Our session narrates a journey of dynamic collaboration between Emily Carr University and its student and Alumni community, to create the “Innovation Hub”. In this session, we’ll present strategies for creating successful collaboration models and fostering a symbiotic relationship between Information Technology teams and the emerging talent of our students and alumni. Join us as we share our successes, challenges, and insights into the transformative impact of leveraging student creativity for IT innovation. The Innovation Hub includes members that came from diverse background of industrial design, interactive design and communication design. They participated in the development of ECU’ digital strategy which aims to enhance the user experience (UX/UI) of ECU systems by mapping the student, staff and faculty journey. This project revealed various obstacles, especially the complexity of navigating multiple systems and the lack of updated information that affects student outcomes, meanwhile also illuminating some quick wins and larger initiatives. The Innovation Hub enables alum and students to collaborate with the IT leadership team to propose and design solutions by working with various project teams. This vibrant and mutually beneficial partnership between ECU and its student community has positively improved the value of our overall projects and building new opportunities within the HigherEd community.


Summit Speaker

Stephen Wichuk

Manager, Service Experience, Emily Carr University of Art and Design

In my role as Manager of Service Experience, I lead a team of technology advisors and service desk team who provide the first point of contact for our ECU community. In the last year my focus has been to develop our Innovation Hub and collaborate with Students and Alumni to lead journey mapping exercises. Prior to this I was in technical roles in the Device Management team meanwhile my decade was in the academic team supporting the faculty areas.

Sandeep Sidhu

Sandeep Sidhu

Chief Information Officer, Emily Carr University of Art and Design

With 20 years of active leadership in the technology space, Sandeep currently serves as chief information officer at Emily Carr University of Art + Design (www.ecuad.ca) in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she is advancing the university’s digital transformation strategy by developing effective organizational capabilities (people with technology) and leveraging digitalization.  

Sandeep is an innovative, collaborative leader with deep ties to higher education providing strategic connections between the university community and its technology teams. Her passion for higher education continues beyond the CIO role as a visiting professor at Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University. Sandeep has been in higher education since 2011, after a decade of working in the private sector. She has been an active volunteer at BCNET, the Canadian University Council of Chief Information Officers (CUCCIO) community, and an EDUCAUSE Board member.  

Sidhu is honoured to have the opportunity to co-host BCNET 2023, and hopes to live up to her leadership credo, “I will leave this world a little better than I found it”. 

Summit Speaker

Nelly Mafi

Alumna + Innovation Hub Member, Emily Carr University of Art and Design

Nelly Mafi is a Vancouver-based Interaction Designer with a degree in the field. Specializing in creating engaging and functional user experiences, her expertise covers both UX (User Experience) and UI (User Interface) design. She also possess skills in business analysis and Front-end development.

Having graduated from Emily Carr University, she brings a unique blend of academic knowledge and practical insights to her work. Her approach is firmly rooted in a user-centric philosophy, driven by empathy and collaboration. She firmly believe that thoughtful design has the power to revolutionize our interactions with technology.

Currently, she serves as a Business Analyst at Emily Carr's IT Services, where she tackles challenges head-on, analyzing business needs, gathering user requirements, and leading initiatives in data analysis, process improvement, and innovative solutions.

Summit Speaker

Clara Monteiro Goncalves

Undergraduate Student, Emily Carr

Clara Monteiro is a Vancouver-based Communication Designer currently pursuing a degree in Emily Carr University's Bachelor of Design. With a dedicated focus on building connections, her work revolves around facilitating effective communication and finding the best visual means to convey messages that are both clear and aesthetically pleasing. Whether crafting vibrant and lively visuals or opting for understated elegance, she firmly believes in infusing every design with an element of excitement.

A versatile practitioner, Clara Monteiro views every skill as a valuable asset in cultivating a well-rounded creative practice. From refining design techniques to mastering new software tools, she approaches each opportunity for growth with zeal and determination, recognizing the intrinsic value of diversity in skill set.

Driven by a collaborative spirit, she has seamlessly integrated into her current role at the Innovation Hub, where she collaborates with fellow design professionals to exchange expertise and broaden her understanding of the multifaceted nature of design.

Technology Track

Session Format
Speaker Presentation (45 mins)