Keynotes and Workshops

Think Jar Collective offers keynotes and workshops on a variety of subjects that relate to fostering lasting innovation in organizations.  From short keynotes to multi day workshops to explore and navigate complex issues, we can deliver exciting, memorable and thought provoking experiences.

keynotes and workshops

Ben Weinlick leading innovation workshopMuckin’ around, weird creative collisions and other awkward patterns of innovation

Culture and Tools: You need the both for effective innovation

What the heck is social innovation?

Human centered design thinking

People centered service design thinking

Fostering creativity by looking in unlikely places

Lego Serious Play workshops 

What the heck are Social Innovation Labs?

The power of story in leading systems change

Ben Weinlick Keynote speaker of think jar collectiveRecent Keynotes and Conference Workshops led by Ben Weinlick of Think Jar Collective

-Norquest College Symposium 2019- Muckin’ around, weird creative collisions and other awkward patterns of innovation

-Together 2018 – SDG conference panel: Social Innovation Processes and the promise for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Together 2018- University of Alberta

Design for systems change in the social space –UX Camp 2018

-Keynote: Muckin’ around, weird creative collisions and other awkward patterns of innovation –APEGA Engineers and Geoscientists 2018 conference– Alberta

Social Innovation Vs. Social Justice approaches: Is there a both and?  –Suncor Energy Foundation Gathering 2018

-Keynote: Muckin’ around, weird creative collisions and other awkward patterns of innovation –ASEBP 2017 conference– Alberta

– Lego Serious Play Workshop for InnovationGovernment of Alberta Culture and Tourism Ministry conference 2017

– Muckin’ around, weird creative collisions and other awkward patterns of innovation – Creative Campus Series 2017– Sheridan College, Ontario

– Human Centered Design Thinking for Policy Innovation – Government of Alberta Policy Matters Conference 2016

-Muckin’ around, weird creative collisions and other awkward patterns of innovation – Walls Optional Conference Keynote – Camosun College

– Innovation, Design Thinking and People Powered Problem Solving – City of Grande Prairie Idea Space Keynote

– How Design Thinking Can Transform The Public and Social Sectors  – Public Sector Transformation – The Conference Board of Canada

Lego Serious Play Workshop on Innovation– Ignite Festival 2015Edmonton Economic Development Corporation

– Exploring Design Methods to Impact Change in Alberta Human Services 3 day lab – RSD4 – Relating Systems Thinking and Design conference

What the heck is social innovation? – Canadian Intergovernmental Conference for Human Service Deputy Ministers

– Design Thinking for Social Good – Vitalize ConferenceProvincial voluntary sector conference

Design Thinking – Ontario Education Research Symposium 2015 

– What The Heck is Social Innovation and Lab Workshops – Alberta Museums Association conference

Human Centered Service Design Thinking – Netspeed Library conference

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“As a speaker, Ben was genuine, honest, and very engaging. Ben’s session on connecting culture and tools to bring about effective innovation matched perfectly with the events theme of Innovation and Disruption. In building connection between the topic and the changes happening at NorQuest College, Ben was able to tailor relevant examples of how design thinking is able to support innovation in NorQuest as the College moves towards transformation and growth. Some particular takeaways that were specifically poignant were the need to support transformation by designing interactions as opposed to objects, and the impact that incremental change can have on organization transformation.” – Alan Jeans, Manager, Disability Services, NorQuest College

“Ben delivered a dynamic, engaging and thoughtful keynote presentation to the Sheridan community. His insights on social innovation and organizational creativity really resonated with our audience, as such topics have been of great and ongoing relevance to our institution. Ben’s talk on how organizations can change patterns of thinking and action not only promoted new thinking amongst our community, but his humorous and approachable presentation style nicely balanced elements of play and fun with some deep, complex content. After his keynote, Ben engaged with many members of our community in further discussion, and his presentation has continued to foment lots of productive conversation at Sheridan.” – Sean McNabney Associate Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences- Sheridan College Ontario

