Apply Digital Tackles Tomorrow’s Challenges Today at Prepr’s Futur{e} Challenge

Company Updates

By Apply Digital Staff | November 26, 2019
Stephen Katz, Rabiya Samji, Jackie Carr, and Mathieu Bellemare

Last month, Apply Digital’s Toronto office joined forces with other tech innovators and social impact problem-solvers at Prepr’s Futur{e}Challenge.

Developers and designers from Toronto’s thriving tech community came together to face down the challenges of preparing a workforce that’s ready to adapt to disruptive technology and the '4th Industrial Revolution' — the rise of AI, machine learning, cybersecurity, and smart cities.

“Our team addressed the challenge of hiring a workforce in a technology industry where the skillset requirements are constantly changing,” explains Rabiya Samji, Apply Digital’s Head of UX.

Rabiya, like all participants, worked side-by-side with multidisciplinary professionals from other companies to arrive at a solution.

“We came to the conclusion that leaders need to create and retain a resilient workforce by cultivating a strong culture,” she says.

Our UX Lead, Stephen Katz, and his team looked at the advent of smarter living from a different standpoint.

“We were trying to address the problem of overpackaging in retail eCommerce. The purpose was to balance the need to be profitable against the growing global backlash against the waste generated by having each purchase delivered,” Stephen recalls.

“While we didn’t arrive at a solution, we did arrive at the conclusion that eCommerce organizations and product manufacturers need to take joint responsibility for over packaging,” he continues. “Failing to do so would inevitably lead to the imposition of a regulatory approach — an outcome we all agreed was not very efficient.”

“Using the Prepr framework for the first time was great. It looks like a hybrid of processes we use at Apply Digital, so it was very interesting to see it repurposed in a new context,” Stephen adds. “It was very engaging to have a structured conversation around innovation with a group I’ve never worked with before.”

Prepr Framework Sheet

UX Specialist, Jackie Carr, uncovered an unexpected challenge while exploring the potential of supply chain visibility.

“Companies need complete transparency into the supply chain from beginning to end. In addition to this, there will be more awareness and responsibility for the company to obtain responsibly sourced goods,” Jackie explains. “But we found that it was very difficult to even define who needed to be involved in order to solve our problem. It’s too big to unravel this problem in one sitting.”

UX Lead, Mathieu Bellemare, was energized by the whole experience. His team was tasked with increasing trust in the healthcare system by giving patients control of their own health records and giving them vetted information and recommendations about their health.

“Once we found an idea for a solution, we kept on coming up with new features and ideas that could easily be implemented while providing very high value,” he says, smiling.

The Apply Digital team was thrilled to take part in this year’s Futur{e}Challenge and feel lucky to be exploring what’s possible at the forefront of emerging technologies and digital products each and every day. If you want to explore along with us, contact us at