Proto-talking at UW GreenHouse

St Pauls Greenhouse talk 006

Had a great time talking about prototyping with the St. Paul’s College GreenHouse posse last Wednesday night at The University of Waterloo. GreenHouse Director Tania Del Matto invited me in to talk about approaches to getting/staying unstuck when going from idea to action. In setting up the gig, program co-ordinator Sean Campbell told me the students were more focused on building social entrepreneur prototypes and less so in terms of physical objects. I figured a lot of my experiences in physical prototyping would translate into the social domain. As I put my slide deck together, I realized I’ve worked equally in both spheres. From my more recent 3rdThur photo review prototype all the way back to my 5+5 maker/artist mash-ups, I found a whack of meetups that could reasonably be called social prototypes.

I try to do as much listening as I do talking at these things and after my pitch I got to talk with some students one on one about the big projects they’re tackling. Elle Crevits is working on food waste (40% between farm and fork!).  Nicholas Smith taking on climate change adaptation. Sylvia Green working on cycling infrastructure (go bikes!). Alec Vyshnevski is trying to connect people with common interests to physical activities. Didn’t get to talk with everyone, but happy to connect with the ones I did. Awesome ambitions.

I got to meet the other speakers, Ali Tariq and Adeel Baig from Manulife’s RED Lab at the Communitech Hub. Interesting to hear about the opportunities and challenges of prototyping in the financial space.

Now, the TL;DR of my talk was “read less/do more”, so in that spirit I busted out some gear for the students to try macro photography with their smartphones. See differently. And *do*.


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