City of Toronto

The City of Toronto’s Civic Innovation Office was formed in 2017 as an in-house accelerator, to tackle complex city challenges, in collaboration with innovators inside and outside of City Hall.

City of Toronto

Publication (Print and digital)

City of Toronto
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In 2019, the Civic Innovation team could draw from a wide range of experiences and a wealth of media archives, but needed support with narrative and storytelling. The joint mission was to show that innovation was possible at a large scale, within institutional organizations.


The result was the Civic Innovation Office’s Grant Outcomes Report, a 44-page book that highlighted seven of its projects and corresponding methodologies.

Introducing an editorial process

Before working with Wonder shuttle, the Civic Innovation Office had started and stopped various writing projects and publications. Wonder Shuttle implemented an editorial process and workback schedule to harness Civic Innovation’s capabilities and ensure a consistent, smooth, flow of information collection and writing. The Wonder Shuttle team also coached, interviewed, wrote, edited, and managed the project, augmenting the Civic Innovation Office’s intentions and experiences with communication and storytelling capabilities.

Preserving institutional memory

Culture is an amorphous asset. It requires constant maintaining, monitoring, and growth. Even though teams expand and contract, and people come and go, documentation preserves culture and experiences beyond time and space. Even though the Civic Innovation Office has transitioned into the Customer Experience Transformation & Innovation (CXi) program, the Grant Outcomes Report is an artifact that ensures insights, projects, and experiences can be easily accessed and retained.

Writing and editing sound simple, but the deep work that goes into it — structure, presentation, delivery — can all get incredibly challenging especially when you're responsible for multiple priorities.

I brought in Wonder Shuttle at a crucial time to create a compelling piece of work that could capture the outcomes and stories of what my team achieved. It was important to me that the final product was simple to follow, visual, accurate, thought provoking, and of course, that it would meet my aggressive timeline. Herbert and his team delivered on that promise and were a dream to work with — they incorporated feedback quickly, challenged my ideas with their expertise to raise the quality of the work, worked collaboratively with the teams involved to draft the stories, and shipped a mock-up of the work each week so that we were aligned every step of the way. I'm still not sure how they managed to do it all with the 45-day timeline I set out, but they did with flying colours.

The result was a one-of-a-kind product that serves as a storybook anyone can pick up to understand the legacy of the Civic Innovation Office's work. It was used as a grant outcomes report, annual report, transition document, and most importantly, an important asset for the public. Wonder Shuttle’s team and contributions are invaluable, one that any leader should consider working with, in any situation where an important story needs to be told. How it looks and feels is up to your imagination — Wonder Shuttle can make it happen.

Paula Kwan

Founding Director, Civic Innovation Office


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