Brighter Futures for Manitoba Children

For over a year now, Relish New Brand Experience has been working alongside North Forge Technology Exchange to help Manitoba children via the Manitoba Open Innovation Challenge (MOIC).

The MOIC was launched in late 2017 in response to Manitoba’s poor ranking in a recent study measuring school preparedness as it pertains to literacy and numeracy skills in pre-school children. The study was conducted by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation & Development and ranked Manitoba eighth and ninth for numeracy and literacy respectively, and the challenge tasked community members and organizations to offer innovative ways to tackle the issue.

“We’ve worked with North Forge on a variety of projects and I would say they all have one major thing in common – impact,” said Suzanne Braun, Relish’s Managing Director. “As Project Lead, our team has mapped out the initiative from the ground up and we believe the results will have some very real impact on the lives of Manitoba children.”

The public face of the MOIC began with a call for community ideas on how best to address the gaps being seen in literacy and numeracy skills. But the hard work began well before that, with Relish leading the project development process months before its public launch, including building the challenge launch and implementation strategies, including developing all marketing and online components as well as a comprehensive media relations plan.

After the submissions started pouring in, Relish’s role evolved to fulfill project management, participant resource requirements and ongoing promotion of the initiative to maintain momentum. This also included organization of and participation in several public ideation sessions to generate even more community-based ideas directed at the problem at hand.

The MOIC selection panel recently identified three finalists for the initiative who are now in prototype development stage to bring their ideas to life, all under the guidance of Relish New Brand Experience and North Forge Technology Exchange.

“At Relish we take a lot of pride in our ability to adapt to the needs of our clients,” said Braun. “Whether we’re asked to develop a straightforward logo design or take on a province-wide marketing-based initiative for the benefit of our community, our team always finds a way to meet a challenge.”

After MOIC finalists complete the prototyping phase of their projects, Relish will help take the participants through the testing and evaluation phases to gauge the impact their ideas have on children’s literacy and numeracy skills or what effect they may have in the future.

“Whatever the result, the children and communities in our province are already winners,” said Braun. “That’s because the challenge is about so much more than literacy and numeracy, it’s about bringing people together to achieve a common goal and I think that’s something we at Relish do incredibly well.”