Scotiabank investing $1 million in OCAD’s design thinking research studio


Scotiabank is dedicating $1 million to developing a Design Thinking Research Studio at OCAD, which will allow the university to create a Design Thinking educational curriculum model and generate research, workshops, executive education, and an annual open public forum.

“This collaboration is a tremendous opportunity for our students to engage in experiential learning to prepare for careers in this connected world,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, president and vice chancellor of OCAD University. “Design Thinking is about empathizing with, listening to and observing people to identify and solve problems and improve their experiences. We are excited to exchange ideas with Scotiabank and learn from each other.”

In September, Scotiabank made a $1.75 million investment in the Rotman School of Management to support initiatives like the Creative Destruction Lab and supporting its AI conference.

Michael Zerbs, executive vice president and co-head of information technology at Scotiabank, said that banking wasn’t associated with design before — but it’s become integral to helping the institution better interact with customers.

“Design Thinking is about ensuring that we fundamentally understand the challenges that our customers face and then designing innovative solutions to meet their needs. It’s about putting our customers first,” said Zerbs. “The Scotiabank Design Thinking Research Studio at OCAD University will give students the chance to work on real customer products and solutions in digital banking, and ultimately prepare them for future opportunities. Scotiabank’s collaboration with OCAD U is one way we are supporting the next generation of talent in the digital age.”

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Freelance tech writer. Former BetaKit News Editor.

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