New Changemakers Studio opens at Mount Royal University
By Kyra Bird, Contributor
The Trico Changemakers Studio, located in the Bissett School of Business, held their official launch on Sept. 27, welcoming guests from on and off campus to tour and learn about the new 5,000 square-foot space.
Studio director, Jill Andres, says the learning space is intended to bring together MRU students and faculty, as well as community organizations to address social and environmental challenges.
“Here at the Trico Changemakers Studio, you’ll meet changemakers from the public, private and non-profit sectors. You’ll meet artists, activists, systems intrapreneurs and social entrepreneurs,” Andres says. “This brand-new social enterprise offers co-working spaces for changemakers from across sectors as well as social impact facilitation for changemakers working together to address complex challenges.”
Some current studio members include Alberta Health Services, Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary, United Way Social Impact Labs and many more.
A joint initiative between Mount Royal Bissett School of Business, Institute for Community Prosperity and Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship — the studio was funded by Trico Homes and the Trico Charitable Foundation who provided $1 million, as well as the Government of Canada’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund which supplied another $500,000.
In her address to event attendees, Provost and Vice-President Academic, Lesley Brown spoke glowingly about the studio, its members, and the opportunities she believes the new space will offer.
“For Mount Royal, this is an incredible way for us to work alongside our community partners to tackle big issues. We also get the opportunity to gather our students, our faculty, and our staff from across the campus together in one space,” Brown says. “But most important of all, the Trico Changemakers Studio is an awesome way to inspire and to empower students.”
Calgary-Elbow MLA Greg Clark was also in attendance at the studio’s official launch to give a speech.
“I’m really, really excited,” Clark said in his address. “I couldn’t be more proud to have the changemakers studio as part of MRU, as part of the beautiful, wonderful, tremendous constituency of Calgary-Elbow.”
The Trico Changemakers Studio is part of a broader changemakers campus initiative by the university which began in 2015. At that time, MRU created a Changemakers Campus Roadmap and has since been named a Changemakers Campus by Ahoka U, a designation held by only 50 universities around the world.