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Welcome to The IDEAS4GE Innovation Challenge to

Elevate Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Access 

Businesses and organizations of any size can customize the IDEAS4GE Innovation Challenge resources to engage diverse perspectives and generate innovative solutions to advance their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) journey. Explore how the innovation challenge can drive sustainable progress toward a thriving work culture where all employees can flourish and fully contribute to the success of the organization.

What is the IDEAS4GE Innovation Challenge?

The IDEAS for Gender Equality Innovation Challenge is a proven way for organizations, leaders and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) practitioners to engage diverse perspectives in thoughtful discussions and collaborative solution-building.

  • The guided process encourages participants to take the time to listen and understand identified issues and opportunities from different perspectives before jumping ahead to generate potential solutions. 
  • Using an Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) lens to explore how a workplace policy or practice may impact members of an organization differently or how clients and customers may experience your product or service in unique ways, opens the door to new possibilities. 
  • The challenge tools and resources build bridges of understanding in a respectful environment where out-of-the-box innovative ideas can flourish.
  • Exploring Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access from an innovation standpoint changes the dialogue and is the foundation for sustained systemic thinking and the adoption of inclusive impactful change.  

The Innovation Challenge Process

Is strategically designed to create synergy in a safe space where innovative ideas build upon a shared understanding and acknowledge that our own experiences are not necessarily the experiences of others. 

  • It begins with a quick reflective individual activity that provides all participants with the opportunity to identify one or two topics and then engage as a group to select one priority item to explore together.
  • Next, time is spent in respectful discussion (listening and sharing diverse perspectives).
  • Insights developed in a non-judgmental (no-blame/no-shame) context promote an open exploration of how unconscious bias influences humanity’s conscious decision-making. 
  • Whether you are focusing on an identified opportunity or attempting to establish a series of actionable priorities, the innovative challenge process and corresponding tools can set the stage for productive discussions and kick-start the development of meaningful solutions. 


Let the IDEAS Begin!

Customize Challenge Tools & Resources To meet your needs!

The challenge process, templates and content are based on the recurring themes and expressed needs of diverse individuals, groups, businesses and organizations participating in consultations and workshops across multiple sectors and communities in Canada. 

Using data and examples that are from outside your organization but that reflect similar opportunities within your organization can be a liberating experience.  

These tools and resources use an Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access lens to explore pressing topics and promote an intersectional gender-based analysis plus approach to solution-building. 

Users are invited to: 

  • Review the resources and applications to determine how they can be applied within your organization 
  • Modify the resources to focus on timely topics relevant to your (DEI) journey 
  • Adapt and change the process from one session to the next to explore emerging insights and elevate progress 

Getting Started!

To begin we invite you to familiarize yourself with two foundational resources used in developing the Innovation Challenge. 


1. The IDEAS for Gender Equality Defined

This document provides a descriptive definition of how Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access can appear in our daily interactions and workflow practices.

  • The definitions presented in this resource are a consolidation of numerous samples collected from organizations exploring these concepts
  • The IDEAS concepts are not intended to be seen as definitive definitions but are designed to support the IDEAS4GE Challenge activity

2. The IDEAS4GE & 50 – 30 Challenge What Works Tool Kit Resource

The content in this resource is developed in line with the four key pillars of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access to support the BPWC/CCEW IDEAS4GE Community Building Events and Innovation Challenge Activity.

  • The areas/opportunities listed for each of the (IDEA) pillars are supported by KPMG findings and research during the development of the What Works Toolkit and the body of work conducted by the BPW Canada/CCEW Project Team
  • For each area/opportunity identified, connection points to specific tools within the 50 – 30 What Works Toolkit are provided so that participants can use the toolkit to further support their exploration and learning sparked during the IDEAS4GE Innovation Challenge 

Solution Tools & Resources

Innovation Challenge Lead Facilitator Presentation

This sample IDEAS4GE Innovation Challenge PowerPoint Presentation with corresponding facilitator notes and suggested timing is an adapted version of the brief presentation used to introduce the Innovation Challenge activity held in conjunction with the IDEAS4GE Community Building Events.  

  • The Innovation Challenge Activity is versatile.

Effective for any Size Group

  • Internal Working Group
  • Organization-wide Session
  • Community Event with Diverse Multiple Stakeholder Groups 

Easily adapted for a variety of settings

  • In-person
  • Virtual 
  • Hybrid

The Slide Deck and detailed Lead Facilitator presentation notes offer insights into this versatility and can be adapted by Facilitators to meet their needs. 

The content assists with setting the stage for an interactive learning experience and promoting a fresh dialogue.

The lead facilitator will walk participants through the innovation challenge, introduce the tools and resources the break-out group facilitator and participants will use in their discussions and establish the report-out parameters. 

*Feel free to use and share these resources widely. We only ask that you acknowledge the source and give credit to the IDEAS4GE Innovation Challenge participants and solution-builders contributing to these resources. 

