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Big Ideas: Creativity, Design and Innovation Camp

Big Ideas Camp
Big Ideas Camp

A pilot program for entrepreneurial young minds

Big Ideas was a week-long summer camp pilot program than ran in the summer of 2013. The program taught innovation and entrepreneurship for kids aged 10-13 at five different camps across Ontario. The curriculum for the camp was based on Business Design curriculum developed at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management. Big Ideas is a design-based approach to innovation.

The curriculum for Big Ideas was developed to give young people an opportunity to be immersed in an innovation process that enables them to be entrepreneurs in the future. Campers learn that all meaningful innovations start with uncovering real human needs, which involves having empathy and really understanding the experiences and feelings of others. The next step is ideation and prototyping; the process of taking an idea that is in your head and turning it into something that exists in the real world. The final step is strategy; figuring out how to get your idea into the hands of the people who want it and how to create a successful business around it.

For more information about the program, take a look at the video on the left.

A Summer of Big Ideas

Big Ideas had a fantastic summer. In the summer of 2013, with the program running at 6 different locations, we have been able to light the spark of innovation in young people across Southern Ontario. Over 400 campers experienced Big Ideas this summer and had the chance to think about problems in a new way, and then build new and innovative ideas to solve them. Our hope is that this camp is the start of something special, where youth are given the opportunity to connect their ideas with the challenges that the world and most importantly start to think of themselves as innovators. This summer would not have been possible without support and dedication from our delivery partners at:

  • Adventures in Engineering and Science, University of Ottawa
  • Engineering Outreach, University of Toronto
  • Science Explorations, York University
  • Venture Engineering and Science, McMaster University

During the 2014/15 school year, we’ll be developing new workshops in innovation and entrepreneurship that can be brought into grade 5,6 and 7 classrooms. If you are interested in bringing these workshops into your classroom or school, please send us an email at

The Big Ideas Partnership

The Big Ideas Camp is the product of collaboration between the Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity (ICP), the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and Actua, Canada’s leading national science, engineering, technology and mathematics outreach organization for youth, to design and deliver this new program. The program is funded with support from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern of Ontario, through its Youth STEM initiative.

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