Drake’s Toronto Restaurant Pick 6ix has Re-opened as a Sports Bar

Pick 6ix Sports has officially revealed it’s new look for what was previously Pick 6ix. The restaurant, a partnership between Drake, OVO’s Chubbs Beezer and Montreal chef Antonio Park, opened last February but closed early due to flood damage that occurred in August.

Representatives announced that the entire restaurant had suffered extensive water damage, from the luxe gold and black furniture all the way to the kitchen.

The spot has remained closed since then, causing some to speculate if Pick 6ix would ever re-open. And it looks like, finally, the answer is yes. The newly-rebranded Pick 6ix Sports “will introduce a brand-new look and feel at 33 Yonge St., creating a contemporary sports bar destination in the heart of the city’s Financial District,” a release reads.

New look, new vibe, new menu… this is #Pick6ixSports. Our doors are now open! Come through after tonight’s @raptors game where the team’s official DJ @4Korners will be on deck. #toronto #the6ix #nba #Raptors pic.twitter.com/Pn1ifPIPVN— Pick 6ix Sports (@Pick6ixSports) March 22, 2019

Image result for pick 6ix sports

The new space is a little less glitzy and a little more open featuring over 38 flat screen TVs, and a major upgrade to the menu. Featuring elevated bar classics like chuck prime rib burgers and brisket nachos. However, for those who want to be a little more fancy, there’s some hidden gems. Try ceviche, vegan potstickers, jerk grilled salmon, or tuna poke bowls. Okay Drake, we see you.

Perfect spot to catch all the action from the Raptors and Leaf’s playoff games? Could be. After each Raptors playoff game, the team’s official DJ @4Korners will be hitting the turn tables.

Regulations needed after cryptocurrency CEO takes passwords to his grave

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Canadian CEO Gerald Cotten died in December, taking to his grave the passwords to unlock his cryptocurrency clients’ millions. Dmitry Moraine/Unsplash

Lisa Kramer, University of Toronto

A high-stakes legal drama featuring cryptocurrencies has been unfolding in a Canadian court recently.

The antics that led to the litigation almost defy credulity, and they highlight the need for new regulations to better suit a financial marketplace that includes virtual currencies.

News broke in early February that Canadian cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX was seeking creditor protection, leaving in financial limbo about 115,000 people who had entrusted the firm to maintain their deposits of cash, Bitcoins and other digital tokens worth an estimated C$250 million.

The company’s need for bankruptcy protection arose when its founder and chief operator, Gerald Cotten, died suddenly in December while vacationing in India. Normally, if a financial institution’s executive officer meets an untimely demise, he or she doesn’t bring to the afterworld the only keys to the vault. And thus clients maintain continued access their deposited funds all the while.

In the case of Quadriga, unfortunately, Cotten was the only living soul who knew the password to an encrypted offline repository, known as cold storage, where the firm had enshrined the vast majority of clients’ cryptocurrency deposits. Without the password, no one can access those holdings.

Murky or absent regulations

While the Nova Scotia Supreme Court wades its way through some very novel and complex issues, the question that comes to my mind is: How has one bad decision about password custodianship caused more than 100,000 people to lose access to their deposits?

The answer lies in the murky and mostly lacking regulations that govern the cryptocurrency world. Nothing stops entrepreneurs like Cotten from running companies like Quadriga with no independent oversight.

Had he ever raised equity capital from investors in return for tokens or coins, that process would have been governed by Canadian securities regulations. But because Quadriga is an exchange — maintaining deposits and facilitating conversions between regular cash and cryptocurrencies, but not issuing cryptocurrencies in exchange for ownership shares — it operates in a regulatory vacuum.

Stakeholders show up at Nova Scotia Supreme Court as Canada’s largest cryptocurrency exchange seeks creditor protection in the wake of the sudden death of its founder and chief executive in December. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

In Canada, the Office of Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OFSI) oversees banks that take regular dollar deposits. One might argue that the OFSI umbrella ought to be adapted to include oversight of virtual exchanges like Quadriga, even though such institutions are not technically banks and their deposits are non-traditional in nature.

