Code of Conduct and Professional Expectations

Updated 2022-08-25

This Code of Conduct is designed to help us establish our values, in the community and in the workplace. It reflects our commitment to the highest standards of ethical and legal behavior. We expect our team, participants, sponsors, vendors and Nobellum participants to act in accordance with these standards:


The broad principles set out in the terms and conditions are intended to guide participants of the Innovathon and Innovator Bridging Program (IBP), in actions and decisions, and to provide a tool to enhance understanding of the wide policies and standards that govern the work done here at Nobellum.

This policy outlines the behaviors expected of all participants, sponsors, partners, volunteers and staff regardless of position or rank, and also defines behavioral standards and infractions in accordance with internal, Nobellum and/or provincial procedures, policies and legislation. This Policy summarizes and provides links to the many pieces of legislation and policy governing participants but not limited to:

Privacy Policy
Terms and Conditions

Queries related to Nobellum's code of conduct should be directed to the [email protected]

1. Application of the Code

The Code applies to all employees, contractors, participants and attendees of any Nobellum events including the Innovathon. Contractors include any consultants, suppliers and vendors who are required to have access to Nobellum’s confidential, business and proprietary information in order to perform their duties.

2. Compliance

Compliance with the Code is mandatory. You are expected to be familiar and comply with the Code in the attendance and performance of your duties. As well, you are expected to understand your obligations under Nobellum’s general policies. Those who fail to abide by the Code and general policies will be subject to the procedure in place and given notice.

2.1 Compliance with Law
We comply with laws, including the laws governing nonprofit organizations and workplace behavior. We understand that, as a startup, we operate for public benefit and for private purposes, but we are subject to stringent rules relating to conflicts of interest and political activities.

3. Privacy and Confidentiality

We have access to sensitive and proprietary information about our clients, donors, grantees, partners, volunteers, employees, marketing plans, strategies, and technical matters. We do not disclose or use that information except as appropriate in our work, and we comply with applicable privacy laws.

4. Business Conduct

4.1 Public Disclosure
● The objectives of Nobellum’s disclosure policy is to ensure communications with the public are:
● Timely, factual, accurate, balanced; and Broadly disseminated in accordance with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements

4.2 Disclosure to the Media
The purpose of Nobellum’s media policy is to ensure Employees and anyone representing Nobellum understands and comply with our disclosure requirements in terms of media interaction and public presentations.

If you are delegated to speak on behalf of the company, you will be briefed prior to being interviewed to review what is, and what is not, public information.

Those of us who are asked for and give our opinions to the media regarding any of our outside interests should know that our comments are strictly personal. Be cautious not to comprise Nobellum.

4.3 Conduct when representing Nobellum
Conduct yourself professional and with personal integrity, both in and out of the workplace, reflective of Nobellum values. Communicate and negotiate with honesty with all Employees, partners, stakeholders, suppliers, vendors, associates and other members of the public. Our obligation to act with integrity and within the spirit of this Code continues while traveling, whether domestically or abroad.

4.4 Legal and Social Responsibility
Ensure that your actions comply with and are within the meaning and intent of all applicable laws and regulations. Ensure that your actions are free from suspicion and criticism and have no unfavorable effects on society.

5. Working Respectfully and Collaboratively

5.1 General respect and productive work environment
Nobellum maintains a productive and diverse work environment intended to foster teamwork, ongoing learning, and creativity. We appreciate the contributions of all. We work cooperatively and respectfully, acting with courtesy and tact in all our interactions with clients, grantees, partners, donors, volunteers, members of the public, and colleagues.

Any behavior that is defamatory to our organization, degrades the perception of Nobellum in the community, and adversely affects the wellbeing of other program participants will not be tolerated.

Harassment includes but is not limited to:

● Verbal comments that reinforce social structures of domination
● Comments that are lewd, lascivious, demeaning, or derogatory
● Unwelcome discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity
● Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following
● Harassing photography or recording (audio or video)
● Sustained disruption of talks or other events
● Inappropriate physical contact
● Unwelcome sexual attention, including any specific activity for which consent was not requested and given
● Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior
● Threatening legal action without proper dispute resolution practices; examples of proper dispute resolution practices include lack of notice for legal action, participation in good faith communication exchanges to resolve the dispute.

