Jessica Thornton

Senior Projects Officer

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As a Senior Projects Designer, Jessica draws insights from BII+E’s research to design and pilot practical applications. Through the testing, piloting and prototyping of projects, BII+E is able to inform the advancement of useful policy.

Jessica is currently focused on a Digital Literacy Pilot that aims to better understand how best to teach computational thinking and coding to youth aged 12 – 15, both inside and outside of the formal education system. In addition to this, Jessica supports BII+E’s engagement in various education-related projects such as Summer Basecamp, SHAD at Ryerson, ZerotoStartup, and YRDSB Climate Hack2Action.

Previously, Jessica led the development of city-building projects and partnerships at Evergreen Canada, as their Manager of Strategic Initiatives. Prior to Evergreen, Jessica was the Director of Operations and Programming at Local Food Plus, where she supported the organization’s fundraising, communications and stakeholder engagement strategies, helping 300 ecologically sustainable Ontario farmers make market connections over 100 local food businesses. She also sat on both the Toronto Food Policy Council and Youth Council.

Jessica is motivated by driving societal change by finding connections between new ways of thinking and existing assets. With this approach, she has had the pleasure of moving dozens of projects from ideation to action, tackling housing affordability, growth planning, food security, transportation accessibility, and sustainable food systems. Now engaged at the intersection between innovation and entrepreneurship, Jessica brings a wealth of experience supporting the scaling and sustainability of new ideas.

Jessica has an Honours BA in Anthropology and Equity Studies from U of T, a certificate in food security from Ryerson University, and a diploma in Fundraising and Volunteer Management from George Brown College. Jessica is currently working towards a Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation at OCAD University.


Articles by this Author

Happy Canada Learning Code Week!
JUNE 1, 2017

We are excited to announce the launch of a design-led initiative that seeks to provide women entrepreneurs with the supports needed to unlock their full economic potential.

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21st-Century Workforce Survival Guide
MARCH 28, 2017

Emily Fan, like many of us, wasn’t always tech-savvy. She completed her undergrad in political science at the University of Toronto, and began her career as a summer student at the City of Toronto.

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Designing an Inclusive Future: The Digital Literacy + Coding Pilot
MARCH 22, 2017

This week Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau delivered a budget speech focusing on two familiar concepts: skills and innovation.

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Hack2Action: More than your average hackathon
NOVEMBER 1, 2016

On November 3rd – 4th, students from high schools across the York Region District School Board will gather at Middlefield Collegiate Institute in Markham to participate in a two-day design thinking hackathon. The problem they’ll be solving: climate change.

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Growing Tomorrow’s Innovators + Entrepreneurs: Why We’re Focusing on Talent + Skills Creation
JUNE 13, 2016

When 75 high school students gave up two days of their March Break holiday, traveling from all over the region to learn coding and prototyping skills, we realized just how hungry today’s youth were for new learning experiences.

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