Lead IDEAS4GE Challenge Presentation

Customize to meet your needs


Sample Innovation Challenge Recording

This recording of the Innovation challenge introduced at an IDEAS4GE Community Event will provide you with a sense of the timing and flow. 

Note: The break-out discussions and time associated with the group discussion are not included in this recording. 

Check out a sample Challenge  Introduction and Report-out Video Recording here!

Innovation Challenge Process and Worksheet

The IDEAS4GE Innovation Challenge Graphic Worksheet guides participants through six steps:    

  • Individuals engage in a (Dot-Mocracy/Priority-setting) activity and then engage with the group to select an IDEA sub-topic area/opportunity to explore together
  • Develop a shared understanding of the Sub-topic selected by the group
  • Identify Myths & Biases that may impact the topic
  • Brainstorm potential systemic or process-based solutions related to your topic
  • Agree on one solution the group will work on together – creating a list of key bullet points and a descriptive title for their proposed solution 
  • Indicate important 1ˢᵗ steps to promote successful adoption and ensure that the solution is inclusive and is explored from an intersectional perspective

Customize/Print Challenge Process Graphic

Graphic DEAS Innovation Challenge Image


IN-PERSON:  Challenge Worksheet Instructions

VIRTUAL:  Challenge Worksheet Instructions+  

The virtual slide deck is used by the IDEA break-out group facilitators to guide their IDEA group discussions.

  • A visual image to walk virtual participants through the Six-step Innovation Challenge process. 
  • A virtual dot-mocracy activity
  • Instructions for capturing the group discussion and progress through each step of the challenge process

Break-out Group Facilitator Tips and Training

The Lead IDEAS4GE Innovation Challenge Facilitator will want to ensure that sufficient time is spent preparing the break-out discussion group facilitators for their role. 

  • The Facilitator Training Tips and Instructions outlined in this resource reinforce the primary role of the break-out group facilitator and review the challenge activities that will help them complete their task.

Role of the break-out Group Facilitator

  • Help the group understand their task and guide them through  each of the challenging process steps using the corresponding tools and resources
  • Encourage open and respectful participation of group members
  • Take a balanced approach that ensures adequate time spent in building understanding and consensus while keeping the discussion flowing toward achieving the task within the set timeline. (see innovation challenge timeline guidelines).

Individual Priority Setting: Dot-Mocracy Activity

The individual Priority Setting (Dot-Mocracy) Activity is designed to;

  • Engage participants in a moment of reflection to consider which of the opportunities listed under their main topic of exploration (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity or Access) most appeal to them
  • Provide participants with a voice and engage them in working with the group  to determine the topic they will work on together

Each participant is asked to identify the two top items that are of particular interest. 

  • In-person participants are provided two sticky dots to place on the topics of greatest interest
  • Virtual participants will use the chat function to indicate their two topics of interest. 

Organizations may be at different stages of their Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) journey.  If employees/groups within the organization have already identified specific areas of opportunity, you can skip this exercise and have the groups incorporate the topics directly onto the top of their worksheet and move on to the next step of the innovation challenge process.

Review & Print Dot-Mocracy/Priority Setting Resources

Quick Individual Activity  (2 minutes)


In-Person Participants


Virtual Participants


Innovation Challenge Process Flow and Timeline Guidelines

The following recommendations come to you directly from participants who have engaged in the  Innovation Challenge workshops conducted in conjunction with the IDEAS4GE Community Events.  

  • Overall it is recommended that a minimum of 1.5 hours be allocated to the innovation challenge workshop activity. 

Depending on the size, nature or type of event you are planning you can expect to adjust the proposed timing to best meet your needs.


  • Number of participants and break-out groups
  • Familiarity among participants and whether it is a community forum, a mix of multi-stakeholder businesses and organizations or an internal  working committee
  • In-person, virtual or hybrid event
  • Report-out method to best support the above event factors

Review Timing Guidelines

Timing to Meet Your Needs!


The IDEAS4GE Innovation Challenge outlined in this solution builds upon the equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) practices used by many experts in this field of endeavour.  It also incorporates tried and true approaches to engaging systemic policy development and operational practice reviews.  Solutions generated through the respectful collaborative engagement of diverse perspectives and by those most impacted by or closest to the issues are liberating, more impactful and more sustainable. 

Special Thanks to the IDEAS4GE Solution-Builders, Challenge Participants, Break-out Group Facilitators and Recorders – their interest, time and feedback made this solution possible. 

Information in this resource is provided solely for the user’s knowledge. While extensively researched and considered accurate, it is provided strictly “as is” and without warranty, either expressed or implied. The IDEAS4GE Team and Solution-builders or associates will not be liable for any damages, direct or indirect, or lost profits or data arising from your use of the information presented in this resource. Use of this free resource constitutes acceptance of these terms and conditions.

Note: that the terms and acronyms used in this resource are provisional and reflect the general understanding at the time of the solution design (2024).