ASU’s UTO staff cooks up fresh, innovative ideas at Engage 2020

October 5, 2020

This year’s third annual Engage event brought together more than 300 ASU University Technology Office (UTO) staff members across nine work streams to take on leadership roles, brainstorm ideas and gain and exercise new skills.

The two-day internal professional development event was held virtually Sept. 23–24.
Participants at Engage 2020Download Full Image

Following up on the momentum of the ideas constructed by the ASU IT community at Empower 2020, UTO staff spent two hours each day learning, growing and collaborating with colleagues in the form of an idea hackathon. This year’s nine hackathon work streams – submitted by UTO employees and centered around innovation and culture – included:

  • Accessible Dashboard of Dashboards.
  • Activating the Affirmative Pledge.

  • ASU Sync-Up.

  • Authentic Artificial Intelligence.

  • Block-Chain Chain Chain of Tools (See: Aretha!).

  • Emotionally Smart Cities.

  • Help Me Help You: Innovative Boundary-Winning Approaches.

  • Next-Gen Z Networks.

  • Zooming Out of the Meeting Grid.

But first, a word from our CIO

Samantha Becker Lev Gonick

Samantha Becker, executive director of creative and communications, who co-organized the event, kicked things off by welcoming the UTO family and introducing ASU Chief Information Officer Lev Gonick. He shared examples of the top-notch work that ASU UTO has achieved in the last year, including the university’s Daily Health Check initiative, the transformation of the ASU learning environment via ASU Sync and the hundreds of thousands of calls handled by the ASU Experience Center in recent months.

“As I reflect back to last Engage and many of the work streams, much of what has been accomplished was inspired by conversations (from last year),” Gonick said. 

Prep time

Before staff broke out into their hackathon work stream groups, the goals for the two-day immersive event were shared:

Engage 2020 Event Goals

They also received tools, best practices and an introduction to all of the work stream concepts from

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