A new course to help you launch your passion project!
As a student, time is a valuable asset. On top of school work and extracurriculars building a project or venture may seem like a daunting task, but if it’s something you’re passionate about you should do it. And we can help! ZON 100 allows you to get course credit towards your degree, plus you’ll get one-on-one mentorship and the opportunity to connect with a community of like-minded students. ZON 100 will give you the chance to learn in a familiar academic context while growing your project and gaining the skills you need to succeed.
This new open elective course from Zone Learning allows undergraduate students to start and grow their projects and ventures under the guidance of an instructor. The course uses both group sessions and one-on-one mentorship, giving students a hands-on experience where they can gain deeper insights into the skills and competencies needed to grow a project or venture.
Through bi-weekly group presentations and discussions students explore and gain knowledge and develop key skills including creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, experimentation, communication, risk, uncertainty and more. In addition to group sessions students also participate in bi-weekly individual and/or paired conversations that allow them to hone in on their own goals and make progress towards growing their projects.
Set your own goals and define your own success.
Be part of a community of diverse and like-minded students.
Get course credit towards your degree.
Learn the skills you need to grow your project or venture
These skills have endless applications and will help you succeed no matter what your next steps are. From problem-solving to adaptability, over the course of 12 weeks ZON 100 students will gain experience and knowledge in 12 key competencies:
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
Roadblocks are unavoidable. Become adept at identifying, analyzing, and evaluating situations, ideas, and information so you can formulate responses and solutions.
Uncertainty Mitigation and Risk Assessment
Risks are scary! Learn how to reduce uncertainty and calculate risk before diving into a new project or task.
Imagine and devise new, innovative ways of addressing problems, answering questions, or expressing meaning through the application, synthesis or repurposing of knowledge.
Forgotten how to talk to other humans? Develop your communication skills so you can listen to, understand, convey, and contextualize information in verbal, non-verbal, visual, and written settings.
Teamwork makes the dream work. Learn how to work on a team towards a common goal and how to prevent and manage conflict.
Curiosity and Meta-Cognition
You'll never know if you don't ask! Innovation thrives through curiosity. Learn the value of asking questions, demonstrating open-mindedness and being inquisitive.
Getting started is the hardest part. Develop your ability to take initiative and proactively undertake a new task or goal.
Persistence and Grit
Keep going, even when the going gets tough. Sustained interest and effort to persevere and accomplish a task or goal is one of the most important and useful skills to learn.
When building a project or venture your work and goals are always evolving. Get comfortable changing plans, methods, opinions or goals in light of new information.
Take the lead! Learn how to be an effective, direct and inspirational leader so you can help guide your team towards accomplishing a common goal.
Social and Cultural Awareness and Inclusion
Build diversity into your project or venture from the start. Develop the skills you need to interact with and be inclusive of others in socially, culturally, and ethically appropriate ways.
Moral Integrity and Ethics
Think before you act. Learn to make decisions and undertake tasks while always respecting personal morals and principles.
Meet our alumni
Kanan Shah (Entrepreneurship)
Kanan's project Late Night Labs, external link, opens in new window is a facilitation lab that applies the power of creative thinking and innovation frameworks to bring people and ideas together so they can problem solve and learn better. They offer training sessions, design thinking workshops and more.
As a member of the Science Discovery Zone, opens in new window and with a background in entrepreneurship, this course was an exciting opportunity for Kanan to apply the principles she was learning in the classroom. The chance to play an active role in designing her own learning outcomes was also a major draw. For Kanan the group sessions were especially useful. "It was really liberating talking to my peers because it made me realize that I’m not the only one who’s going through struggles or challenges."
You are in control of your learning outcomes and empowered to make them as valuable as they can be.
Daphne Chanka (Graphic Communications Management)
Daphne's project Thrift Toronto, external link, opens in new window is designed to find fashion reselling businesses within your location for low shipping costs and convenience. Fashion reselling is sustainable for the environment and networking with other businesses is powerful for the community. Thrift Toronto allows users to find underground fashion that is easily accessible online.
Throughout the course Daphne gained a variety of skills to help her project succeed from problem solving and adaptability to the importance of one-on-one mentorship. "I gained a sense of value for feedback and learned the importance of direction towards my desired goal."
I would advise a friend who is interested in the course to take it! I think it will teach them a lot about skills they can apply to their own venture and inspire them to get out of their comfort zone.
Rachel Parent (Journalism)
Rachel’s project, a YouTube video series called Rachel News, external link, opens in new window, was an opportunity to explore her interests from social justice and food to sustainability. The idea was something she had been thinking about for a long time, but joining this course gave her the opportunity to finally create it.
Through the course Rachel learned about herself and what she was capable of, becoming more resourceful and creative throughout the semester. "I started looking beyond what I was creating to what I could be creating, because I felt free to explore that aspect of myself rather than feeling bogged down by insecurities."
I recommended this course to multiple people when we were only a few weeks in and continue to tell people about it, as I felt even from the first class the lessons we've learnt have really been invaluable.
Watch an episode of Rachel News!
In this instalment Rachel chats with activist Felix Finkbeiner on climate activism, tree planting, and his new documentary.
Brian Leclerc (New Media)
Brian's project, Homemade, external link, opens in new window is an app that provides a free platform for local artists and small creators to sell products consisting of handmade art, music, freelance work and pretty much anything you can think of.
Through this course Brian not only learned how to grow his project, but gained deeper insight into himself. He improved his time management skills, learned how to reach his goals and developed the skills to better manage his team. "I gained confidence with myself being a leader."
This course really allows you to go in depth into your project, get resources, and learn the fundamentals the most famous entrepreneurs learned before you.
Ethan Keyes (Performance Acting)
Ethan was inspired to create his project, a video series entitled The Life of a Couch, external link, opens in new window, after seeing how the COVID-19 pandemic shifted creativity and content around the world. His hope was to use this series to figure out what kind of content people are interested in during these difficult times and explore a variety of themes.
As a participant in the course Ethan was able to learn from peers who were studying different disciplines and ultimately grow his own project. The feedback he gained in both the group sessions and through one-on-one mentorship, helped him "push [his] project into directions [he] wasn't expecting, and ask questions that [he] would have never asked."
If you feel like you really want to push yourself to understand what you want to do and what you want to create this is a great class.