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Sheridan experts engage the community in Creative Problem Solving to address socio economic issues

November 21, 2016

Sheridan is partnering with The Oakville Community Foundation and a host of community stakeholders for a day of Creative Problem Solving (CPS), aimed at developing tangible solutions to the affordable housing issues that face Halton region.

On November 22, a team of CPS practitioners, comprised of Sheridan faculty and students, will lead an intense, one-day workshop designed to break down the issues around affordable housing and create feasible project concepts for addressing them.

The session is the first phase of The Community Ideas Factory, a research project conceived by Sheridan’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences that has been awarded $175,000 by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, a federal funding agency, to carry out a two-year project focused on addressing four key areas of socio-economic concern:  affordable housing, food (in)security, the equity gap, and wrap-around services.

Through each phase, Sheridan professor and researcher Dr. Sara Cumming, aided by two student research assistants, is gathering data through consultation and focus groups involving community leaders and front-line workers in each subject area.  Following an analysis of the collected data, the research team articulates the problems to be addressed in the CPS workshop.  A total of six focus groups involving 46 representatives from the housing sector took place concurrently prior to Tuesday’s event.

The CPS Workshop on affordable housing will bring together a group of approximately 100 individuals, representing government, community service providers, funding agencies, and clients from Halton Region.  The full-day session is designed to unleash their collective creativity and come up with workable solutions and project concepts to tackle the issues at hand.

Dr. Michael McNamara, professor of creativity, will lead the CPS facilitation.  He will be assisted by ten students who have taken CPS training at Sheridan.  “We are excited to share our in-house expertise in creative problem solving to work in partnership with community leaders, funders and clients to advance tangible solutions to the socio-economic issues facing Halton Region,” he said. 

About Sheridan:

Sheridan College is one of Canada’s leading postsecondary institutions, serving over 23,000 full time students at four campuses in the western Greater Toronto Area.   We offer over 120 diploma, certificate, and bachelor degree programs in the fields of arts, business, community service, health, technology and the skilled trades.  Sheridan is committed to being a Creative Campus, which informs the design and delivery of curriculum across all program areas.  In 2014, Sheridan introduced a new undergraduate credential that allows students to pursue a Board Undergraduate Certificate in Creativity and Creative Problem Solving while fulfilling their liberal arts and science breadth requirements.