2020 Design Thinking Challenge

For the 2020 Challenge, the RRU's Faculty of Management partnered with University of Toronto, Rotman Commerce to host the Royal Roads Design Thinking Challenge. The client, the City of Toronto, challenged student teams from across Canada to use design thinking to encourage more homeowners to retrofit their homes. The teams gathered insights in their own cities and submitted preliminary ideas via video for feedback to our judges, who are practitioner experts in design thinking, behavioral economics, and retrofitting.

Unfortunately, Covid-19 prevented us from holding the live portion of the event in Toronto as originally planned; however, we took the opportunity to highlight Royal Roads' capacity to deliver interactive and creative virtual learning experiences by moving the event online. With feedback from the participating teams and the support of our committed judges, we designed an event that showcased our leadership in online learning.  We were particularly keen to preserve several key characteristics of the event, especially the feedback from the judges and the collaboration between the teams, and in this, we are particularly thankful for the wonderful work done by the folks in A/V and the Centre for Teaching and Educational Technology (CTET) at Royal Roads University who continued to work with us to create an event both students and business leaders wouldn't forget.

The 2020 Challenge was hosted by Rae-Anne Miller and Stewart Dutfield from the Transform Toronto team at the City of Toronto. The , Challenge was "How might municipal government nudge homeowners to retrofit their homes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?" For details, please view this 5-minute video in which Rae-Anne and Stewart presented the challenge to the students. We had six teams participating that were divided into two groups, and we had two judging panels comprised of seven judges in total. 

Teams had two weeks to find a solution and create a video to post in Moodle by March 5th, 2020. Between March 5th and 26th teams viewed each other's videos and provided feedback. 

On April 2nd, all teams gathered for the second and final round of the challenge. Unfortunately, due to COVID-related issues, the McMaster and NAIT teams had to withdraw at the last minute and therefore the four remaining teams spent the day in a variety of activities, including iterating on their initial designs with feedback from the judging panels.

Congratulations to the winners of the challenge: 

  • 1st Place – Royal Roads University
  • 2nd Place – University of Toronto, Rotman Commerce