeking out better ways to stay engaged during sessions.

How can we help virtual participants feel connected to in-person team members during projects?

How can we redesign our experience to ensure it feels the same virtual and in-person?

What resources can we leverage to create an exceptional hybrid experience?


The team came up with 50+ ideas and narrowed their solution down to the top 2 — Video Conferencing Robots and the Cookhouse Labs Socializing Box.

Hybrid models (combining the virtual and in-person experiences) have been in our mind since the beginning of our journey. Many times our participants have to travel to other office locations or meet clients and still want to be part of the sprints. A hybrid model is a solution we want to test and implement to maintain our engaging, fun and collaborative experience.

How might we build trust and improve communication among participants on-site, remote participants, and the moderator during the whole project in a hybrid digital session?



By employing the use of video conferencing robots, we allow participants to feel more present in the Lab. These robots can be controlled via one’s keyboard arrow keys from anywhere in the world over a Wi-Fi network, and give participants an opportunity to explore the physical space from the comfort of their home. With video display on the attached iPads, this solution also overcomes the barrier of joining coffee breaks, inviting discussion and ideation despite the physical distance.



This solution promises an unforgettable social experience, complete with ingredients to make a customized cocktail or mocktail and a light pasta meal. The Box includes the tools needed, such as a branded glass, apron, and even a wooden spoon! To complete the experience, participants will be brought into a virtual culinary class hosted by a Cookhouse Labs moderator, where they can create these dishes together while still being in their own kitchens. This works to create a sense of community and acts as an icebreaker before the main event date.


Over the course of 200+ hours, the team worked closely to understand the challenges faced by facilitators and participants during the virtual experience.




Journey Maps


Participant interviews


Interview questions






Robotic Solution


Project Presentation


We also offer intro sessions that provide insurance professionals with the opportunity to experience our Cookhouse Labs methodology and a sneak peek at what it’s like to co-create and collaborate with our global community. If you are not a Cookhouse Labs member and are interested in finding out more, check out our membership benefits!

Summer Bootcamp 2021 Final Presentation [Aug 12]

This is a VIP, closed virtual event. Only members with access who are working closely with each student team and the team will present their final solution and participate in a live Q&A session with organization members only.

Summer Bootcamp 2021 [Aug 10-11]

We are excited to have our members be part of Cookhouse Labs’ first Summer Bootcamp in collaboration with University of Toronto, Dept. Statistical Sciences. Over 2 days of unforgettable insurance innovation, we will support our member organizations in finding a solution to an existing challenge they currently face in their organization.