“My colleagues and I were thrilled to work with Ben in the (very cool) Action Lab and use a Design Thinking approach to uncover more ways to strengthen our client service for the Faculty of Graduate Studies & Research. Ben succeeded in making the day fun and collaborative, while giving us the opportunity to dig in to some serious issues, think about things differently, and challenge us to take action on our insights and learning. There were quite a few “aha!” moments for all.”  –Mary Sturgeon, Assistant Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies & Research- University of Alberta

“In 2015 and 2016, staff from Culture and Tourism and Advanced Education embarked on a longer-term capacity building exercise and explored a Human Centred Design approach to work with ethno-cultural groups. Ben Weinlick created a rich learning environment where staff explored new approaches with a prototyping process over many months. After the formal training, the staff were inspired enough that they continued to work on their own prototyping solutions to better meet the needs of clients. Ben was a great support throughout. At a follow-up demonstration showcase, the prototypes showed innovative thinking and described concrete approaches that can be implemented. My question at the end of the showcase to our team was “What’s next for the prototypes?” I can’t wait to hear the answer.” Tracy Wyrstiuk, Assistant Deputy Minister Government of Alberta Creativity and Community Development

“Ben is very professional; he took the time to understand our program and customize the workshop to meet the group’s needs; he delivered a great presentation. Our staff were very inspired and open to the new approach of service design innovation and new thinking.” –Nicoleta Monoreanu, Director- A Path To Home: Supporting Housing Needs for Newcomers National and Provincial Programs YMCA Canada

“I design a lot of events and it’s really important that they begin well. Lose the audience then and you are never getting them back.  Ben did a great job opening the Conference Board of Canada’s 2015 Western Public Sector Transformation conference in Edmonton. As an opener you are expected to introduce some new ideas, provide some concrete value yet still in some way make a presentation that sets the tone for the event and connects to the sessions that follow. Ben nailed it. Great slides. Good use of video. Plenty of humour and much food for thought. You can’t ask for more than that.” – John Brewer – Public Sector Transformation Event Organizer for the Conference Board of Canada

“Ben Weinlick delivered an outstanding keynote presentation on Human Centered Service Design Thinking and a follow up workshop at The Alberta Library’s annual Netspeed conference. Our delegates were delighted with his talk. It was insightful, inspiring, and contained unexpected lessons that they were eager to put into practice in their libraries and institutions. Ben is a sensitive and thoughtful speaker and I heartily recommend him as both a speaker and trainer/facilitator for other events!”Lauren Sergy, Alberta Libraries Netspeed conference

“Ben is a consummate professional. He worked with me to deliver an innovation and creativity summit in NYC. Not only did he deliver the event, but he also contributed valuable ideas to the process design which improved the process. A personable character who mixes easily with all types and levels of people. Recommended if you want to escape tramline thinking.” — Peter Cook, Human Dynamics UK

“We had the pleasure of hosting Ben in leading his Human Centered Design Thinking to Foster Innovation session at the 2016 Policy Matters Conference. His energy and command of the room was refreshing and just what was needed to encourage active participation, dialogue and fun. The activity he led was simple yet thoughtful, and was effective in giving us a taste of human centered design thinking and walking us through the approach so we could experience the process. Ben is a skilled and experienced facilitator who did a great job sharing his expertise and got many of us thinking about different ways to approach complex problems and policy work. Donna Lohstraeter, Government of Alberta Manager of Policy Capacity 

Ben Weinlick’s Fundamentals of Human Centered Design was simply amazing. Thank you so much to the creative, deeply imaginative and illuminating speaker. You have all inspired me to think differently and do better in challenging myself and my assumptions. Loved the workshop approach.” Government of Alberta Policy Matters 2016 conference participant 

“Ben offers a fresh, creative voice in a field where it is hard to say something new. I really dig his appreciation of diversity and open-mindedness, and recommend him if you are an organization looking to infuse real, long-lasting, innovation into your workplace.”Scott Barry Kaufman, PhD, co-founder, The Creativity Post

