Discover your place in our changing world
Innovation is transforming the ways we live and work. How will you thrive in a rapidly changing world?
FutureU is an Innovation@UCalgary initiative that invites students to discover the world of innovation through hands-on learning and community-based activities. Students are provided with opportunities to explore emerging trends and ideas, meet engaging leaders from on and off campus, develop future skills for the knowledge economy, and think about their place in the world beyond the classroom. Our goal is to help students build a sustainable life working on challenges they care about.
2019 - 2020 Program Highlights
FutureU Climate Talks
Our campus community is invited to conversations with leading innovators about environmental, social and economic challenges connected to climate action.
FutureU Climate Ideathons
Students who are inspired to take action can try tackling challenges brought forward in Climate Talks, or through other channels, with the support of experienced mentors. Funding and other support is available for those who want to go forward beyond the weekend.
Moving Mountains Climate Confluence
All active and aspiring climate innovators are invited to this 3-day confluence designed around active workshops, project development, partnership building and creativity through the arts.
FutureU MentorLink Community
An online space dedicated to identifying mentors and peers who can help you on your journey. Check out our resources section to get access to tools, digital media, and student programs available on campus.
- Discover emerging career opportunities within the changing economy
- Develop valuable skills that will help you build the life you want
- Learn from experienced local leaders who are creating impact in our city
- Network with potential employers and discover what they're looking for when adding to their team
- Connect with engaged students and supportive mentors through our online community hub
- Accelerate your learning beyond scheduled activities using our digital curriculum
- Access tools, mentorship, funding and other support to advance your innovative ideas
All UCalgary students who are inspired to take action on climate change are invited to join us for this creative problem-solving activity. Our question for you: how could you make an impact with $2000?
An ideathon will be held on March 20-21. Over the course of the ideathon, students will research challenges relating to climate change, work with others to brainstorm innovative solutions, improve ideas with the help of mentors, and develop new skills. We’ll provide you with food, tools and resources throughout the weekend to help you move forward. At the end of the experience, you will have an opportunity to receive feedback on your work and present your ideas to receive one of six $2000 prizes to advance your idea to the next stage.
Ideathon Prize Information
- Up to three (6) $2000 prizes will be awarded to student teams at the end of the ideathon (March 20-21).
- $6000 will be allocated for community-sponsored problem solving projects, and $6000 will be allocated for student-led problem solving projects.
- Teams that wish to be considered for a prize will be asked to provide a three-minute presentation about their project to a committee of judges
- Judges will evaluate presentations with the following criteria:
- Has the team presented a project that aligns with the focus of the ideathon?
- Has the team demonstrated a clear understanding of the problem they’d like to address?
- Has the team identified potential beneficiaries that would be positively impacted by their project?
- Has the team arrived at an innovative approach to address the problem?
- Has the team communicated their ideas effectively? Have they specified their next steps?
- The winning teams will be determined by judges using a ranked ballot voting system
- Cash prizes may only be awarded to current UCalgary students enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate level program, however, not all team members are required to be students.
- Students must be working in teams of at least two people to be eligible
- Student must have actively participated in each of the three active learning workshops to be eligible for prizes
- Prizes will be awarded up to four weeks following the ideathon.The value will be distributed evenly amongst all students on the winning team.
- Winning teams may be asked to talk about their projects at a forthcoming community event
Ideas2Action Funding Contest
How could you use $2000 to practice working on climate change? Our goal is to help students explore what a career working on problems relating to climate change might look like. The Ideas2Action Funding Contest exists to provide UCalgary students with an opportunity to design an innovative project that connects with their career interests, and to win funding to deliver that project in real life.
- Learn how to invent a career working in climate action and sustainability
- Practice your future career to develop relevant knowledge, skills, networks and experiences that will prepare you for success after graduation
- Expand your creativity by working on something real that can make an impact in your community
- Explore the UN Sustainable Development Goals to identify an area that interests you. Research that development goal to explore how it contributes to climate change mitigation or resolution.
