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Jon Packer

Founder, Idea Workshop

Since founding Idea Workshop more than a decade ago, Jon has helped some of Canada’s most prominent architects, developers, interior designers and design-led brands enhance their image and reputation through comprehensive, award-winning public outreach campaigns.

Driven by the core belief that creativity in design improves our lives and our world, Jon and the Idea Workshop team create and implement communications and marketing initiatives for clients across North America and Europe.

Jon works closely with the real estate and design community and is regular guest speaker at conferences, as well as a frequent judge in design and marketing industry competitions.

Jon, a graduate of the Ravensbourne School of Design and Communications in London, England, is also a long time member of the Board of Directors at Toronto’s Gardiner Museum.

Follow Jon on LinkedIn.
Business Lessons From The

Business Lessons From The Classroom

I've been surprised to discover how the world of work and learning has so much in common. Organizational structure, measuring success, deadlines and the difference between hearing and learning have all come in to play. As my first cohort of students graduate here is snapshot of what I have learned so far:
04/05/2017 03:23 EDT
Fake News Will Become Old News In

Fake News Will Become Old News In 2017

In this bizarre, post-truth world, digital media has been called out for creating an epidemic of fake news. Facebook, in particular, has drawn the ire of many for hosting fake news items, while continuing to claim that most of its content is authentic.
01/05/2017 05:20 EST
It's Time For Toronto To Become A Car-Free

It's Time For Toronto To Become A Car-Free City

As Toronto continues its rapid growth, the limitations of travel by car are becoming ever more apparent. Average commute times have increased to 33 minutes as the city's main arteries struggle to keep up with the more than 1.1 million (2011) vehicles on city roads each day. While the rhetoric around change has been positive, action has been achingly slow.
05/03/2016 11:15 EDT
Pedestrian Safety Must Be Part Of The Urban Transit

Pedestrian Safety Must Be Part Of The Urban Transit Conversation

On the morning of Oct. 28, 2015, 12 pedestrians were struck by cars in the City of Toronto. While some would say it's the result of a wet, grey day, this statistic follows an average of six pedestrians being hit each day, a stunningly high number set to increase as density intensifies and our population ages.
10/29/2015 12:26 EDT
We Can Decide What Our Pan Am Legacy Will

We Can Decide What Our Pan Am Legacy Will Be

The legacy debate this week is now about whether the Pan Am Games will lead Toronto to an Olympic bid. The reality is it doesn't matter. Toronto has already won by hosting a pan-American event that has taught us we can make this city any way we choose.
07/28/2015 01:04 EDT
Is Public Transit Actually Too

Is Public Transit Actually Too Cheap?

Yes, that's right, cheap. To cross the 26-kilometer stretch of Toronto's core by public transit costs a meager $3. Head north on Yonge Street, the world's longest road, and a single subway fare up the 30 kilometre stretch to the city's northern reaches will still cost $3. To hop just one stop also costs $3. Twenty-five years ago the cost of the same journey by transit would be $1.20, a 150 per cent increase.
03/12/2015 05:50 EDT
Last Week the World of Journalism Suffered Many

Last Week the World of Journalism Suffered Many Losses

I sit on the periphery of journalism. A PR guy who needs journalists for business purposes and appreciates a good read, too. So I have been struck that this week the biggest news stories have been, well, about news.
02/16/2015 01:56 EST
The Story of 2014?

The Story of 2014? Urbanization

Here in Canada, where more than 81 per cent of us now live in urban centres, the challenge is how to create successful communities that are safe, healthy and sustainable. Jobs are of course central, but so too is making cities affordable for the majority. In Greater Vancouver, the average house price now exceeds $801,000, a rise of 83 per cent in the past decade.
12/10/2014 05:54 EST
Toronto Transit Solutions No One Is Talking

Toronto Transit Solutions No One Is Talking About

Public transit alone will not solve our congestion problems or improve the health of our cities. Here then is a selection of transit solutions NOT making headlines in Toronto's municipal elections.
09/29/2014 05:38 EDT
Selfies Are Entertaining But They're Not

Selfies Are Entertaining But They're Not Journalism

Like any craft, journalism, requires audience attention, appreciation and consideration -- akin to a handmade ceramic mug that can sit alongside a disposable paper cup, news can be authored by a Pulitzer prize wining journalist or a passerby at an event with a cell phone. Both have value but their objectives differ.
08/21/2014 09:17 EDT
Technology Could Enable the Four-Day Work

Technology Could Enable the Four-Day Work Week

Well not exactly. But Larry Page, co-founder of Google, does tell us that working a 40-hour week is an out-moded employment model. He believes that through smart design and technology we could work a four-day week or less. Now, with over $32 billion in the bank it is easy for Page to make such lofty assertions, but he might have a point.
07/15/2014 05:46 EDT
Want to Live Longer? Move to a

Want to Live Longer? Move to a City

As warmer spring weather finally arrives, many of us long for the great outdoors with walks, bike rides and the Holy Grail -- cottage getaways. The notion is that if we could only spend more time out of the city, we'd be both happier and healthier. The reality though is somewhat different.
04/30/2014 12:44 EDT
This One Simple Change Can Reduce Urban

This One Simple Change Can Reduce Urban Crime

The perceived broken window theory is that poorly maintained areas lead to vandalism and increasingly more serious crimes. Creating well-lit, walkable communities that encourage pedestrian traffic and neighbourly interaction, as well as cycle path safety are critical in building a civic pride culture that will reduce crime.
03/14/2014 05:49 EDT
Why We Need to Bring 'Art' Back to the

Why We Need to Bring 'Art' Back to the Olympics

A surprise to many, the arts were once an integral part of Olympic games programming, creating a rich legacy of cultural achievement. That's right, gold, silver and bronze for painting, sculpture, music and literature. Early activities also included musical contests and the high profile contest of the heralds and trumpeters.
02/19/2014 12:34 EST
6 Things That Would Make Toronto Better, Ford or No

6 Things That Would Make Toronto Better, Ford or No Ford

Rob Ford smoked crack. So what? Oh, and he plans to run for a second term as Mayor of the Greater Toronto Area in the Fall 2014 election. Really? Here is a prescription for six actions that would be good for Toronto in 2014, even if by default they result in four more years of Mayor Rob Ford.
01/03/2014 05:31 EST
Amazon's Micro-Drones Are a Good

Amazon's Micro-Drones Are a Good Thing

The newly announced Amazon PrimeAir drone concept is essentially a mini-flying airplane that will deliver small purchases to your door in about half an hour. The commercialization of drones continues a micro-trend that is changing how we live and interact with the world around us for the better.
12/03/2013 12:21 EST
There's More to Toronto Than Rob

There's More to Toronto Than Rob Ford

So for those salivating for a Toronto reset, I suggest a more modest brand refresh -- one where an asterisk is added to our otherwise great city. Here we can note our city's mind-numbing congestion, condo lined waterfront, failed Olympic bids, overpriced housing and political mismanagement. All this without clouding the overwhelmingly positive attributes this city has to offer.
11/07/2013 07:41 EST
Apple Dips into the Fashion

Apple Dips into the Fashion World

Apple announced this week that they have hired Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts to lead all aspects of their retail business, including online. No surprise that designers from Karl Largerfeld to Kate Spade have created smartphone accessories to tap into the tech market, but Apple's high profile hires tell us something else.
10/16/2013 05:40 EDT