The Action Inclusion Challenge is a non-competitive design thinking challenge that connects 5 multidisciplinary teams with industry partners who have identified inclusion challenges within their organizations. The teams must then co-create social innovation solutions that use artificial intelligence (AI) to solve these challenges. This is a unique opportunity to develop social innovation projects in artificial intelligence by enriching your skills, developing a network, and sharing your passion with creativity!

Meet the participants of the IVADO Action Inclusion Challenge!

From October 2021 to March 2022, each participant contributed to the development of an innovative artificial intelligence solution to address the inclusion challenges of the 5 projects identified by our partners: CHUM, BNC, IBM and Myelin Solutions.

Synerpsy, an accessible platform for neurodiversity and all literacy levels (Myelin Solutions)

In order to improve psycho-educational care, the team collaborating with Myelin Solutions proposes to create a text complexity indicator, allowing for real-time analysis of the level of semantic accessibility. Using the latest advances in language understanding and natural language processing (NLU/NLP), it is possible to obtain the degree of complexity of a text.

François Menet

CTO, Co-Founder

Myelin Solutions

Sylvain Munger ​

Postdoctoral Fellow

Centre de recherche en droit public (Université de Montréal), OBVIA, IVADO

Sami Bahig

MD 2006, Msc, research assistant and data scientist

Tianjian Lucas GAO

Student at Université de Montréal

Département d'informatique et de recherche opérationnelle (DIRO), Recherche appliquée en linguistique informatique (RALI)

Poclaire Kenmogne

Student in mathematics and statistics

Université de Montréal

Towards Disovering and Understanding how to Improve the representation of Women in STEM: A case study from IBM Inventorship and Patenting

The IBM team conducts research and development to understand the gender dimension and to increase the contribution of science to gender equality in the natural sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, and to increase research on the gender dimension in STEM to develop AI solutions.

Tamer Fares

Senior Architect

Modernization Program Lead, LGS/IBM

Gita Ghiasi

Senior Research Advisor

École de bibliothéconomie et des sciences de l'information, Université de Montréal

Layla Nasr


Makila AI

Khaoula Chehbouni

Master's student in business intelligence

HEC Montréal

Gabriel Homsi

PhD candidate

Département d'informatique et de recherche opérationnelle (DIRO), Université de Montréal

Inclusive chatbot to help patients find their way around (CHUM)

To meet the challenge of the language barrier, the social innovation developed as part of the Action Inclusion IVADO program will consist of a chatbot which, by using existing information about the CHUM, will be able to provide answers to non-medical questions from patients and the general public, and will be able to provide better orientation in several languages.

Simon Reeves

Innovation Advisor

Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM) and CRCHUM co-investigator

Jean-Christoph Farrell

Recreation Technician


Elie Bou Assi

IVADO professor

Assistant professor (Department of Neuroscience, University of Montreal), researcher and CRCHUM member

Nathalie Neriec

Practice Leader


Mina Arzaghi

Data Scientist


Maibang Khounvongsa

Master's student

Département d'informatique et de recherche opérationnelle (DIRO), Université de Montréal

Maya Abou Rjeili

Master's student

Département d'informatique et de recherche opérationnelle (DIRO), Université de Montréal

Nauva Lespérance

Head of the reception-admission sector


Lucie Lachapelle

Head of the reception-admission service


Access to information for all patients (CHUM)

The first need in social innovation integrating AI would be the development of a digital tool (software type) for the creators of content at the CHUM that is directly addressed to patients and different audiences. This tool would not only evaluate the level of readability and difficulty of a text but also propose solutions to increase its clarity and accessibility according to the literacy level of the people concerned.

Martin Cousineau

Assistant Professor

Department of Operations and Logistics Management, HEC Montréal, member of CIRRELT and OBVIA

Aurélie Labbe

Full Professor

Department of Decision Sciences, HEC Montréal, FRQ-IVADO Research Chair in Data Science

Mohamed Jendoubi

President and founder


Jonas Isenegger

Co-founder and data scientist


Henri-Cedric Mputu Boleilanga

Master's student in computer science, artificial intelligence option

Université de Montréal

David Escobar-Vargas

PhD student

Department of Computer Science and Operations Research (DIRO), Université de Montréal, CIRRELT

Shana Bissonnette

Advanced Practice Nurse Clinician

Nursing Directorate, CHUM

Jocelyne Chow



AI for accessibility of a new building (BNC)

The BNC team wishes to develop a social innovation solution in artificial intelligence allowing blind people to circulate in the new head office of the bank.