“I feel so inspired after listening to Ben. He was able to articulate so many things I’ve been thinking. I hope to bring all his main points on innovation back to my office. Thanks to Vitalize 2015 for sourcing out such a great speaker!”  “Ben is a Dynamic presenter; Made us aware of and introduced us to diverse ways of thinking – encouraging us to become innovative; Stressed engagement, trust, outcomes, leadership’– Government of Alberta Vitalize 2015 conference participants

“The Diversity team at Enbridge luckily became aware of Ben Weinlick’s consulting services through a colleague who had experienced Ben’s work through the community she was engaged with. We are very aware at Enbridge of our need to improve our organizational capacity to attract, recruit and develop employees with disabilities, but really felt we needed a fresh eye and perspective on our approach. We asked Ben to come in to lead a full day session with employees across several departments and the feedback from that session has been extremely positive. It led to Ben assisting us with the development of a community of practice which we hope to sustain over the next few years. It’s not just Ben’s experience and knowledge that makes him an excellent facilitator. He was able to bring to us what we needed – the ability to help us re-conceptualize this area and to think critically about our processes and practices. Most importantly he made his creativity and thoughtfulness around the area of diversity very accessible to us, and in that way, left us with a great sense of possibility in the area of hiring adults with disabilities. We are looking forward to our continued relationship with Ben.” Lori Campbell – Manager of Diversity for Enbridge Pipelines Ltd. 

“Human Centered Design Thinking for Social Good presented by Ben Weinlick was my favourite session at OERS 2015. It was innovative, but still research-informed. Amazing! Best choice of workshop – engaging and thought provoking.”  –Participants at Ontario Education Research Symposium 2015 

“Ben provided a fitting Keynote Address and closing remarks for our Future Coalition Summit that emphasized the importance of working across sectors to find different approaches to community issues. His enthusiasm for social innovation and thoughtfulness in exploring solutions provided a unique balance of humor and urgency that was very refreshing and well-received by delegates.” – Jennifer Forsyth, Advancement Lead, Alberta Museums Association

“Ben Weinlick’s work as a consultant and social-profit professional really exemplifies his effort to “live” social innovation and human centred design. He easily collaborates across disciplines and sectors and works as an active steward of the group rather than what he calls a “cold” facilitator.   Ben has a great deal of expertise that could benefit our Branch and work units that goes far beyond human centred design principles. The Human Centred Design approach was a mystery for many of our staff. Ben was able to walk us through the basic principles of the concept and then allowed us the time to “prototype” or “test” the principles. The prototyping really brought the idea of human centred design to life. We had a lot of fun together and we were able to collaborate across work units. Ben spent a great deal of time understanding his audience to ensure our human centred design lab was a memorable experience for everyone.” Kristin Ward-Diaz, Government of Alberta-Alberta Culture and Tourism

Ben is one of The Creativity Post’s most stellar columnists. He consistently offers fresh, open minded and knowledgeable perspective which is highly appreciated by our demanding and educated audience. I strongly recommend Ben if you seek a competent, highly creative individual for your team or organization. He’s a fantastic, innovative educator, an out-of-the box thinker and a skillful net-worker. We at The Creativity Post are lucky to have him as a contributor.”  Milena Fisher, PhD, co-founder, The Creativity Post

Ben’s research around creativity and fostering quality outcomes has been a big part of our organizational transformation. His ongoing mentorship of staff in continuous improvement practices are key elements in SKILLS Society’s desire to be a learning organization. He brings a vibrant personality, action and a keen interest in learning from others. Pat Conrad, Executive Director, SKILLS Society, Canada

Ben has a tremendous ability to connect with course participants. The workshop on fostering relevant creativity has inspired us to raise the bar in our organization and to challenge the status quo.  It gave us permission to have fun and enjoy our work.” Aaron Hill, Executive Director, North Hastings Community Integration Association, Ontario