That oversight would impose accounting standards and reporting requirements that would help prevent the sorts of irresponsible missteps that put Quadriga depositors in such a precarious position.

A likely side benefit of regulatory supervision would be the eventual development of standardized safeguards against hackers and other cybercriminal activity that plagues the cryptocurrency world.

Lack of regulations attractive to some

A feature that draws many crypto enthusiasts to the virtual currency sector is the very fact that it lacks government oversight, and those individuals will bristle at any hint of new regulations.

Members of the general public might also be leery of new laws lest they grant an undeserved sheen of legitimacy to cryptocurrencies, which are not suitable investments for anyone except the most risk-loving of speculators.

But in Canada, we regulate many industries that are risky or distasteful to some, including gambling, alcohol, tobacco and marijuana. The underlying calculus is that providing standards for certain illicit activities is preferable to driving those activities to the black market, where the risks would be amplified.

For instance, a benefit of buying my beloved guilty pleasure of choice, craft gins, from a regulated marketplace is that I can imbibe confident in the knowledge that my cocktails are free from wood alcohol. Three cheers for avoiding blindness!

We cannot protect Canadians from all possible risks, especially when it comes to financial markets. And to be clear, I am not suggesting that we indemnify cryptocurrency speculators against losses that may arise from taking calculated risks, such as the beating that some fortune-seekers have taken since Bitcoin valuations plummeted from stratospheric heights.

Rather, I propose that depositors ought not to be penalized for the indiscretions of the custodians to whom they entrust their financial holdings.T

Lisa Kramer, Professor of Finance, University of Toronto

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

No vacation? Find serenity with these five financial wellness tips

Have you been thinking about money lately? Wondering where to find more? Thinking you could do a better job of managing the dollars you have? If so, you are in good company.

Between figuring out how to pay for bills that added up over December holidays, wishing for warmth or a vacation and looking at the beginning of tax season, this is a time of year when people are often prompted to take a closer look at their finances.

Canadians and money

Yet the picture we see when we look closer isn’t always good. Canadian households are holding record levels of debt, and savings rates continue to be low.

With less than 40 per cent of paid workers covered by a registered pension plan, saving for retirement is a critical challenge for many families.

Surveys show large portions of the population in Canada report they are financially stressed, and that this stress ripples out and negatively affects other aspects of their lives.

As a researcher in family economic health, colleagues and I have been researching the financial challenges and opportunities for Canadian adults in mid-life.

Our research shows that the more money family caregivers need to spend on the care needs of others, the worse their own personal financial, social and health outcomes are. It also points to the need to consider our own care needs as well as our families’ when we plan our financial futures.

The financial crisis of 2008-09 sparked increased interest in financial literacy worldwide. In Canada, the Task Force on Financial Literacy defined financial literacy as having the knowledge, skills and confidence to make responsible financial decisions.

Following on the work of the task force, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada consulted widely and developed a national strategy for financial literacy.

Now researchers are moving beyond the idea of financial literacy, which tends to focus on what we know about finances, to thinking about financial well-being or financial health — the outcome we want to achieve.

What is financial well-being?

An international authority on consumer finances, Elaine Kempson, defines financial well-being as the capacity to meet one’s current obligations comfortably and the resilience to maintain this capacity in the future.

That’s challenging for many reasons. We have to make decisions for today that are going to help us in a future with a lot of unknowns.

Children can be brought into financial discussions in age-appropriate ways. (Shutterstock)

It isn’t just financial knowledge that matters, but also what we are able to do with that knowledge in our economic and social environments.

Further, as research in behavioural economics is showing, our brains can get in the way. We think we are making perfectly rational, logical decisions when we aren’t.

Technological innovation in financial services (“fintech”) can be difficult to keep pace with and understand.

And, although there are lots of resources, it can be difficult to figure out which are appropriate for our own situation.

So if you’ve been finding it difficult to get control of your money and make the changes you want to make to improve your financial well-being, there are some good reasons it might be challenging.

While some people respond to a challenge by digging right in, others prefer to look the other way and hope it will all work out in the end.

