I recently had the great honour of presenting my doctoral research work (the Doing Design Thinking study) to the University of Calgary Board of Governors – this was both terrifying (this board helps guide the strategic direction of the University! eek!) and exciting at the same time, as most worthwhile knowledge mobilization efforts are.

But the BEST part was that I got a chance to talk about how the UCalgary College of Discovery, Creativity and Innovation is connecting an experiential, inquiry-based and student led approach to learning with real and proven innovation practices through the use of a design mindset. This connects directly to the findings from my research: designers just aren’t doing this five step model any more than scientists are, or entrepreneurs are, or any one else for that matter. But they ARE using a series of heuristics and routines that form a mindset with which they approach their practice. Designers have found a way to embrace ambiguity and to re-synchronize, substitute and replace their formative practices in creative work using a mindset that others have identified as optimistic, experimental, human centered and collaborative. My research has shown how they use these four values to adopt a growth mindset when taking on ambiguous and uncertain challenges.

Sounds like what we want students to do right? And it is happening in the UNIV program (and the upcoming certificate programs that are in development) through the CDCI at the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning at the University of Calgary, where were developing experiential learning, innovative thinking and a design mindset as a signature pedagogy in our teaching and learning work.

Any chance I get to nerd out on the work of the CDCI…well I’ll take it. And throw in the opportunity to connect our new academic and research plans with the exciting developments in the UNIV and Global Challenges programs…it is just too much. So I went all in, and shared the following with the board. Enjoy!







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