Students at Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business, together with students across campus, are working with Indigenous communities in Canada and Tanzania to address community challenges through collaboration and innovation.
Through the fourth-year business course, “Developing Creative Thinking” (BUSI 4117), Sprott students work in teams with students from Carleton University’s School of Industrial Design and Carleton Ravens varsity athletics to co-develop a community-led solution that will positively impact the community.
“Through these initiatives, the participants are getting the opportunity to work in multidisciplinary teams – teaching them about combining different worldviews – while using their skills to make a real, significant, impact in people’s lives,” said Sprott professor Troy Anderson, who leads this initiative and is an instructor for the course.
A new initiative for this year, students are working with the Na-cho Nyak Dun First Nation, J.V. Clark School, and Inuit artist/skateboarder Parr Etidloie (Kinngait) on a multi-year entrepreneurial project in Mayo, Yukon. The aim is to harness the power of skateboarding culture to create learning opportunities and engage high school students in the community. The end goal is to create a viable, entrepreneurial business run by community youth.
Carleton students are working with community youth to produce an interchangeable board system that will make them useable in all seasons – while mentoring them on business and entrepreneurship, handcraft and board construction, collaborative design and group co-creation, visual art, and presentation skills.
A group of Sprott students travelled to Mayo with Troy in December to work hands-on with the youth there. They manufactured a first run of decks and began setting up a Shopify storefront to sell their production, as well as other products from the community. Another group of Sprott students is scheduled to make a second trip in February, this time to design graphics for the decks using group applications on virtual reality headsets they will be setting up for the youth.
Launched in 2014 to develop sustainable water solutions for Maasai communities in Longido, Tanzania, the “From Buckets to Rain Barrels” initiative has since grown into a multidisciplinary and collaborative initiative addressing issues including health, agriculture, waste management, economic development, and recreation.
Currently, students are working on executing five developing projects. They will also be travelling to Tanzania this semester – if it is safe to do so – to work on these in person with the community.
In this initiative, Sprott students and Carleton varsity athletes are collaborating with the communities of Masset in Haida Gwaii, British Columbia and Mayo, Yukon to co-create sport and wellness programs for community youth.This academic year, students are working on four different projects:
“BUSI 4117 has been fortunate to build connections with some incredible communities in Tanzania, Mayo, and Haida Gwaii," said Rob Smart, an instructor for the course. "The projects we work on change every year to meet the needs of the communities involved and the interests of the project team members. You will have an opportunity to travel, learn, and build real world connections in this course.”
To participate in these initiatives, students in Sprott’s Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of International Business programs enroll in the year-long course: BUSI 4117: Developing Creative Thinking. Stay tuned for updates about these projects.
This course is a concentration elective for both, Entrepreneurship and Management. Keep an eye on the calendar as new concentrations will soon be added to this list. It is open as an elective to students in all concentrations.
Sprott School of Business
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