What is the Studio Y fellowship?
Designed for young professionals, the Studio Y Fellowship is a residency-based leadership program that also offers a full-time placement option.
Our flexible eight-month program develops leaders through intensive workshops, project work, coaching and mentorship.
Our 25 Fellows come from across Ontario to receive guidance from leading experts at MaRS, as they address complex challenges in four cluster areas.
The Fellowship curriculum
Our core curriculum teaches Fellows the foundations of systems leadership, by employing lateral thinking, drawing from different disciplines and bridging theory with practice. Flexible programming and experiential learning are applied.
Course Stream 1: Understand Systems Change
This course lays the foundation for the program, with a focus on examining complex problems using a whole-system lens to understand how change happens.
Course Stream 2: Lead Systems Change Work
When engaging across industries and promoting cooperation among multiple organizations, successful leaders promote change by demonstrating influence rather than exercising control. This course deals with developing strategies for change, empowering others to lead, and leading ourselves.
Course Stream 3: Cross-Sector Connectivity
Strong networks underpin the work that our leaders do and the impact that they have. This course teaches the skills required to build these networks, convene diverse groups, and facilitate effective collaboration.
Course Stream 4: Innovation to Solve Problems
Addressing complex problems often requires disrupting the status quo. This course teaches entrepreneurial thinking and design thinking, which our Fellows apply to developing solutions that are innovative, entrepreneurial, creative and responsive to the needs of various stakeholders.
Course Stream 5: Anti-Oppressive Practices
Anti-Oppressive Practices (AOP) address the social and economic inequalities that are built into our society. This course teaches Fellows to analyze how power and privilege intersect within systems. Fellows are then guided in applying AOP in their careers.
The Studio Y fellowship runs part-time September through May. Fellows divide their time between:
A mix of classroom work, facilitated dialogues, coaching, pitches and presentations.
Time commitment: A 10-day introductory session followed by five 5-day sessions held approximately every five weeks. Program closes with a showcase and graduation.
Fellows work in industry-specific teams of four to six to apply their learning through real-world challenges. They develop innovative prototypes and scalable solutions.
Time commitment: Approximately six hours per week over 35 weeks. Fellows complete this work in parallel to their other commitments.
Fellows put their learning into practice by working or running their own business full time. Alternately, they can complete challenging work placements within MaRS.
Time commitment: Full-time in the weeks between sessions.
Support and coaching will be available to Studio Y fellows throughout their training.
Networking & mentorship
A network of organizations and leaders from across Ontario’s sectors and industries will be available for collaboration. Each Fellow will be matched with a mentor who’ll provide them with career insights, coaching and feedback.
Supported by specialized coaching and workshops, Fellows will develop a ‘Professional Leadership Plan’ that will help them assess their current performance, plus areas for growth and learning.
The MaRS ecosystem
Staff and partners at MaRS will act as faculty members, mentors, coaches and collaborators for Fellows.
Financial support and funding
A personal stipend is provided to all Fellows. Fellows who complete a placement at MaRS will receive additional funding.
Living stipend options
Fellows who are working or running their own venture will receive a $8,000 living and travelling stipend for the duration of the fellowship. Alternatively, Fellows may apply for a placement within MaRS and receive an additional $22,000 living stipend (for a total stipend of $30,000).
Assistance with travel and accommodations is available to those travelling from outside Toronto who face financial barriers. Access funding may also be requested if a Fellow experiences a financial barrier to accessing all or part of the program.
What is systems leadership?
As our world becomes increasingly complex and interconnected, we need systems leaders who can solve problems in new ways. The key hallmarks of these leaders—alternately called integrative public leaders, collaborative leaders or civic leaders—are that they often work across organizations. Systems leaders go beyond their individual professional disciplines and work within a range of cultures.
What will you learn?
Fellows will be guided by experienced educators and facilitators in systems thinking, leadership, cross-sector collaboration and innovation. Learning will be done through a unique combination of case studies, interactive dialogues, simulations, readings and coaching. Fellows will come out with a rounded education. See more details in the Curriculum Overview.
How will you spend your time?
The 2017-18 Studio Y Fellowship program runs from 15 September 2017 to 27 May 2018. The program is part-time and includes over 280 hours of programming across seven residencies. Fellows are also expected to work on their projects and other Fellowship work in between residency sessions for approximately six hours per week.
Fellows are required to attend a minimum of 80% of the sessions throughout the year, in addition to working on a team project. Given the intensive nature of the program, as well as the scheduling of some events during work hours, Fellows must obtain the support of their employers to participate in the program.
What makes you eligible for a fellowship?
Our Fellows typically have three years of professional, entrepreneurial or postgraduate experience in their focus areas. They will have demonstrated an interest in developing and scaling their work.
We are seeking people who possess expertise in one or more of the four MaRS industry knowledge areas, complemented by specialized skillsets. For example: technological innovators, conveners, designers, policy analysts, data specialists, entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs.
Can you tell me more about the placement opportunities?
Applicants may apply to the placement opportunities as part of their Fellowship program. Studio Y Placements are opportunities for Fellows to work full-time with a business unit at MaRS over the course of the program. Placements provide an applied and rigorous immersion that builds Fellows’ experience and networks across sectors. This allows for numerous opportunities to apply the Fellowship curriculum directly to their work and will be supported with an additional $22,000 stipend ($30,000 total funding package).
The selection for Placement Fellows is more rigorous to ensure fit with both Fellowship and MaRS business unit, requiring a cover letter, references and an additional interview with the business unit’s manager.
The Theme Areas
Fellows work in MaRS’ four theme areas: