Pizza Challenge: Presentation
There is substantial research indicating that the uncanny ability to identify an incredible problem or opportunity is the defining characteristic of exceptionally innovative people. World-changing innovators have an almost artistic ability to notice challenges and/or imagine desirable future states that others simply do not. As such, one of the most important components of any innovation process is research: gathering a broad range of data, information, facts, perspectives, opinions, observations, etc. with the aim of truly understanding and fully imagining an opportunity.
We begin the Pizza Challenge with a research phase. Each team member will become an ‘expert’ on one of the topics below. They’ll research the topic and share key insights through a brief presentation. We have three goals:
1. practice and further develop your research skills,
2. practice sharing expert knowledge to non-expert teammates,
3. and better appreciate that research fundamentally drives innovation.
All deliverables are due on 9 November 2022
· A presentation to your teammates that spans approximately 5-10 minutes. You do not have to appear on camera but you will be required to narrate the presentation.
· A conversation in which teammates ask follow-up and clarifying questions spanning approximately 5-10 minutes.
· Teams will then synthesize insights from the presentations into the Process Document. To be clear, the presentations are not evaluated but the Process Document will be at the conclusion of the Pizza Challenge.
Research Topics
Team members will decide who will present on the topics outlined below. If, for some reason, the group size is reduced to 4, the team is not responsible for covering the final topic.
The presentations should be researched and designed individually. Your professor has provided a couple of recommended sources for each topic; you are encouraged to conduct further research. Be critical when engaging with sources—marketing copy from a pizzeria is probably not the most authoritative or objective source. The ultimate goal is to provide your teammates with the knowledge they need to take action and excel on the Pizza Challenge.
Topic 1: Hawaiian Pizza Controversy and the Reception of Pizza Novelty Aya’s part
Not all creative and innovative ideas are well received by the public, even if they are super tasty. The contentious debate about Hawaiian pizza demonstrates that innovators need to think critically about how an audience will react to a new idea. Many perceive new ideas to be inherently threatening and the introduction of novelty may provoke harsh reactions from traditionalists. People are passionate about pizza and are not afraid to flood social media with their opinions.

Assignment: Provide an introduction to the Hawaiian pizza controversy and share key conclusions about the reception of pizza novelty. This presentation will be essential for helping the team anticipate how audiences Process Document




Pizza Challenge Objectives
Create and pitch a unique pizza dish for the new SSU pub at the HMC campus. The pizza should:
· Exemplify Sheridan’s commitment to creativity by being unique and original in comparison to other pizza options around campus and, more broadly, Mississauga
· Affordable so that it appeals to Sheridan students and their budgets
· Appeal to Sheridan faculty and staff
· Be prototypeable in Brandon’s kitchen
And it’d be nice if the pizza could:
· Reflect Sheridan’s and Mississauga’s cultural diversity
· Attract non-Sheridan customers from Square One
Clarification: The Reception of Pizza Novelty (9 November 2022)
Step 1: Determining Pizza Novelty This part needs to be done
We begin the clarification process by establishing what constitutes pizza novelty in the marketplace. To do this, we’re going to analyze a couple of case studies.
Attributes of the Classic Pizza
Briefly outline the key attributes and characteristics of the ‘classic’ pizza. Add additional bullets for each major point.
Attributes of Novel Pizza
What are the attributes and characteristics of highly novel pizzas currently in the marketplace? Add more bullet points as appropriate.
Resistance to Novelty
What are some common reasons people reject novel pizza dishes (such as pineapple on pizza)? Add more bullet points as appropriate.
Step 2: Vision of Success
The second step in the clarification phase is to create a vision of success. To do this, you’ll imagine visiting the pub at the HMC campus and ordering a pizza dish with your friends. The goal, here, is to imagine the entire customer journey and what role the pizza can play in that journey. For each of the prompts in this section, try to list as many responses as possible.
You are visiting the new pub at the HMC campus with three other classmates. Why might you or other students be excited to share a really novel pizza with friends?
What might an ideal pizza experience look like? Provide tangible details that describe the entire journey from traveling to the pub to talking about the experience afterwards.
Before visiting the pub:
At the pub:
After leaving the pub:
Step 3: Clarify Design Attributes
Based upon the research you conducted in steps 1 and 2, what are the key attributes or characteristics of a novel pizza experience? Add more bullet points as relevant.

Divergence (16 November 2022)
Ground Rules for Divergent Thinking
Before applying each divergent thinking tool, review the ‘Ground Rules for Divergent Thinking.”
· Generate as many ideas as possible
· Deliberately seek wild and unusual ideas
· Listen carefully to colleagues and build upon their ideas
· Only share appropriate ideas
· Defer judgement
Brainstorming (Approximately 10 minutes, 20 Ideas Minimum)
Prompt: “What are Pizza Challenge
The Pizza Challenge is a multiweek, collaborative innovation project. From November 2nd to December 7th, you’ll be working with your team to generate a highly novel idea for a pizza. But, the real purpose of this assignment is to learn about the creative process and to practice strategies for generating original ideas in a collaborative, innovation context.

The new student centre at the HMC campus was opened in spring 2022. It features a gym, hang out spaces, offices for the GSU, and a student pub/restaurant (much like
The Marquee in Oakville and
The Den in Brampton). The Senior Manager of the pub wants to create a signature pizza dish inspired by the Sheridan community, and they need your help to come up with a remarkable idea.

Your team will generate a large list of potential options, prototype a few ideas, and then pitch the most novel and effective option the team developed.
Essential Criteria
The pitched pizza must meaningfully respond to these three key criteria:

Novel and Original

Creativity defines and differentiates the Sheridan learning experience. There is no other college like Sheridan and the community highly values creativity. The pizza must be unlike anything else offered in Mississauga.


The pizza is designed for Sheridan students. Hence, affordability is a priority. The pub is open to different sizes such as a very small personal pizza or a larger dish intended for sharing (or both!). The typical margin on a pizza is around 20% but they are willing to sacrifice some of that margin to reduce the price. The hope is that the pizza will be signature draw that might extend the amount of time someone or a group spends in the pub each visit, thereby providing opportunities for up-selling on other menu items especially beverages and desserts.


Because we’re working online and your instructor does not own a restaurant, the pizza you pitch must be able to be made in Dr. Brandon McFarlane’s home kitchen or on a BBQ. If you know a pizzeria with the ability to prototype some pizzas, do let your instructor know. Dr. McFarlane can make wood-oven style, pan, and deep dish pizza.
Secondary Criteria
It’d be great but not essential if the pitched pizza also responded to two more criteria:

Cultural Diversity

Mississauga is one of the most diverse places in the world. Sheridan College is no different. Sheridan hosts over 120 programs and 25 degrees. And people from across the world come to learn at Sheridan College. It’d be great if the pizza reflected or expressed that diversity.

Non-Sheridan Customers

The pub is a business. While it primarily serves Sheridan students and employees, it’d be great if people from the broader community came to campus just to check out the pizza. Right next door are City Hall and Square One. Every day, tens of thousands of people come to the places right beside campus, it’d be great if they also visited Sheridan. Sq

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