These types of actions violate our code of conduct and community standards for providing a safe learning environment free of harassment.

5.2 Innovathon - Respect and Productive Work Environment

As participants, sponsors, partners, volunteers and staff of Innovathon, there is a professional responsibility and requirement to agree with the following code of conduct. Organizers will enforce this code of conduct before, during and after the event. We expect cooperation from all participants to ensure a safe environment for everybody.

Our Innovathon is dedicated to provide a harassment- free experience for everyone regardless of the following: Gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientaion, disability, physical apperance, body size, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, [email protected] hackathon attendance or lack of, computing experience or lack of, chosen programming lanaguage or tech stack.

We do not tolerate harassment of Innovathon participants or the event in any form. This includes the following: Social media, or any other online media.

We do not tolerate behavior that vilifies, defames, degrades or humiliates our organization (Nobellum) and behaves in an unproductive manner that interferes with participants' wellbeing, and educational opportunities. Any of the above will be considered in violation with our code of conduct.

Innovathon participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from our events and programs at the discretion of the Innovathon organizers.

6. Procedure on Revoking Prizes and Awards

6.1 Governing Body of True Blue Accelerator Fund
The Innovathon award prizes are housed in the Nobellum True Blue Accelerator Fund and will be distributed by The BRIDGE/ Department of Management. The fund will be governed by the Nobellum True Blue Accelerator Fund Advisory Committee (hereinafter referred to as the “Advisory Committee'') composed of stakeholders from Nobellum Enterprise and the University of Toronto including representatives from the Hub, The BRIDGE and the Black Founders Network. All decisions pertaining to the use and distribution of the Fund will be agreed upon by all members of the Advisory Committee and will be in accordance with all applicable policies set out by the University of Toronto and Nobellum Enterprise. All decisions pertaining to the award fund should not be made by one affiliation, they should be made collectively led by the Chair of the committee.

6.2 Identification/ Reporting
If Nobellum has any reason to believe that any recipient for a prize or award provided by Nobellum should be revoked in accordance with this Code of Conduct, may request the board to consider revocation by contacting the executive director/CEO by email [email protected] Documentation to support the request should be provided when possible.

Any Nobellum staff member, board member, or advisory committee member who receives such a request or has personal knowledge of conduct by a prize winner that could be grounds for revocation must report the request to the executive director/CEO, unless such disclosure would violate any laws.

6.3 Review of Prize Revocation Request
Upon receiving a request to revoke an award from the executive director/CEO, the Chair of the Advisory Committee will review the request with the Advisory Committee, and the governing body will make a determination as to whether to formally consider revoking the award. If so, the Chair will place the request on the agenda of an upcoming advisory committee meeting. If, in the Chair’s sole judgment, the next regularly scheduled advisory committee meeting is too soon after receipt of the request to sufficiently prepare for the advisory committee's consideration, consideration of the request may be resolved with the cofounders.

The Chair will provide the advisory committee with appropriate materials to consider the request. Since Nobellum is not an investigative body, the executive director/CEO will not investigate the conduct, and will only collect the reasonably available information (e.g., public records, social media, personal accounts from the targets of the criminal or unethical conduct) that is related to the revocation request.

6.4 Recipient provided with notice
Where the executive director/CEO and advisory committee of the board has received a request in writing to consider the revocation of an award, the executive director/CEO shall send a letter (notice letter), by email, to the award recipient, advising them that the revocation of their award is under consideration by the advisory committee, and setting out the allegations of fact that constitute the basis for which the revocation of the award is being considered.

The notice letter shall also advise the recipient that within the time stipulated in the letter or within the time otherwise subsequently permitted by the advisory board:
a) They may renounce the award by advising the advisory committee and executive director/CEO in writing. If the recipient renounces the award, the advisory committee will not consider the request to revoke the award any further;
b) They may make representations in writing respecting the allegations of fact in the notice letter of the revocation of the award; and
c) If they do not proceed with either a) or b) above, after expiration of the stipulated time, the advisory committee will continue with its consideration of request to revoke the award.

