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April 20, 2022

Going global with innovation education

The Learning Partnership is delighted to be partnering with BMO Financial Group to participate in the upcoming InventFuture.Global (IF.G) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Challenge focused on SDG #4: Quality Education For All.  

We’re thrilled to launch this exciting pilot project, the learnings from which will be used to take inclusive innovation education programming to a new level founded on the work underway with IF.G and the direct, hands-on involvement of BMO employees, students and educators in Canada and around the world.   

SDG Challenges connect and mobilize students and organizations to work together to advance the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. This is the third SDG Challenge with previous challenges focused on #6: Clean Water & Sanitation and #2: Zero Hunger. 

During the current IF.G event, being held April 23 to May 14, 2022, students from 11 countries will ideate and collaborate to design the ideal education system. With the support of BMO as our National SDG Partner, The Learning Partnership will facilitate the virtual participation of 16 students in Grades 6 to 10 from Alberta, Ontario and Nova Scotia.  

In the midst of an international pandemic with educational systems being disrupted for millions of students around the world, SDG #4 is more important than ever. It also marks an important milestone in the longstanding collaboration between The Learning Partnership and BMO, which has seen more than $3.5 million donated by BMO to enable 4.5 million students across Canada to engage in The Learning Partnership's experiential learning programming. Since 2019 alone, more than 250 BMO employees have volunteered as mentors in skill-building opportunities to inspire and equip tomorrow’s problem solvers and changemakers.  
The IF.G SDG Challenge enables us, together, to take inspiration and entrepreneurial thinking to the global stage for youth. It is aligned with BMO’s Purpose – to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life – for a sustainable future, a thriving economy and an inclusive society.  “The opportunity to work with The Learning Partnership and InventFuture.Global to inspire youth to learn, practice and grow their innovation, entrepreneurial and problem-solving skills is a deeply meaningful one,” said Barbara Kool, Director of Enterprise Learning Operations at BMO.
In addition to supporting student participation, BMO employee volunteers will be engaged to facilitate the virtual sessions, held each Saturday between April 23 and May 14. Students who participate in the SDG Challenge will also hear from Gina Jeneroux, BMO’s Chief Learning Officer, who is giving a keynote address on Saturday, April 30. An advocate for life-long learning, Gina will give students exceptional insight into the future-ready skills they need and how they can apply them to their work during the SDG Challenge program and beyond.  
“BMO is delighted to be part of the SDG Challenge and the broader movement to ensure zero barriers to the kind of education that will inspire today’s students to become tomorrow’s leaders. We see our work with The Learning Partnership and IF.G as a bold initiative for Canadian innovation education to equip students with the future-ready skills they will need to thrive in the world of work, and ensure a sustainable future for us all,” said Jeneroux. 
The SDG Challenge will wrap up with an awards and honours celebration on May 21. To stay tuned on what the students are up to during the BMO SDG Challenge, be sure to like and follow The Learning Partnership on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. We will be sharing ideas from SDG Challenge participants, insights from BMO facilitators, and photos of SDG Challenge highlights every week.   

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