Experiential course prepares students for professional disruption

Experiential course INNOVATE 3ZZ3: Imagining and Navigating the Future is open to third- and fourth-year students from every faculty at Mac.

How do we peer into the future and prepare for forces that will likely disrupt our lives in five or 10 years’ time? DeGroote undergraduates in  a new course set out to find the answer.

Students from more than 10 McMaster degree programs took INNOVATE 3ZZ3: Imagining and Navigating the Future, which explored major forces that are transforming the world.

The students investigated change leadership models to prepare for the disruptions they will face in their professional lives. They worked in teams on experiential learning projects that analyzed the trends driving change across a range of domains, such as the future of work, health care, the environment, and financial markets.

About the course

“This course was unlike any other I have ever taken,” said Tyler Corso, a Level 3 commerce student, who focused on the future of smart grid energy systems. “Everything was shrouded in ambiguity at the start of this course. But, step-by-step, we had to find the flashlight, build the battery and assemble everything into a cohesive set of tools to illuminate the future.

“For me, this is one of the most valuable courses any undergrad can take at McMaster.”

Read more: New DeGroote courses help students prepare for the unknown

Tom Gleave, Industry Professor at DeGroote, developed the new experiential learning course for DeGroote, combining a skills-focused curriculum with an environment that ensured the cross-fertilization of ideas among classmates.

“One of the most important elements of this course was creating a platform where everyone could learn from everyone,” Gleave said. “Students and teams constantly shared ideas and received input from each other. This amplified the high levels of energy, passion, and creativity that everyone brought to the class. It was a wonderful learning experience.”

Some students took the course because of the different pedagogical approach.

“Most of my learning is traditional and looks at the past or present. This course took me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to look into the future, which was a bit more challenging at times,” said fourth-year Life Sciences student Adina Silver, who enjoyed getting to see a range of student perspectives.

“It was interesting to learn how transformation can impact us all in so many ways.”

Business Education in the 21st Century

This unique experiential learning course was supported by philanthropist and Mac grad Lynton “Red” Wilson (O.C).

“As you see the world changing, the question is how do you participate in whatever it is you are involved in? In deciding how you could move ahead?” Wilson said during final course presentations.

“If you don’t see where the puck is heading, you will be left behind. I admire what you are doing.”

Learn more about the DeGroote School of Business and its innovative approach to training the business leaders of the future.

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