Dalhousie University, Lethbridge College and McGill University are collaborating with Farm Credit Canada on a 2 year pilot project to bring Canadian post-secondary agriculture students together to create innovative solutions to Canadian agricultural challenges. Fifteen students will bring their diverse Canadian perspectives together in cross-institutional teams responding to a specific regional agricultural issue. The challenge tasks will take teams through a creative problem solving matrix as they meet with local producers to discover the full amplitude of the challenge question. Teams will design solutions that are sustainable and respond to community needs. On the final day, students will present their early prototype pitches. The wrap up showcase event will give local producers a chance to share their feedback individually with student teams.
Why collaborate? Successful design innovation is the result of empathetic problem solving -- understanding the multiple perspectives of all the stakeholders, and inspiring change by responding to those needs in a sustainable solution. One person, one institution, or one region will not provide the robust suite of solutions needed to meet the challenges of 21st Canadian agricultural practice. A national agricultural design innovation challenge provides a platform for Canadian students to bring their particular agricultural knowledge together to grapple with specific regional issues. Innovative solutions, and the collaborative skills that build them, will resonate far beyond the boundaries of the weekend challenge event.
The Macdonald team — Simon Brault (U2 Ag Econ); Jeremy Chevalley (Y2 FMT); Alexis David-Dandurand (U3 Ag Econ); Stacey Godin (Y2 FMT); and Kyla Ness (Y3 FMT) — will be heading out to the competition in Lethbridge, AB on September 19. #McDalBridge19