Seven Reasons We’re Excited about the 3rd Annual Royal Roads Design Thinking Challenge

November 12, 2019
Dr. Amy Zidulka
Royal Roads 2020 Design Thinking Challenge

Royal Roads 2020 Design Thinking Challenge

Royal Roads has partnered with Rotman Commerce to host the 3rd Annual Royal Roads Design Thinking Challenge (RRDTC) in Toronto. 

The event challenges undergraduate business students to find new, imaginative solutions to a social challenge.

Here’s why we’re excited:

1. Business skills for good. The RRDTC asks talented business undergraduates to learn new skills and apply them as a force of positive social change. The RRDTC asks students to respond to a real-world municipal challenge posed to them by a community leader. The RRDTC is about making society better, not business as usual.

2. Promoting empathic and creative approaches. In traditional business case competitions, student teams are sequestered in a closed room with a business case and rewarded for their proficiency in quick analysis. We believe that truly solving problems requires working with others to understand their context and the people who are impacted. It requires launching small-scale experiments and engaging in a learning process. At the RRDTC, the judges are not only judges. They are community leaders and subject-matter experts who serve as mentors to help students engage in an interactive process that stems from their initial ideas

3. Showcasing the Royal Roads Learning model and approach to changemaking. Here is what one organizational leader, who was a judge in the 2018 challenge, had to say about the RRDTC:

Huge kudos for building a bold new learning format that emphasized collaboration over competition, and mindset over methods. These are the problem solving skills we desperately need in the next generation of leaders.

4. Rotman. Rotman is not only a leading business school in Canada, which ranks in the top 10 for faculty and research. It is internationally renowned for its expertise in design thinking and is home to Design Works, and a business design lab. Rotman Commerce, the undergraduate business program, is home to an amazing team of student organizers who are busy working with us to ensure an amazing event.

5. The Amazing Race! The Amazing Race is a scavenger hunt that will send students out into Toronto to acquire insights relevant to the challenge. In the process, students will explore the city and get to know members of other teams.

6. Students connecting with practitioners. The RRDTC often inspires students to question how they might engage with design thinking, after the challenge ends. We are working with one of Canada’s top design practitioners, RRU BCom alumnus Chris Ferguson, founder of Bridgeable, to line up Toronto-area judges, mentors and keynote speakers, as well as to organize site visits to innovation spaces. Students will connect with those who can help them understand how design thinking might serve their careers.

7. A community and a competition. The RRDTC is a competition, in that rewards teams who use design thinking to arrive at what judges deem the best solutions. But, as our past participants have told us, the event is equally about fostering a community of forward-looking business students, who will lead in new, more imaginative and more human-centred ways. 

Come and be inspired!

Want to learn more about the RRDTC? Read more about RRDTC here. Click here if you want to register a student team.