ABEL Leadership Summit: I-Think

Tired and back at the office after a successful ABEL Leadership Summit!


What a great day we had yesterday at the MaRS Centre for our summit on Cultivating an Opposable Mind: An Introduction to Integrative Thinking facilitated by Rotman School of Management.  

Our facilitators Ellie Avishai (@EllieAvishai) and Nogah Kornberg (@nogahK) were amazing.  They were engaging, informative, knowledgeable and full of energy – loved the “shake down” to get the blood flowing after lunch.  They provided activities for the delegates throughout the day and kept the buzz in the room at a very high level.

The day started with an overview of Integrative Thinking and how innovation can come from a different way of thinking.  They shared inspirational ideas and the voice of educators:

“What Integrative Thinking offers is an approach to problem solving that, instead of getting overwhelmed by the complexity of the issues, is hopeful about what it possible”  Maria, Middle School Teacher.


The morning ended with a large group activity exploring the opposing model of institutional/ traditional school versus online learning.  A problem faced by Taddy Blecher in Post-Apartheid South Africa.  This exercise set the stage for the participants to face their own opposing models in the afternoon.

The afternoon was spent working through the Integrative Thinking


Process:  Articulate the Models, Examine the Models, Explore the Possibilities and Assessing the Prototypes.  It was difficult to get the group to take a break as deep discussions occurred straight through to the end of the day!

Throughout the day, we were also treated to short presentations by EdTech Ventures from the Education Cluster at the MaRS Discovery MARS imagesDistrict.  Joseph Wilson (@joeatmars) arranged two vignettes of ventures to present their products to our group.   It was exciting to see some of the new and innovative applications that are coming out of Ontario.  Check out the list of ventures that participated.

My experience yesterday has left me with a very positive way of thinking. I learned how you can look at complex problems of opposing models and redefine that problem in such a way that can lead to more innovative and creative solutions.

I would like to send a huge thanks to my team at the ABEL Program Office, who helped make this event run smoothly at every turn.



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