Celine Manoel

Senior Manager Inclusion and Diversity


Manuel Vallée-Léger

Experience lead - Physical work environment


Shin Koseki

Director of the UNESCO Chair in Urban Landscape, Assistant Professor

École d’urbanisme et d’architecture de paysage, Université de Montréal

Lucas Pages

Master's student

Department of Computer Science and Operations Research (DIRO), Université de Montréal

Foulémata Tirera

Master's student

Department of Computer and Software Engineering, Polytechnique Montréal

Cheilla Izere

Biostatistician / Data Manager and AI Professional

Centre Jean Perrin

Patrick Lapierre

Employee Experience Design Consultant


Thank you

We would like to thank Booraskinnovation, CREDO Impact  and la FABRIQUE_A for offering participants high quality social innovation workshops, which contributed to the success of the Challenge! The participants were able to acquire scientific knowledge to develop AI solutions to inclusion challenges.

Key information


  • Carry out a design-thinking challenge focused on equity, diversity and inclusion in artificial intelligence;
  • Use the talents of our IVADO ecosystem to solve pre-defined inclusion problems with concrete solutions;
  • Create collaborations around high-impact AI projects within academic and industrial settings in the IVADO ecosystem;
  • Facilitate the concrete implementation of innovative AI solutions to provide pathways to solving inclusion issues.

Recruitment process

Each team will work on the project of their choice:

  • Access to information for all Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM) patients;
  • Inclusive chatbot for CHUM so that patients can efficiently find their way around;
  • AI faciltating the accessibility of the new NBC building;
  • Myelin’s Synerpsy app, accessible for neurodivergent people and for all levels of literacy;
  • Development of a pipeline for the attraction and retention of a diversified workforce in upper management at IBM.

Each project has been created in collaboration with participating industry partners: the CHUMNational Bank of Canada, Myelin Solutions and the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM).

Participant profile sought and compensation

For each team, we are seeking at least one professional from the AI sector, one student, and one professor or researcher using the IVADO ecosystem. Each participant must devote a total of 80 hours to carrying out the project (an average of approximately 10 hours a month) between Octobre 2021 and March 2022.

Project participants will receive an attestation of success for the challenge and a free pass for one of our IVADO training sessions.

Profile: student in digital intelligence and/or social science

We’re seeking an AI design student (e.g.: IA interface design, data science, artificial intelligence, psychoeducation, human resources, IT, etc.).

Students who have completed the challenge will each receive a $2,000 honorarium as thanks for their participation.

Conditions of participation

  • Take part in the workshops and working sessions organized as part of the challenge;
  • Devote a total of 80 hours to carrying out the challenge (an average of 10 hours a month).
  • Time frame: Octobre 2021 to March 2022 (7 months).
  • Ability to use digital tools and online methods of interaction (e.g.: Zoom).


We will be working by means of online meetings via Zoom.


From September 2021 to March 2022, social innovation activities will be held for participants to help them develop projects before the celebratory exhibition. Throughout the challenge, participants will be offered:

  • Co-development workshops and activities;
  • Training;
  • Mentorship sessions with experts from the stakeholders;
  • Internship and job opportunities at the end of the challenge;
  • Opportunities to make their project into a research topic.

Preliminary schedule

PHASE 0: Recruitment of teams and creation of workshops

  • Final selection of teams (x 5)

PHASE 1: Understanding

  • October 13, 2021, 2 to 4 p.m.: Launch activity
  • October 20, 2021, 9:30 a.m. to noon: Empathy workshop with the stakeholder (one meeting per team)
  • October 27, 2021, 9:30 a.m. to noon: Workshop: collective definition of needs
  • November 2, 2021, 1 to 2:30 p.m.: Lecture: “Understanding how to plan inclusive co-creation and design thinking” with Kathy Malas
  • December 1, 2021, 10 a.m. to noon: Workshop on collective redefinition of needs

PHASE 2: Experimentation

  • January 19, 2022, 1:30 to 5 p.m.: Brainstorming workshop
  • January 26, 2022, 1:30 to 5 p.m.: Brainstorming workshop—Review of idea choices
  • February 9, 2022, 1:30 to 5 p.m.: Prototyping workshop 1
  • February 16, 2022, 1:30 to 5 p.m.: Prototyping activity 2
  • March 2, 2022, 1:30 to 5 p.m.: Workshop—Review of solution choice

PHASE 3: Presentations

  • March 16, 2022, 1:30 to 4 p.m.: Preparation of the March 23 exhibition
  • March 23, 2022, 3 to 5 p.m.: Celebratory exhibition—Presentation of projects to the general public