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  • How might we break down barriers to radically accelerate opportunities for girls, women and gender-diverse people across the sport of hockey?

Here's more information about this cohort's challenge and social innovation labs in general.

  • Specific barriers to be addressed in this cohort.
    • Cost of participation, including registration, equipment, travel and family attendance

    • Gaps in player pathways
      • Limited access to quality single gender playing opportunities;

      • Limited access to quality programs within proximity to home;

      • Limited opportunities to quality programs for late entry (i.e. girls, women and gender diverse people who are later to begin the sport, newcomers, and/or those with no family experience in hockey)

    • Representation, awareness and visibility of girls, women and gender diverse coaches, officials and decision-makers

  • Outcomes the lab process could include.
    • Dramatic reduction in the cost of participation and significant increase in accessibility

    • In the sport of hockey, the proportion and visibility of girls, women, and gender diverse people reflects the demographics of the broader population

    • Girls, women and gender diverse people in the sport of hockey experience safety, inclusion and belonging, and can reach their full potential in the game regardless of age or stage

  • Types of innovations we are seeking.
    • Social innovations that profoundly change the basic routines, resource and authority flows, and/or beliefs within the social systems of hockey

    • Business model and financial innovations that improve affordability, accessibility and sustainability of hockey for girls, women and gender diverse people

    • Technology innovations, including equipment innovation, apps and software that advance safety, accessibility, player experience, and effective administration

    • Behavioural innovations that shift the behaviours of players, parents, coaches and administrators towards a more inclusive, equitable and joyful experience.

Program Timeline

June 2023

Kick-off weekend in Toronto

June to September 2023

Virtual meetings among participants and facilitators

October 2023

Community showcase in Nova Scotia

Program Facilitators

Cohort participants are partnering with expert facilitators in a mix of online and face-to-face activities and learning innovation techniques and technologies to help generate solutions.

The lead facilitators are Dr. Alex Ryan and Cailin Ahloy, and they are supported by a team of process designers, developmental evaluators and systems change strategists.

Dr. Alex Ryan

Dr. Alex Ryan

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Dr. Alex Ryan

Dr. Alex Ryan is CEO of Synthetikos Inc., a boutique research and innovation agency with government, non-profit and corporate clients in Canada, Australia, the US and the UK. Dr. Ryan is an Executive in Residence at the Rotman School of Management, where he has taught design and systems thinking as part of the Business Design Initiative. Dr. Ryan has lectured at the Canadian Forces College on a range of topics including design, systems thinking and strategy since 2012. He serves on several advisory boards, including Participatory City, Tech Stewardship, Quayside Stakeholder Advisory Committee and Innovate Cities CityShield.

Previously, Dr. Ryan was an executive at North America’s largest urban innovation hub, MaRS Discovery District. While at MaRS, Dr. Ryan led over 100 cross-sector complex systems change initiatives. Dr. Ryan co-founded and led Alberta CoLab, the first social innovation lab in a Canadian provincial government. And as a consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton, Alex previously helped introduce operational and strategic design into the U.S. Army, and established strategic design capabilities for U.S. Strategic Command, U.S. Special Operations Command, and U.S. Cyber Command.

Dr. Ryan’s PhD thesis advanced a multidisciplinary approach to complex systems design. His writing on smart cities, data governance, policy innovation, social innovation, systemic design, and complex systems science has been published by the World Economic Forum, Fast Company, Axios, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and Complexity. His 50+ publications have been cited over 1,100 times.

Cailin Ahloy

Cailin Ahloy

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Cailin Ahloy

Cailin Ahloy began her career in the world of large scale international multi-sport events focused on leaving a legacy of benefits for society. Driven by her desire to play a larger role in driving positive change she made her way to MaRS Discovery District working out of their Solutions Lab. Here she was a part of team leading systems change and delivering tangible solutions to some of Toronto's most challenging problems.  A Project Manager by trade, she currently leads the Project Management Office for eCampusOntario, a not for profit tasked with the delivery of the Virtual Learning Strategy for the Province of Ontario.

Program Advisory Council

The Advisory Council is a diverse mix of opinion leaders and influencers across the sport of hockey who were recruited to frame out the challenge that this cohort has set out to address. This included narrowing the specific barriers being addressed and expected outcomes.

Amrit Gill
Amrit Gill Player Card
Andrea Richardson
Andrea Richardson Player Card
Brianne Jenner
Brianne Jenner Player Card
Dre Barone
Dre Barone Player Card
Jeff Scott
Jeff Scott Player Card
Lesley Heighton
Lesley Heighton Player Card
Marin Hickox
Marin Hickox Player Card
Mubdu Alali
Mubdu Alali Player Card
Scott Oakman
Scott Oakman Player Card
Stephanie Talsma
Stephanie Talsma Player Card

Stay tuned for more updates on this year’s Community Cohort Program.

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Our Partners

Hockey Nova Scotia
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