Design Thinking Challenge: Keynote Speakers

8:30AM to 10:00AM March 7, 2021
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The 4th annual Royal Roads Design Thinking Challenge (RRDTC) showcases our 21st century model of learning and approach to change-making to undergraduate business students from across the country and the world by engaging their creativity and empathy with a wicked social challenge.

The client for this year's event is the Wilderness Tourism Association of BC, with the challenge focusing on addressing the impact of COVID-19 on the adventure tourism industry.

In honour of open learning, this free event is open to all RRDTC participants, students, friends, family and the community. Join us on Sunday, March 7th from 8:30am-10:00am (pacific time) for the following two keynote presentations:

Exploring Adventure Tourism’s Current Existential Crisis

Presenter: Ross Cloutier - Executive Director Helicat Canada.

It is certain that COVID-19 has created an existential crisis for the adventure tourism industry. Most businesses in the sector have already lost an entire year of revenue, workers are unemployed, employee mental health impacts are large, and business futures are uncertain. It maybe another year or two until international borders are open and business is back to what could even be considered close to normal.

However, adventure tourism is a unique industry, and COVID-19 is not the first, or only, challenge facing the sector. International border mobility, species at risk management, tenure security, reduced business certainty, a tightening insurance market, First Nations reconciliation efforts, climate change impacts, sustainability challenges, and ownership exit challenges are all major influencers. Their impacts, both as they relate to COVID-19, and otherwise, are important to the future success of the sector.

What makes a successful adventure business? What are the challenges? Where do we go from here? What are the true impacts of COVID-19? While these are complex questions, their understanding is what enables accurate business strategy. This keynote, by someone who has travelled the world extensively assisting governments and communities develop adventure tourism economies will explore some of these complexities.

Co-Design in Practice: How to Navigate Problems Using Human-Centred Design

Presenter: Brock Hart - CEO at Overlap.

Most of us design. We just don’t all design as well as we could. In this talk, Overlap Associates co-founder and CEO, Brock Hart will bring his expertise as a leading interdisciplinary practitioner to life. He’ll guide you through a series of real examples, showcasing stories of best-practice and impact, using co-design.

Meet the Keynote Presenters 

Meet Brock Hart 

Brock Hart is the co-founder and co-CEO of Overlap Associates, a problem solving design consultancy, driven by a diverse team of service designers, strategists, engagement specialists, coaches and trainers operating from offices in Canada and the UK.

Brock is a serial entrepreneur focused on helping some of the world’s largest brands and some of the most vital community organizations with design-led solutions and new capacity for problem solving. As a former Creative Director and award-winning designer with an undergraduate degree in sociology and diploma in design, he is passionate about the power of human-centred design to make things better. Asking the question “Why?” is always his starting-point and he is a trusted advisor to organizations and leaders who are ready to radically change in order to achieve true transformation. Adept at bringing people together around big ideas, Brock is a visionary thinker and an extraordinary facilitator.

Meet Ross Cloutier

With more than 45-years of experience in the adventure and emergency response industry as a guide, business owner, academic, and consultant, Ross Cloutier is the Principal of Bhudak Consultants Ltd. and the Executive Director of HeliCat Canada.

Beginning his career as a climbing and ski guide, Ross has had numerous roles in the adventure industry including; British Columbia Search & Rescue Coordinator, Climbing Leader for the 1991 Mt. Everest Canada Expedition, President and CEO of Avalanche Canada, Chair of the Outward Bound Canada National Safety Committee, founder and past-Chair of the Adventure Studies Department at Thompson Rivers University, and the current Executive Director of HeliCat Canada, the trade association for helicopter and snowcat skiing in Canada.


Register here: RRDTC Keynote Event