Toronto is a growing centre of innovation with a diverse population facing complex needs. What if we applied the talent, passion and ideas of a City of Innovators to create scalable solutions for the city we love?
It's possible.

 
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our mission

OUR MISSION

Improve Toronto services using tech, data analysis and design thinking.

We focus on creating meaningful solutions for the people of Toronto through human-centered design principles, new ideas and modern tools. We believe that enhancing the collection, analysis and availability of data helps us all understand Toronto better.

Facilitate collaboration across City divisions and with external partners.

We engage with Toronto’s growing innovation sector as a client, co-creator and champion. By focusing on resident-facing issues and encouraging collaboration between City divisions, we develop opportunities for talented people to do their best work with the City.

Introduce an agile approach to addressing complex City challenges.

Rapid prototypes help us measure impact, learn from failure, and iterate quickly. Our aim is to create a culture which embraces new ideas, methods and tools while challenging expectations. We reject the idea that “we’ve always done it this way” is a good enough reason to maintain the status quo.

 

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PAULA KWAN

Director 

Paula Kwan brings a deep and broad set of experience from the software industry with a focus on building ambitious projects, teams and departments from zero-to-one, delivering results in an agile way, and ensuring those solutions and improvements are scalable. 

Eager to make an impact in her own community, Paula is excited to leverage her experience, passion, and network within the tech sector to help take the City of Toronto to the next level of this innovation movement. 

Paula's full bio on LinkedIn
Follow Paula on Twitter (@paulakwan)

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MEGHAN HELLSTERN

Design Strategist

Meghan Hellstern has spent 10 years as a human-centered design practitioner working in and around the public service. Nothing brings her more joy than reimagining the relationship between organizations and their clients through the lens of collaboration, design and technology. She brings a diverse skill set drawing from the world of user experience (UX) design, facilitation, communications and engagement, digital strategy and more.

Meghan is thrilled to have the opportunity to give back to her hometown, drawing on her extensive network and enthusiasm to build capacity for human-centered design in Toronto. She's always eager to connect so feel free to reach out any time!

Meghan's full bio on LinkedIn
Follow Meghan on Twitter (@mhellstern)

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ANNE-MARIE CROCE 

Data Analyst

Anne-Marie Croce comes to the Civic Innovation Office with 10 years of diverse public and private sector experience in policy, urban planning, research and project initiatives. Uniquely energetic and approachable, and with a love of travel and volunteering, she has a passion for building teams and developing creative strategies for solving problems. 

Anne-Marie’s background, from working with stakeholders and constituents to driving research and data analysis, provides an ideal foundation for her to build partnerships and foster solutions for every project she tackles. It’s no wonder she has developed a reputation as someone that can take on the most challenging mandates and see them through to successful completion.

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NICK VLAHOS

 

Design Researcher

Nick Vlahos is passionate about how inclusive design can empower the public. He brings a research background on the British Columbia Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform, participatory budgeting, and deliberative democracy more broadly. His present PhD research is focused on the political economy of scale-building at the local, regional and national level and how institutional restructuring impacts democratization. Nick’s professional experience spans years of community engagement and capacity-building as well as forum facilitation in various non-profit organizations and the Toronto Community Housing Corporation.

Watching La Liga and the Champions League live is a favourite pastime of his and he looks forward to World Cup 2018! 

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JOIN US

We're always looking for talented people with a passion for civic issues, human-centered design, and Toronto to join our team. Get in touch and let us know how you might support our mission!


SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR ALUMNI:

 
 
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JAY VIDYARTHI 

Design Strategist

Jay is an award-winning experience designer and researcher. He guides teams through a human-centered approach to creating meaningful products, systems and services.

 

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TODD ORVITZ

Policy & Operations

Todd has made a career out of serving Toronto and its residents. His extended policy career with the Public Service has focused on multi-divisional initiatives and strategies impacting the well-being of Torontonians. 

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Structure

STRUCTURE

The Civic Innovation Office is part of the City Manager’s Office and was created in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office with funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies. To ensure the success of our projects, we work closely with the Chief Corporate Officer, Chief Information Officer, Executive Director of Financial Planning and Chief Purchasing Official.