However, when it comes to money, looking the other way can result in big problems — or at the very least, missed opportunities.

Tips for increasing financial well-being

Whether you feel overwhelmed by your finances and don’t know where to start, or you think things are pretty good but you’d like to make them better, it’s never too late to make a change.

Here are some tips and techniques to start improving financial well-being.

1. Spend less than you earn

Think about three big categories of money: spending for today, saving for the future and giving to the causes and organizations that matter to you and your family. When we spend less than we earn, we create the space to save and to give to others. Note: spending includes debt repayment!

2. Do the math

No one tool is best, but most of us could use a little help in making a budget, revising it as needed and tracking spending. Use what works for you, whether that’s a spreadsheet, an app, financial software or a pencil and paper. The best tools are the ones you use. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada has some great information on budgeting and many other aspects of finances.

3. If possible, don’t do it alone

If you have a spouse or partner, work to be sure you are on the same page with financial decisions. Financial stress can be a significant source of tension in relationships. If you’re single, could you have a low-budget finance date or breakfast with a friend to compare notes?

And if you have kids, bring them into money conversations in age-appropriate ways. Research is showing parents can be important, positive financial role models for their children.

4. Save off the top

Arrange to have a set amount come out of your chequing account and go into a savings account each payday. Revise the amount as your pay changes over time. Aim to have three to six months worth of expenses in savings to cover emergencies. Investigate tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs) and registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) for longer-term financial goals.

Read more: How to determine what’s better – RRSPs or TFSAs?

5. File that tax return

Even if you don’t owe taxes, file that return!

Filing is the only way to get refundable tax credits like the GST/HST refund. Federal and provincial governments use the income on tax returns to establish eligibility for benefits and supports like the Canada Child Benefit.

Even if you don’t get a sunshine getaway this year, if you’re responsible and proactive right now, a piece of that serenity will be within reach through your ongoing wellness — and the occasional well-planned splurge.

Karen Duncan, Associate Professor, Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

How Turkish Women With Disabilities Are Entering the Workforce

Women with disabilities often encounter ‘double discrimination’ in Turkey – faced with unemployment or lower-grade jobs on account of their gender and their disability. Government work quotas are not solving the issue, so Turkey’s women are taking matters into their own hands.

Gulay Salman (left) and her friend Sevgi Tongel at her market stall, selling crafts made at the Love Angels Arts Workshop. Photograph: Aynur Tekin

ISTANBUL, Turkey – “When you work with people with disabilities you see that if a person with a disability gets strong enough and can defend their rights, he or she does not need any financial or psychological help anymore.” That’s the view of Professor Resa Aydin of Istanbul University, a long-standing campaigner for disability rights in Turkey. Aydin believes that the government’s quota system, introduced in 2014 to ensure businesses employ a mandatory number of people with disabilities, is well-meaning but flawed – particularly when it comes to women.

About 5 million people with disabilities live in Turkey: 43 percent men; 57 percent women. Some 35 percent of men with disabilities are part of the country’s workforce compared to only 12.5 percent of women with disabilities. Furthermore, according to research by the Association of Women with Disabilities (Engelli Kadin Dernegi), those women who are able to get a job – despite the two-pronged prejudice against both women seeking employment and people with disabilities – are generally paid less than their male counterparts, disabled or otherwise.

Despite an increase in the number of women with disabilities going into further education in recent years, they are still not able to get jobs that match their level of education. Regardless of their skill set, they are often employed as secretaries or receptionists – a disparity the government’s quota system fails to address.

Professor Aydin has been working on a rights-based approach to disability for more than 20 years. As the head of Istanbul University’s Unit of Students with Disabilities, she says there is no gender discrimination of people with disabilities at her university, adding, “We do not see double discrimination in education. When education is completed and work life starts, we encounter double discrimination then. We see that men with disabilities are employed in preference to women with disabilities.”

In regards to the government’s quotas, Aydin says, “I do not think it is a system that functions well.” For such an initiative to be successful, training of employers, enforcement of environmental regulations and promotion of the rights of people with disabilities should also be undertaken. Only then, she argues, will people with disabilities – particularly women – be able to truly enjoy a lack of discrimination.

Instead, it has been left for those at the front line of this battle to attempt to give others the help they never received themselves.

Duygu Kayaman is an entrepreneur who has taken a crucial step in facilitating access to information for visually impaired people with her project Hayal Ortagim (Dream Partner). Kayaman lost her sight when she was two and a half years old, and has developed the project based on her own needs and experiences in academia and the world of employment. Visually impaired people throughout Turkey can now access the day’s newspapers thanks to her application, which provides a spoken-word version of the publications via a smartphone app, allowing 200,000 people with restricted or complete lack of vision to keep up to date with current events.

Kayaman suggests disabled women who want to take the initiative “should never give up until they find the right people to be the partner to their dreams.”

It is advice that rings true for Gulay Salman, who works with children with disabilities at the Sevgi Melekleri Arts Sanat Atolyesi (Love Angels Arts Workshop). Salman, a former kindergarten teacher from the province of Kocaeli, lost the use of the right side of her body due to paralysis five years ago. As part of her rehabilitation, she started to research on the internet what she could do with one hand and thus became interested in handicrafts. She made products such as candy and door ornaments, earning income from her efforts.

She then decided to share her talents, while providing socialization for children with disabilities, and has been running the workshop ever since.

Love Angels does not currently have a fixed location, something Salman hopes will change soon: “If a center can be established, children will be able to devote more time to crafts. We aim to pave the way for them to be independent individuals and obtain their own incomes. We want to build a structure where they can both socialize and acquire a profession.”

Salman adds that this goal is particularly important for girls with disabilities as they are viewed as being almost entirely dependent on their parents: “Parents are hardly ever separated from girls.”

For Salman, establishing a center and allowing children to empower themselves through crafts is a hugely important step in changing the way Turkish society views people with disabilities – something that the government’s quota legislation could never hope to cultivate.

“All people with disabilities have [the same] rights as other people. We can work, we can join politics, we can be business people. I do not want anybody to view people with disabilities in a pitying manner,” she says

This article is republished from News Deeply under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

If You’re Not Sleeping at Work, You Should be Fired

In days gone by, when our economy was dominated by agriculture and manufacturing, an employee’s value was gauged by their inputs. If they slacked off by not placing a bumper on a car fast enough they were unproductive, and if they slept on the job they were stealing time from their employers and could be fired.

Today, however, we live in what is largely a knowledge economy in which an employee’s value is based on their outputs, not their inputs. This means their performance is often more about ultimate results and less about the hours clocked.

In the knowledge economy we want employees to be alert, not just active; engaged, not just present. We want them to be focused on producing the highest quality outputs possible.

Sleeping on the job can make this happen.

An epidemic of exhaustion

According to the National Safety Council in the United States, almost 70 per cent of employees are tired at work.

This level of fatigue is estimated to cost US$410 billion annually in societal expenses. As I discuss in my latest book Boost: The science of recharging yourself in an age of unrelenting demands, healthy adults need between seven to nine hours of sleep a night, but many of us don’t get enough shut eye.

Thirty-five per cent of the population gets less than seven hours of sleep per night. Between 1985 and 2012 the percentage of adults in the U.S. who sleep less than six hours a night increased by over 30 per cent. And, compared to 60 years ago, today people get one and a half to two hours less sleep every night.

The ensuing sleepiness results in potential dangers both on and off the job. For example, about one in 25 drivers report having fallen asleep at the wheel in the last 30 days!

The problem is so bad that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers inadequate sleep to be a public health epidemic.

Workplaces should provide nap spaces

Part of the explanation for this level of fatigue is that the boundary between work and home is blurring. Ninety-five per cent of Americans now own a cellphone and 77 per cent own a smartphone.

As a result of the ubiquity of communication technologies, employees can now be contacted any time of the day or night, on or off the job. Research shows that 84 per cent of employees report having to be available after hours at least some of the time.

This essentially puts employees “on call.” And guess what happens when people are on call? They don’t sleep as well.

So not only do societal trends reveal an overall reduction in sleep duration, technological trends that blur the boundary between work and home are intensifying our inability to get adequate sleep. This is tragic because work tires us out and sleep is one of the most important recovery mechanisms that exist.

To combat the epidemic of sleepiness, we should allow the blurring of the line between work and home to go both ways. If employees are going to be required to be available after hours, they should also be allowed to sleep on the job.

If employers are going to interfere with employees’ leisure time and their ability to recover from their daily job demands, organizations should then provide opportunities for the needed recovery to occur at work.

Naps improve performance

There is a strong business case for this. Naps as short as 10 to 30 minutes can increase alertness, reduce fatigue and improve performance. Not only that, but recent research suggest that napping may be as effective as drugs at reducing blood pressure, so organizations that implement napping policies may save on health-care costs.

Many companies, such as Ben & Jerry’s, Zappos and Nike, allow employees to nap at work. I believe this trend represents the workplace of the future.

The idea that employees should not be allowed to sleep on the job is an outdated taboo from a bygone era. It is a holdover from the days when an employee’s value depended solely on his or her manual inputs.

In the modern economy, however, your value as an employee, manager or executive often rests on your ability to produce desirable outputs. Progressive organizations recognize that fatigued employees can’t perform at their best. In essence, a tired employee is stealing performance from their employer.

In the modern economy, if you are tired and not sleeping on the job, you should be fired.

The Death of the CWHL Presents a New Opportunity for Women’s Professional Hockey

The sudden announcement by the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) that it was ceasing operations has generated controversy and confusion. But as an academic who researches sport organizations, I have a different take — the CWHL closure opens the door for new and innovative women’s professional hockey opportunities.

On the surface, this ordeal reads as a tale of two leagues – one non-profit, the CWHL, and one for-profit, the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL).

When the CWHL announced it was shutting down, the league’s board of directors stated“the business model has proven to be economically unsustainable.” Many fans and media took this to mean the non-profit model won’t work and the only option is the NWHL’s for-profit approach.

But this is a shortsighted view.

Closure is a catalyst for change

The closure of the CWHL is a catalyst for other key stakeholders to enter the scene — which has happened many times in the past for men’s professional hockey, where leagues have come and gone.

As my early doctoral research shows, many different stakeholders — including players, hockey federations, government and industry officials — have influenced the development of hockey over time.

The Canadian Amateur Hockey Association, created in 1914, initially resisted popular pressure to allow pay-to-play leagues to emerge. But as players opted for independent leagues that paid them, the CAHA loosened its regulations and accommodated a degree of professionalism while at the same time overseeing the development of hockey in the country.

This shift opened the market to hockey boosters and entrepreneurs, some of whom owned rinks and needed to have an attractive product in order to entice customers.

Money-making activity was fast and furious. Leagues came (the National Hockey League started in 1917) and went (the professional National Hockey Association lasted from 1909-18).

Rivalry between leagues

In his account of the emergence of the NHL, academic John Wong says separate camps jockeyed for position and profit as commercial hockey gained public interest. This is no different than the interplay — or as some note, the business rivalry — between the CWHL and NWHL that has unfolded since 2015, when the U.S.-based NWHL formed.

Women’s hockey also attracted economic interests during the early part of the 20th century. In his review of American women’s hockey in the First World War era, Andrew Holmannotes that sports entrepreneurs sought new ways to sell the game, and as a result, women’s hockey was positioned as a commercial venture. The key point Holman makes about this historic time, though, is the rise and fall of the women’s game, including its professional form. It is important to note the CWHL story has happened before.

In his examination of hockey capital and the sports industry, historian Andrew Ross notes the complex men’s professional hockey landscape has included single-ownership leagues. He points out the NHL was once an unincorporated, non-profit organization.

Not a new model

The key lesson, then, is to recognize the CWHL model was not new and that this approach, as well as others, has existed and failed in the past. More importantly, these models, and the individuals that spearheaded them, pave the way for new and viable professional women’s hockey approaches to emerge.

Which brings us to the next phase of the story.

In my work on the global development of women’s hockey, I note there is no one “best” model, and that each country must develop at its own pace through a method that best suits its unique hockey system. The same is true for a professional women’s hockey league.

Image result for cwhl

However, the CWHL’s shutdown created a vacuum. Just over 48 hours after the CWHL released news of its decision to close, the NWHL’s board announced an investment plan to establish two teams in Canada, and that it received a financial sponsor commitment from the NHL. And so, in a similar fashion to how the NHL and World Hockey Association, a rival men’s professional hockey league that existed from 1972-79, merged, one league shuts down while the others acquires some of its franchises and moves on as the lone commercial player in the female game.

Looking back to 2015 when the NWHL was formed, it’s interesting to reflect upon the CWHL’s response. The CWHL commissioner at the time, Brenda Andress, commented that the NWHL model was wrong and “that for us, it’s about sound operational and financial foundations first because we want to ensure the viability of the long term.”

During its 12 years of operation, the CWHL took this approach and in so doing, shaped the professional women’s hockey landscape. It’s now time for the next stage.

How Businesses Can Determine If Design Thinking Is Right For Them

Design thinking has become the recipe du jour for innovation.

For some, it is the route to transformative thinking and revolutionary change.

For others, it looks like chaos, where millennials plaster the walls with sticky notes and play with Nerf toys and Lego. Others see it as a fad that has failed.

Fad or not, design thinking (creative problem-solving) has been adopted by governments, tech companies, consumer goods manufacturers, health-care organizations and many others. For my book, Design Thinking at Work: How Innovative Organizations Are Embracing Design, I interviewed large organizations that have adopted design thinking.

I wanted to understand why they embarked on a design thinking program and what their experience was.

I heard the usual stories about its benefits — how its fluid, iterative approach could bring great insights and find hidden opportunities. But I also heard about real obstacles to making it work.

Organizations adopted design thinking for many reasons, not just innovation. Some programs grew out of previous initiatives that had failed; others came about as a result of senior management’s frustration that the organization was slow and bureaucratic; others to improve contact with customers, to encourage collaboration or to attract and retain talent. Some had all of these goals, and more.

Bridging the cultural gap

At one large hospital, the design team stood out starkly from the rest of the organization.

Within a culture of scientific professionalism, their casual dress contrasted with the formality of medical staff. Even their use of language was different — for the designers, the word “experiment” meant just giving something a try; for doctors, an experiment was a formal undertaking with placebo controls and fixed protocols.

These differences illustrated a cultural gap, one that could block design teams’ ability to innovate. As the lead designer told me:

“When you turn up at a clinic on a Monday morning to do an experiment, the desk staff … they’re just not going to want you near them, they don’t know why you’re there, they’re not going to really trust you.”

Pressed to show what they could do, design teams went out of their way to reach out to the rest of the organization and build legitimacy.

In many cases, this meant taking on small projects to show what they could do. However, these incremental projects could quickly become overwhelming. Said a design leader in a multinational drug company:

“The innovation team was spending a lot of time herding cats across the organization. Most of the effort was around [organizational] structure and scope of responsibility, and less about demonstrating what [design thinking] could potentially offer.”

Some organizations dealt with this by setting up independent labs, located some distance from head office. Yet there was a risk here too — such labs could become isolated from the organization, seen in one large retailer as “crazy cowboys,” rather than transformative innovators.

Some projects could never get started

Many potentially significant innovations had trouble getting off the ground because other parts of the organization were unable or unwilling to implement them.

In some ways, these findings are not surprising. Organizations are not typically set up to tolerate the fundamental questions design thinkers ask. For one Danish government lab, challenging organizational thinking was critical:

“What is the framing? What is the understanding of the problem? From where do we know this? Why do we assume that this apparently simple solution or approach will actually work for someone?”

In a culture where employees are under constant pressure to solve problems and move on, such questions can be seen as distracting or even threatening.

How to make design thinking work

It’s still possible for companies to have a successful design thinking program. They can use design thinking as a vehicle for cultural change and for creative collaboration; for either incremental or disruptive innovation.

Design thinking isn’t a cure-all for every organization, but under the right conditions, it can bring great value. Shutterstock

But businesses are unlikely to accomplish all of these at once. There are several different ways of implementing design thinking –centralized or distributed, for example – and which direction companies choose depends on their goals.

Is design thinking right for every organization?

If a company’s culture is all about efficiency, it may be a difficult fit. The iterative, messy nature of design thinking can be disruptive to an organization that relies on repeating the same process, time after time.

There are good alternatives, however, to adopting it internally — many consultancies now use design thinking for problem-solving, and many design firms offer excellent innovation services.

Incidentally, the Danish government lab shut down in May 2018. Its founders aspired to disrupt the bureaucracy, but its true impact was hard to measure.

In the end, it was replaced by an initiative focused on digital technology. Its demise was a blow to many, myself included, who believe in design thinking.

It’s not a cure-all for every organization, nor is it a dying fad; in the right conditions, it can bring great value.

But for businesses to make a success of it, they must exercise common sense by being clear about their goals and making realistic choices. This is neither a transformative nor a revolutionary concept. Sadly, such common sense in the business world is not always so common.

University of Toronto receive’s $100M donation, largest in school’s history, for construction of new innovation centre

Heather Reisman and Gerald Schwartz behind donation to build centre

The University of Toronto is receiving the biggest donation in its history — money that will go towards studying artificial intelligence and how it affects society at large. 

Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman are giving $100 million to the university to build a brand new innovation centre in their names. Construction is set to start on the 750,000-square foot Schwartz Reisman Innovation Centre this fall. 

The facility will be a space where students, faculty, researchers and business people can improve technology and the way humans interact with it, Reisman said.

Reisman is the CEO of Indigo Books and Music and namesake for the book retailer’s famous Heather’s Picks, while Schwartz is CEO of private equity firm Onex Corp.

“That crossover between how technology is evolving and how we as people want to evolve — that is at the heart of what this initiative is all about,” she told CBC Toronto.

“This major initiative will create housing and infrastructure and energy for technical innovation, coupled with the human implications of what this technology is doing with us and for us.”

“Toronto, and by extension Canada, is at the very centre of what’s happening with artificial intelligence. It’s just our wonderful good fortune that some of the great brains in the world are here.- Heather Reisman , CEO of Indigo Books and Music”

The new complex, named the Schwartz Reisman Innovation Centre, to be housed on the eastern edge of the school’s downtown campus, will feature two towers and provide space to smaller Canadian companies, in addition to the school’s researchers.

The centre will support research about the links between science, technology and the humanities — including a focus on the ethical and societal effects of AI and other technologies.

University president Meric Gertler said the donation “will enable a deeper examination of how technology shapes our daily lives.”

More opportunities for entrepreneurs

Reisman and Schwartz, CEO of private equity firm Onex Corp., say they’re proud to call Toronto their hometown and want it to remain a hub for innovation and scholarship.

“Toronto, and by extension Canada, is at the very centre of what’s happening with artificial intelligence. It’s just our wonderful good fortune that some of the great brains in the world are here,” said Reisman.

Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman are donating $100 million to U of T to expand its innovation and entrepreneurship programs. The couple has been supporting U of T for years. (Ed Middleton/CBC)

Geoffrey Hinton, an artificial intelligence pioneer and a retired professor from the university, said the donation will be a boon for the burgeoning field.

“It will help consolidate Toronto’s leading position in the AI world,” Hinton said in a statement. “It will also bring together scholars from an array of disciplines to study the implications of AI in today’s world.”

One tower of the complex will house the new Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society and the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence, a non-profit organization that focuses on machine learning, the school said.

The second tower will be home to laboratories for researchers in regenerative medicine, genetics and precision medicine.

Reisman and Schwartz say they’re excited the centre will provide more opportunities for both young and established entrepreneurs.

“The chance to not only do something here [in Toronto] but to play a small role in reinforcing Canada’s opportunity to remain a leader in the world — it’s great,” said Reisman.