I-Think’s 2024 Celebration Of Thinking Showcases Student Innovation And Problem-Solving

In a gathering that brought together innovators, educators, and students alike, the annual Celebration of Thinking 2024 event, hosted by I-Think, proved to be a morning filled with insight, inspiration, and transformative discussions.

Held on May 22, 2024, from 9:30 am to 11:30 am at Desautels Hall, Rotman School of Management, this event was centered around the theme "We Are Many Remarkable Possibilities," a rallying call to young minds everywhere to embrace their potential for innovation and creativity.

I-Think is an education charity dedicated to equipping students from elementary to high school with the tools to approach complex challenges through integrative thinking and innovation. Their Challenge Kits, which present real-world problems and processes, have been widely recognized for transforming educational approaches and fostering a new generation of problem solvers.

The Celebration of Thinking 2024 featured a series of engaging and thought-provoking activities.

Student co-host, Sara Osman, was excited to interact with all the attendees. “I'm also excited to tell more people about the work that we've been doing because I really want to see this implemented in more schools. The work of centering student voices and giving students a say, in how their learning is supposed to go. I'm really excited about that.”

Nation Cheong, Vice President of Community Impact and Mobilization at United Way of Greater Toronto Area, delivered a keynote speech on the transformative power of providing young people with opportunities to be remarkable. Cheong’s insights inspired and motivated attendees to support youth empowerment and innovation.

A panel featuring high school and middle school students shared their experiences and discussed how integrative thinking had enhanced their problem-solving abilities. The panel was led by Roger Martin, I-Think’s board chair, author, and strategist, providing a platform for students to highlight the impact of integrative thinking on their education.

One of the event's key moments was the announcement of the RJS scholarship recipients, this year was special as two individuals received the scholarship. The recipients received $4,000 annually for their undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto, supporting their academic and personal growth.

I-Think showcased its latest Challenge Kit, on AI. Students tackled how AI is used in schools and classrooms, showcasing innovative uses that drive belonging, accessibility and more for school communities. This timely initiative addressed the growing importance of AI in education and its potential to transform learning environments.

Partnerships and Communications Coordinator, Shelly Campbell, said she aims to ensure all stories from the students are protected, respected and highlighted. 

“We worked with 73 schools this year, about three classrooms per school. Thousands of students worked on some incredible real-world problems, including AI rebuilding community, Remembrance Day, and so much more. And we're here to celebrate the incredible thinking that they did, but also recognize them as remarkable possibilities and invite people who are in our network or who are just interested in us to invest in the future and we know that the future,” said Campbell.

This year’s theme, “We Are Many Remarkable Possibilities,” brought together young minds from across the region to showcase innovative solutions and critical thinking skills developed through I-Think’s Real-World Problem Solving Challenge Kits. The event featured keynote speeches, a dynamic student panel, and interactive sessions designed to foster a deeper understanding of Integrative Thinking and Real-World Problem Solving in education.

Josie, Co-Executive Director of I-Think, emphasized the significance of the event, stating, “This is not just an event; the Celebration of Thinking is a movement towards empowering youth to tackle real-world challenges with confidence and creativity. We are excited to showcase the remarkable possibilities our students embody when they apply Integrative Thinking to their learning processes.”

The Celebration of Thinking 2024 proved to be a cornerstone event for educational discussions in Toronto, emphasizing diversity, innovation, and the importance of nurturing critical thinking from a young age. This event showcased and supported the remarkable potential of today’s youth as they led the way in solving real-world problems with creativity and confidence

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