Main Content


The Business Design Initiative draws on faculty, staff, students and alumni from diverse backgrounds and skills to deliver opportunities for learning, growth and innovation.


Academic Director


Emma Aiken-Klar is an anthropologist with 15+ years of experience applying design methods, social science and strategic foresight to a broad range of innovation and organizational challenges. Her work spans diverse industries and sectors, and she has been privileged to collaborate with c                                                              clients such as TD Bank, SickKids, Mattel, Pinterest, Ford                                                                      Motor Company, Telus, Westjet, the United Way, and the                                                                      Government of Ontario. She is passionate about connecting                                                                  the dots across disciplines and paradigms, transcending                                                                        traditional boundaries to reimagine how businesses can                                                                        generate value in sustainable and life-centered ways.

                                                             Emma was appointed as an Executive in Residence at                                                                           Rotman in 2020, where she has since had the pleasure of                                                                     teaching design-related courses in the MBA and Executive                                                                   Programs. As Assistant Professor and Academic Director of                                                                 the Business Design Initiative, Emma is thrilled to continue                                                                   bridging the gap between industry and academia to nurture                                                                 the teaching and practice of business design at Rotman.

                                                              Emma has a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the                                                                              University of Toronto, and an MA in Communication and                                                                        Culture from York University.



      Associate Director


        Andrew is a Rotman MBA grad who specialized in Business              Design and holds a certificate in Learning Experience Design            from UofT’s OISE. He has been working closely on researching          and developing the Business Design pedagogy, as well as the          adoption of Business Design as a practice, across multiple
        classes within the Rotman ecosystem and through customized          industry engagements. Individually, he has consulted on a                  number of Business Design related projects including                                                                             engagements with Scotiabank, a large social impact                                                                               organization in Brazil and Canadian Stage.

                                                           Prior to Rotman, Andrew worked over a decade at a large                                                                     multinational corporation, building extensive experience in                                                                   Corporate Strategy, Planning, Financial Management and                                                                     Partner Relations Management. In addition, he was actively                                                                 involved in theatre, having founded and led a successful                                                                       theatre company.

2023-2024 BDI Fellows


Jasmine brings extensive experience working with non-profits in gender equity, food security, and poverty alleviation. She believes that true impact arises from innovative thinking and a human-centered approach, and she is eager to apply Business Design principles to drive sustainable change.


Maitri is a versatile and creative professional who is enthusiastic about leading impactful human capital initiatives and transformation projects. She wants to learn from and with others who see the power that Business Design can bring to organizations.


Nishtha enjoys Consulting and aims to refine her skills and discover how to seamlessly integrate a consulting approach with Design Thinking principles and to become an integral part of a community of like-minded individuals who share a passion for Design Thinking.



Ramya has a background in Hospitality and is passionate about curating memorable customer experiences. She wants to explore consulting with the aim of combining strategy and design.


Sandra is drawn to industries such as Healthcare, CPG and Retail, where she sees herself advocating for the customer's voice within companies. Her overarching goal is to reimagine strategies and experiences, contributing to a more customer-centric approach in the business landscape.


Sydney has worked in Talent Management and Workforce Transformation. She wants to refine her skills and collaborate with like-minded individuals who share her deep passion for Business Design.


Vania has a background as an entrepreneur in the agricultural sector in Indonesia and seeks to collaborate with individuals who are equally excited about, and inspired by, Business Design.


Industry Advisory Group

Rotman appointed Industry practitioners advise on centre activities and act as key resources for MBA students.

Co-Chair: Delaine Hampton, EIR
Co-chair Professor David Soberman

For general inquiries, contact us: