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Employee Spotlight: Camila Perez Pena

Written by Anju Kakkar

CAMILA PEREZ PENA, IMYB™

Project Manager | Strategic Innovation Designer, Research & Innovation

photo of Camila and Title

In the words of the celebrated author R. Roosevelt Thomas, Jr., often referred to as the father of diversity: “Creating and managing a diverse workforce is a process, not a destination.” In the spirit of this rewarding process, our team proudly exemplifies Humber College’s vision of equity, diversity and inclusiveness.

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Camila Perez Pena, a highly engaged and motivated strategic innovation designer, is an impactful member of our growing research community. Her path to Humber Research & Innovation is a pure culmination of aligning her passion for all things’ strategy’, ‘innovation’ and ‘design’.

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“I am blessed to work with Ginger, who fosters creativity in
business, strategy and innovation, which is literally what I love, and that is my forte.”

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Beginning her educational journey back in her hometown of Bogota, Colombia, Camila acquired her Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship & Innovation and Bachelor’s in Strategy Design from Los Andes University in 2017. Passionate about leveraging her skills to the highest potential, she decided to move to Canada in 2018 with enrolment at Humber College, where she completed the Post Graduate Diploma in Project Management with Honours. Camila’s involvement with the Leadership Club and an alternative Capstone project at the Barret Centre for Technology & Innovation, which she describes as an enriching experience, got her noticed. We are indeed glad she joined Humber Research in 2019.

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“I loved my undergraduate education. We were trained to think anthropologically, with emphasis on a strategic mindset, bringing in the heart-set into the puzzle,” shares Camila. Her skillsets cover areas of service, process and product design, ethnographic research, project and change management, innovation strategy and peer mentorship. We thank Camila for her continuous input and a go-getter attitude, as well as for taking up initiatives that focus on human relations, collaboration and sustainability. After being a HUWIB Ambassador for Harvard University in 2016, she also co-founded the first Women in Business Organization in Colombia, which only reflects her desire to help the community and improve people’s lives.

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At Humber Research & Innovation, Camila leads as a Project Manager. On the one hand, she is in charge of the CCSIF Portfolio, responsible for the entire application process and post-award accountabilities, ensuring compliance with government policies and ensuring all contracts and agreements are adhered to by faculty members and all partners involved. On the other hand, she embarked on an innovative project, bringing a dormant CRM system back online, so much so that it has gained the recognition of other departments who have shown interest in adopting a similar platform. Camila and Michel are developing a website or a centralized tool that will streamline the flow of information and serve as a customizable means to track projects, partners, events, faculty engagement, grant approvals and similar concepts.

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“This platform is going to save us a lot of time. Information can now be obtained from the CRM
and reflected on the dashboard using Tableau. This tool will be available to Humber members enabling them to see what’s going on at Humber Research & Innovation, who we are, who they can collaborate with…”

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Camila repeatedly touches on the importance of ‘collaboration’, crediting her peers often. She feels strongly about creating a platform where students can showcase their strengths and skillsets, giving them an edge in the job market field. She is in tune with Humber Research & Innovation’s overall goals and initiatives, and this is what she has to say about her experience so far:

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“Research is messy, chaotic, and unpredictable, but when you have a great team, it sure will be rewarding! I believe everyone in our Department complements each other seamlessly and this,
combined with a fantastic unconventional leader like Dr. Ginger Grant, who will always be supportive and open to thinking out of the box, help us all feel safe, ready and inspired
to take risks and discover innovative and fun ways to reimagine and improve what we do.”

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Camila is a Certified Innovation 360 Licensed Practitioner (IMYB™) – Innovation Management Yellow Belt, issued by the Innovation 360 Group AB, Sweden in 2020; a certification that can only be attempted upon completing IMBA Innovation Management Basic Accreditation™.  She is a multi-tasker and confidently portrays her ability to take on several projects and efficiently manage all of them; she says, “I use my time well, and I am accountable for what I undertake.”

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Currently, she is occupied with executing her several responsibilities at Humber Research as well as managing a team of project assistants who are only too enthusiastic to catch up with her drive and ambition. Camila is continuously looking for ways to get things done faster, time managed well, opening up the space for newer initiatives and collaborating on innovative ideas. She has the ability to integrate the needs of the clients and industry partners with interdepartmental goals and facilitate the formation of unique solutions through co-creation.

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We encourage the cultivation of an open work environment, a space that recognizes talent and skill as much as the traits and aspects that make each one of us unique; get to know Camila a little better:

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– The next certification she has in mind: Project Management Professional Certification and Scrum Master Certification.

– When she is not at work, she explores her artistic talents, designing and creating unique handmade jewellery, writing, painting, drawing. She is also a discreet investor in the stock market arena.

– Secret talent: Camila shares, “The one thing I love the most is baking and decorating cakes! I also really enjoy repurposing discarded furniture that I find left abandoned.”

– A book that most influenced her is 101 Design Methods: A Structured Approach for Driving Innovation in Your Organization – by Vijay Kumar. Camila confesses, “this is my personal Innovation Bible.”

– Favourite hashtags: #womeninbusiness #stockmarket #wallstreet

– When online, the most visited platform/site: www.behance.net. She embarks, “I prefer to work with my hands and do not spend much time in the virtual world.”

– Research is, Camila states, “All about Collaboration.” and we couldn’t agree more!

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Benefits of Accreditation as an Innovation360 Licensed Practitioner

1. Gain access to the world’s largest innovation database and leading analytic and management online tools for innovation management and growth

2. Unlock high-value templates and tools for insights, analysis, design and implementation of innovation and growth

3. Leverage a global network for business development, collaboration and personal branding

4. Deploy the leading ideation platform, Ideation360, for prototyping, open innovation and idea campaigns

5. Offer evidence-based and data-backed recommendations and strategic guidance implementing systems solutions for innovation and growth

6. Aligned with global ISO 56000 Innovation Management Standards

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For more information, check out the Innovation 360 Group website:

https://licensed.innovation360.com/key-benefits-certified-innovation-management-program/


Get connected with Humber Research & Innovation! Tell us what is it that you are aiming for? Is there a certification you are targeting? Are you working towards developing a particular skill? We would love to hear all about it.