Royal Roads Design Thinking Challenge

Royal Roads Design Thinking Challenge

Royal Roads University has reimagined the standard case competition to focus on innovating solutions to real-world challenges, using design thinking. In a world where leaders must navigate increased complexity, design thinking provides a structured approach for bringing new, yet-unimagined futures into being.

The Royal Roads Design Thinking Challenge does not use standard business cases, which represent the past challenges of organizations. Rather, it is forward-looking and asks students to work with community leaders to address a challenge of societal concern. It is grounded in principles of design thinking and differentiates itself from traditional case competitions through the emphasis on these skills:

  • Empathy and deep analysis. In conventional case competitions, teams are assessed on their ability to quickly “crack” a case. The DT challenge asks teams to dedicate more time and energy coming to understand the situation and those that will be impacted by their recommendations.
  • Problem Framing. The DT Challenge asks teams to pay more attention than they typically would during case analysis to how a problem is framed, upfront.
  • Prototyping. In conventional case competitions, teams have one shot at coming to a solution, which they present to the judges. The DT Challenge asks teams to respond to formative feedback and iterate their proposed solutions.
  • Collaboration. In conventional case competitions, teams remain separate through the problem-solving process and the relationship between them is one of competition. In the DT Challenge, teams still compete, but collaboration is required as well.  In fact, teams are judged, in part, on the degree they contribute to all participants’ understanding of the challenge.
  • Citizenship. In conventional case competitions, teams respond to a challenge that has been experienced by an individual organization. In the DT Challenge, students work with community leaders to address a challenge of broader societal concern. 

The Royal Roads Design Thinking Challenge 2020 edition

The Royal Roads organizing team is delighted to announce that the 2020 Royal Roads Design Thinking Challenge will be held in Toronto and hosted at the Rotman Commerce, University of Toronto.

Holding the event in central Canada will offer an exciting opportunity to attract new schools to the challenge, and grow the business undergraduate design thinking community. 

We will be accepting up to twelve undergrad teams. Click here to register your team today!

Challenge dates:

February 20, 2020 - online

April 2-5, 2020 - on campus at Rotman Commerce, University of Toronto