Cookhouse Lab's Millennials project kicked off on Tuesday, August 8th. After a one-day introductory session to the Lab and Design Thinking, the team began the project by identifying their assumptions related to millennials in addition to building empathy maps. It become immediately clear that millennials needed to be further divided into subcategories as a result of the numerous and impactful key life events that occur between the ages of 18-35. 

On their fourth day at the Lab, the team ran an hour-long workshop with 17 millennials, where the participants were divided into three groups based on their age, then asked discussed-based questions on their knowledge and assumptions around life insurance, their needs, and who they trust. The output of this workshop, in addition to the secondary research the team conducted, led to the initial problem statements:

From the perspective of an insurance company:

How to continually create opportunities for engagement with millennials 18-29, in order to build trust, awareness & loyalty to increase the propensity of purchase when life events occur.

From the perspective of a Millennial aged 18-29: 

How to protect my lifestyle (psychological), pay off my debts (financial) and find immediate value in what I spend my money on (material).

Accomplishments to date

  • Conducted a workshop and surveys with 17 participants.
  • Defined assumptions, empathy maps (personas), the millennial life journey map and problem statements.
  • Conducted secondary research to validate assumptions, market size, and survey/workshop responses.
  • Developed and sent a second customer survey to respondents in Brazil, Canada, Germany and Australasia.
  • Initiated the ideation process.


  • Wawanesa
  • The Cooperators
  • IRB Brasil Re
  • Manulife

Guest Speakers

  • Besurance
  • Hybris (SAP)
  • BEAR (Behavioural Economics in Action at Rotman) featuring Vanessa Lu, Jane Hiu Man Poon, and Temujen Banerji (MBA candidates at Rotman), Melanie Kim (Research Associate and Coordinator).