The advisory committee shall receive all relevant documents, including any representations reviewed from the award recipient for its consideration. The advisory committee shall consider the issue of revocation of the award and shall advise the executive director in writing of its findings and recommendations and determine, in its sole discretion, whether to revoke the award.

After the board has made its decision, the chair shall notify the award recipient in email on the decision. If the decision is to revoke the award, the recipient's name will be removed as an award recipient from all records maintained by Nobellum.

6.5 Joint prizes with other organizations

In cases of prizes awarded jointly with other organizations, if a revocation request is received, the executive director/CEO will consult with the leadership of the sponsoring organization(s) to determine an appropriate course of action.

6.6 Communication of a decision to revoke a prize

Communication of a decision to revoke a prize will be handled on a case-by-case basis by email with a letter of confirmation. At a minimum, the prize winner's name will be removed from Nobellum’s website and social media. The decision to revoke will be recorded in the minutes of the relevant board meeting(s), and documentation of the decision to revoke will be placed in the appropriate prize file.

7. Dress code

The Nobellum dress code is applicable for all Nobellum related events, and required for all participants, sponsors and attendees to abide by for the duration of an event. This policy is to provide all in attendance to dress in a way that adheres to a business casual structure. We at Nobellum recognize that everyone has different interpretations of business casual and urge all in attendance to refer to this link for a clear guideline for expectations for the Innovathon.

Personal appearance is a reflection of Nobellum and it is important for all in attendance to dress appropriately based on the activity at the Innovathon. For example, attire worn during the pitch competition should remain business casual, attire worn during networking and meetings with other attendees should also remain business casual.

7.1 Appropriate Attire
The following are examples of appropriate business attire:

● Men: Jacket, long-sleeved dress shirt, tie and dress pants.
● Women: Jacket, blouse, dress pants, skirt or dress Casual Attire Participants may dress in casual attire, unless attending client meetings or other events which require business attire to be worn as described above.

Casual attire should always be professional and respectable.

The following are examples of acceptable clothing:

● Jeans, khakis, dress pants
● Blouses, sweaters
● Collared shirts
● Dresses, skirts
● Blazers and sport coats
● Dress shoes, loafers, flats, dress boots, casual/athletic shoes
● Dress sandals for women

7.2 Inappropriate Attire
The following are examples of inappropriate work attire:

● Revealing, tight fitting or transparent clothing, including tops and dresses with spaghetti straps
● Tank tops, crop tops, off-the-shoulder and cold-shoulder shirts
● Clothing associated with physical activity including sweatpants, sweatshirts, and shorts of any kind
● Cargo pants, overalls, spandex or any other unprofessional-looking pants
● Excessively short skirts or dresses, beach attire, sundresses
● Clothing with offensive language and/or graphics
● Torn, dirty, frayed, ripped or cut-off clothing of any kind
● Dirty/torn athletic shoes, work boots, flip-flop sandals, beach shoes, or other unprofessional-looking footwear.

7.3 Disclaimer
The decision to dress in business or casual attire is based on a variety of factors. In all cases, employees are expected to use their best discretion and if there is any doubt, guidance should be obtained from their people manager.

Those who wish to partake in Innovathon activities must dress in appropriate attire. Business casual and professional attire are welcomed. The organizers of the Innovathon reserve the right to remove participants that are not dressed appropriately and according to this code.

We encourage participants to refer to the Ontario Human Rights Commission policy below and to contact [email protected] with further inquiries.

8. Investigations and Consequences of Violation of the Code

Nobellum will review and respond to all reports. Where appropriate, reports will be referred to our legal counsel and an investigation will be conducted under its direction to ensure an independent process. Disciplinary action up to and including dismissal of an employee or participant or termination of our agreement with a client, vendor, partner or third party, as well as possible civil or criminal prosecution, will be taken should any of the following occur:
● Violation of the Code or a Nobellum policy, or asking others to violate the Code or policy;
● Committing an illegal or fraudulent act;
● Committing an act of workplace violence, or threat of violence, or demonstrating threatening, harassing or discriminatory behavior towards others in the workplace;
● Deliberately failing to promptly report a violation or withholding relevant information regarding a violation;
● Failing to cooperate in the investigation of a known or suspected violation; or
● Taking retaliatory action against someone who has reported a violation or breach of the Code or a policy.