McMaster’s DeGroote School of Business has received a $1-million gift from the KPMG Foundation and KPMG in Canada’s Regions East offices to develop a new lab that will embrace digital technology and promote experiential learning among students.
The KPMG Ignition Lab will be a dedicated innovation, analytics and advanced technology space housed within the new McLean Centre for Collaborative Discovery, a multi-storey addition to the DeGroote School of Business scheduled for completion in 2023. In the new lab, students from different Faculties and disciplines can come together, explore synergies, spark new thinking and, ultimately, solve real-world problems.
As well as being used for physical infrastructure, KPMG’s gift will cultivate experiential learning activities to help students seize opportunity in an era of rapid and disruptive change. Potential activities may include mentorship and interaction with today’s most transformative business leaders; research and study collaborations; and relevant networking opportunities, product demos and events.
“The idea to bring KPMG’s Ignition Lab to life at the DeGroote School of Business originated from our mutual deep roots in the local Hamilton community and our commitment to offering students a new way of embracing innovation and technology to learn about business,” said Ruth Todd, DeGroote School of Business graduate (Class of ’90) and regional managing partner for KPMG in Canada’s offices in southwestern, northern and eastern Ontario and the Atlantic provinces.
The lab will also act as a pathway between KPMG and the next generation of big thinkers.
“It’s important for us to engage with students in a different way to demonstrate how their studies can contribute to positive impact around the world,” said Todd. “This is a commitment to the community and the next generation of professionals.”
DeGroote is currently undergoing an ambitious overhaul in the way it offers undergraduate education—with fewer lecture halls and podiums and more open spaces that encourage interaction between students from different disciplines. Greater emphasis will be placed on discovery-based learning, and student-centred labs such as the KPMG Ignition Lab will help lead the way in this transition.
“The contribution for this new lab is directly in line with our vision for the McLean Centre as a premier destination for students to discover, learn and collaborate across multiple Faculties and academic disciplines,” said McMaster president David Farrar.
“We are tremendously grateful for KPMG’s invaluable support, and the exciting developments this will enable.”
The new lab will be among several interconnected discovery-based learning hubs housed within the McLean Centre for Collaborative Discovery dedicated to supporting students, faculty and business partners as they collaborate on solutions for the challenges facing the business world.
“These spaces will enable our students to come together more naturally and develop the soft and hard skills necessary to thrive in a world of change and uncertainty,” said McMaster’s School of Business dean Khaled Hassanein. “Labs like the KPMG Ignition Lab will help transform the way we teach business and support our future leaders.”