Program focuses on young leaders and innovators, 21st century skills and solutions for society

TORONTO, Oct. 15, 2014 – Studio Y, an immersive fellowship for Ontario’s young leaders and innovators based at MaRS Discovery District, introduced today the second cohort of 25 Fellows and showcased the achievements of the first cohort. The program prepares exceptional young people, ages 18-29, for success in an increasingly complex world.

Cohort 2 started the program on September 22, and includes a range of young leaders from across the province: a PhD candidate from the University of Western Ontario focused on social innovation and gender equity around the globe; the former Secretary-General for North American Model United Nations; a former youth outreach worker with a focus on urban native children in Thunder Bay; and the founder of a social enterprise that is using music as a tool to create socio-economic change in Brazil.

Following in the footsteps of the first cohort, these newest members of Studio Y will receive intensive training in 21st century mindsets and skills, work on innovation projects and systems challenges with partners, get access to a wide range of resources and opportunities, and become a part of a growing community of leaders and innovators working to build a more equitable, thriving and sustainable future.

The showcase also celebrated the many accomplishments of the first cohort of 26 Fellows, including: the development of an affordable method to produce 3D-printed tactile maps for the visually impaired; the launch of a social enterprise focused on shared living in urban spaces; an art exhibition that brought together cleantech entrepreneurs and emerging artists to tackle climate change; and a number of personal victories and breakthroughs.

“Studio Y is an example of how, when given access to the right supports and opportunities, youth can develop to their fullest potential. It demonstrates our government’s commitment to youth and to strengthening Ontario’s economy by empowering tomorrow’s entrepreneurs and leaders. Today we celebrate the graduation of a group of committed and talented young people and welcome others who are joining the program; we ask them to help make a difference in Ontario, to become visionaries and innovators and to help build a bright future for the province,” said The Hon. Tracy MacCharles, Minister of Children and Youth Services.

“When I moved here as an immigrant, Ontario provided me with opportunities that transformed my life and I feel privileged to now be supporting other young people to gain critical skills for the new economy and contribute to their communities. At its core, Studio Y is about investing in our greatest asset—our young people—and developing them as leaders and innovators for Ontario and the world,” said Hamoon Ekhtiari, Director, Studio Y.

A new cohort is selected annually for each of the program’s five years, helping more than 100 talented young leaders to realize their full potential, and transform their communities and the world around them. Launched in January 2014, the program was made possible with the support of the Government of Ontario.

Quick Facts

  • Studio Y builds on the commitments of Ontario’s Stepping Up: A Strategic Framework to Help Ontario’s Youth Succeed and Social Innovation Strategy by harnessing the creativity of young people to address the province’s current and future social challenges and opportunities

About MaRS
MaRS Discovery District (@MaRSDD) in Toronto is one of the world’s largest urban innovation hubs. MaRS cultivates high-impact ventures and equips innovators to drive economic and societal prosperity. MaRS provides expert advice and market research, and makes connections to talent, customers and capital. MaRS startup clients have created 6,500 jobs and, in the last three years alone, they have raised $1 billion in capital and generated $500 million in revenue.

For more information, please contact:
Lara Torvi
Manager, Media & Community Relations
MaRS Discovery District
416.673.8152
ltorvi@marsdd.com