- Identify a local researcher, not-for-profit, business or organization in Calgary that is working on one of these problems. Meet with them to learn about their work and the challenges they see to making progress. Use those insights to pick a challenge you would like to work on for your Ideas2Action project.
- How could you use $2000 to help solve a real problem? Design an innovation project that uses your knowledge, skills and network to work on the challenge you identified. The project you develop may be created in partnership with the organization, or it can be developed as your own initiative independent of the group you meet with.
- Complete the application form by 4pm on March 24, 2020 to enter the competition
- Successful applicants will be notified by March 31, 2020
The Ideas2Action Funding Contest is open to any University of Calgary student (undergraduate or graduate). It is encouraged that students enter in teams with one person being the main contact. The award will be distributed equally amongst team members.
There is $10,000 total available to be awarded, and applicants are eligible to win one award of up to $2000 per project. Successful applications will receive cash prizes in early April 2020 via direct deposit. Funds will be distributed evenly amongst students on the team.
- Why did you choose this problem to work on? Demonstrate that you have been curious about the problem and have taken the time to learn about it.
- How do you plan to take action? Show us how you will learn by doing. It doesn’t have to be the biggest project, and it doesn’t have to solve the deepest problems.
- What do you hope to learn? Tell us about your learning journey so far and how this will help you take the next step.
In the projects:
- Projects must address a problem that relates to one of the Sustainable Development Goals
- Projects must incorporate an element of innovation and/or creativity. This could include a new way to look at the problem, a novel approach to your solution, or incorporating new stakeholder groups that historically haven’t been included.
- A list of goals and milestones the students hopes to achieve.
- A cohesive and clear budget that demonstrates how the $2000 will be used to deliver their project
Submissions will be judged by a panel of reviewers chosen by the competition coordinator. The decisions of the panel on all matters are final and not open to appeal. If the competition coordinator, in their sole discretion, deems that an insufficient quantity or quality of applications have been received, the competition coordinator reserves the right not to award any prizes and terminate the competition.
Submissions that meet all eligibility criteria will be judged as follows:
- 30% of the scoring will be allotted to the potential impact of the learning experience that the project will provide for the applicant(s)
- 30% of the scoring will be allotted to the potential usability and community impact that the project will provide
- 30% of the scoring will be allotted to the creativity and uniqueness of the project
- 10% of the scoring will be allotted to the potential for the applicant(s) to successfully meet all outlined deliverables
Projects must be respectful and courteous and preferably presented in English. The project must be an original work by the applicant(s) and the applicant(s) must have all necessary rights in and to the project. If created by a team, the team members must be acknowledged for their role in the final product.
Projects must not infringe upon or violate any laws or any third party rights, including but not limited to, copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret, or other proprietary rights and must not constitute material that would be libeling, defamatory, a privacy violation, or a contract breach.
Please review the Project Report document so that you are familiar with the main deliverable before you begin your project. This document is a due by September 1, 2020. More details will be provided once awards are distributed. The document is only a template and you can add to it if you see fit.
- Any videos, reports, or other outcomes from your project should be highlighted and presented along with this report
- Be sure to include your learnings throughout the project
- Mention anyone that has helped throughout your project and in what capacity they helped
- Include a statement explaining next steps for your project or how you will use your learnings in the future
2019-2020: Innovation in Climate Action
How are you contributing to a low-carbon future?
Climate action is front of mind for many Canadians today, and especially so for young Canadians as they think about their futures. We know that how we live will need to fundamentally shift in order to meet our climate reduction targets, and this presents an opportunity to think about the world we want to create. Rather than being reactive, how do start solving problems now and invent a sustainable future we envision?
Inspiring a Changemaking Culture
How can art, storytelling, and education transform our culture and inspire us to take action on climate change?
Cleaner Energy and Healthier Environments
How do we protect and strengthen living systems that promote health? What is needed to enable a sustainable energy future?
Reimagining our Institutions
In what ways can governments, businesses, educational institutions, and our legal system be transformed to facilitate climate action?
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