Creating a classroom of the future — a sustainable future — was already a key area of focus for both Dr. Janet Moore and Duane Elverum, but it was in response to the City of Vancouver's public consultation to become the greenest city in the world in 2010 that Moore and Elverum set out on a journey to change the landscape of undergraduate education in Vancouver. In the six years since launching CityStudio, this model for city-campus hubs has received tremendous interest worldwide. It has been adopted in six cities across Canada and the United States and is being considered by a dozen more following two successful conferences to share the art of collaborative city-building.
Tackling our greatest social and environmental challenges starts with an intimate understanding of the challenges themselves. It requires understanding the complexity of the problems, including their causes and effects, as well as the system in which those problems are stuck. It also requires an understanding of what solutions are already being tried and the kinds of resources that could be brought to bear to shift the system and begin to tackle the challenge. Unintentionally, our education systems often encourage students to jump too quickly into designing solutions without first giving students the tools to understand the problems. In many ways, this style of entrepreneurial education perpetuates a belief that individual organizations can scale to solve these challenges alone, and puts emphasis on the "heropreneur", a term used by Daniela Papi-Thornton in her report titled "Tackling Heropreneurship".