Friday, October 2, 2015

YES Institute at University of Toronto Rotman School of Commerce

Rotman Commerce at University of Toronto is one of the leading business schools in Canada, boasting renowned international faculty, located in the heart of one the most cosmopolitan and multicultural cities in the Northern Hemisphere.

Christopher Morello, a student leader at Rotman and former YES Institute intern, contacted us about presenting to the Rotman Commerce Pride Alliance (RCPA), one of eight student associations at the school. The fortunate timing of our visit to APA Convention in Toronto
 allowed us to present our work and an abridged version of Communication Solutions™ for undergraduate business students. 

At first, we were bemused why YES Institute was needed in Toronto? Canada is long noted for their embrace of different peoples and cultures, passing their gender neutral marriage act nearly a decade ago. Recent population studies also rank Toronto even more ethnically diverse than New York City, proudly bearing the motto, "Diversity Our Strength." 

Rotman Students with Chris Morello on video chat.
Chris responded, "While that's all true, diversity doesn't necessarily mean gleeful co-existence. Half of all residents were born outside Canada, emigrating from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and the Middle East, which largely have very traditional views toward LGBT persons. There is an unspoken tension around these and other cultural flash points. Fighting about 'Us vs. Them' shows up here, too." 

Student feedback included: 
"The YES Institute communication model is useful because it actually creates a result of win/win between two people, especially when they are holding different opinions."  
"This really helped me to resolve the conflict I have with my parents."  
"The YES Institute presentation was actually much more insightful than I thought it would be. It was a good amount of education mixed with learning communication skills. I especially found the business connection at the end to be interesting."  
– Rotman Commerce students
We are thankful to Telus Mobility, a Canadian telco who hosted an RCPA corporate partners introduction with YES Institute prior to the student presentation. 

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Written by Joseph Zolobczuk. 

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