Ideation Session and Unstructured Networking

Client Company and Main Contact:

David Pietrobon, Optik Magazine

Canada’s broad-spectrum publication covering fashion trends, industry news,
practice management and vision science in both English and French.


Given the COVID-19 pandemic, eyecare and eyewear business owners and professionals who are viewers and readers of their articles are not able to participate in trade networking. They were missing the opportunity to enhance their business solutions and connect with others in their line of business. David from Optik Magazine worked with NeOlé to offer a virtual ideation and networking alternative.

Participants and David of Optik Magazine were very happy with the workshop, the ideation and the networking that came out of it. Participants wanted to have more opportunities to do this.


David asked NeOlé to help him bring together independent eyecare and eyewear professionals from across Canada in a way that facilitated some of the same interactions they typically experience during trade shows and professional conferences.

These professionals are significantly challenged by the provincial government mandates affecting their businesses. One objective of the session was to come up with innovative ideas to bring business back and move forward in a sustainable fashion, while another was to allow space for discussing well-being during these challenging times.

The virtual ideation session was scheduled for June 2020 and approximately 30 people participated.


The virtual session was two hours in length, including ideation and ending with unstructured networking. We used Stormz as the digital ideation tool alongside Zoom. Participants appreciated the level of interaction and collaboration, which was different than other virtual events they had experienced—usually presentations and panel discussions on webinars.


“Genuine joy at seeing people they would normally see at trade shows and conferences. Through participating in the interactive digital workshop, eyecare professionals could be ‘the stars of the show and drive content.’ You also gave us the seeds of a strategy, when you gave us the raw data [from the session].”

– David Pietrobon, Optik Magazine

Sol Santos-Pyne Chief Innovator and Prototype Evaluator. He is always ready to help design, paint, cut and install. Sol will show you what’s possible and will also try the impossible. He is the bravest monkey of all.

Ayla Larzabal Zavitz Artist-in-Residence and Director of the Safety Patrol. She makes sure that everyone is following the rules and having fun at the same time. She is the time-keeper and turn-taking monitor. She helps paint the wood for the monkey bars and will give you great advice on the best accessories.

Beto Santos-Pyne Video Producer and Editor as well as a Reliable Helper during heavy installations. When he is not building intricate systems in Minecraft he is the top ranking swinger on the monkey bars. 

Mateo Larzabal Zavitz is our Media Relations Expert and Installation Helper. Mateo knows what’s cool and what’s not cool. He helps us maintain a realistic outlook on the world and stay up to date on the latest movies and video games.

Matias Larzabal Designer and Lead Installer. Matias has more than 20 years of experience working in construction, 14 years of experience as a dad, 11 years of experience as an uncle, 10 years as a helpful Canadian neighbour and handy-man, and a lifetime of experience as a monkey. Matias is also an artist with a unique upbringing. You can learn more about him and his art on his gallery.

Ginny Santos Monkey Supervisor, Visionary and Managing Director. Ginny is a nutrition coach and entrepreneur who is always looking for ways of involving children in creative thinking and problem solving. You can learn more about Ginny’s other work on NeOle Coaching.