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Jessica Thornton

Senior Projects Designer

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.

11 Contributions


Jul 15, 2018

This program is designed to help young people learn to code and improve their digital skills, preparing them for jobs in an increasingly digital economy.
Digitally Lit: A digital literacy + coding pilot

Jul 3, 2018

We’re providing a more robust, stakeholder-informed evidence base for policies, programs and services for worker impacted by automation.
Impact of Tech on Ontario’s Workforce: A research project

May 31, 2018

We joined the City of Toronto in celebrating the first Digital Literacy Day, which featured programs and opportunities for learners of all ages
The Brookfield Institute celebrates Digital Literacy Day

May 3, 2018

We visited over 36 communities across Ontario, and asked over 300 Ontarians about their understanding of labour automation, their reactions, and the programs they think will help them adjust
Citizen perspectives on labour automation
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