2021 Design Thinking Challenge

The fourth annual Royal Roads Design Thinking Challenge showcased our 21st century model of learning and approach to change-making to undergraduate business students from across the country and the world by engaging their creativity and empathy with a wicked social challenge. The RRDTC is about making society better, not business as usual. 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.

The challenge

The client for the event was the Wilderness Tourism Association of BC, with the challenge focusing on addressing the impact of COVID-19 on the adventure tourism industry. 

The top three solutions

The first place went to McMaster University. The McMaster team recommended that the WTA engage with Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour to encourage participation in wilderness tourism. The BIPOC community is underrepresented in wilderness tourism, and as a result, presents an opportunity for increased sensitivity and market growth.

In second place, the Wilfred Laurier University team recommended that the WTA partner with Airbnb to promote member experiences. Airbnb is looking to bundle accommodation opportunities with local experiences and WTA members are well-positioned to help Airbnb.

Finally, in third place, the Simon Fraser University team recommended that the WTA focus on the lifestyles of health and sustainability market segment to promote wilderness tourism. The LOHAS market segment is increasingly interested in more local, sustainable, and responsible tourism experiences.  

That's a wrap!

Congratulations to all teams and team coaches for successfully completing the challenge! It was an exceptional year, and your effort and enthusiasm are evident in the professional and thoughtful presentations from each team. As the school year winds down, we wish each of you success wherever your ambitions lead.

Read the full news story recapping the event, participants and winners!