On December 3, 2019, retired investment manager and Calgary philanthropist David Bissett made a $30 million gift to SAIT. On doing so, Bissett stated the critical need for Canadians to be fully competitive in digital technology, or become a nation falling behind.
The world has been racing toward digital transformation for some time now, changing the way we work, live and learn. Then, in March 2020, COVID-19 forced this race across the finish line, whether we were ready for it or not. SAIT graduates increasingly need to update their digital skills to adapt to massive changes in industry.
SAIT is ready to help.
The School for Advanced Digital Technology will enable our institution to advance change through technology and set a new course that positions SAIT as a leader in digital transformation and education.
$30 million is not enough to fully realize our vision. We will need our entire community to help SAIT transform digital education, for Calgary and for the country.
SAIT’s School for Advanced Digital Technology will be a catalyst for industry, technology and education to identify and train skills for the workforce of today and tomorrow. Producing work-ready graduates who have a growth mindset, entrepreneurial skills and resilience and retooling existing workers for a diversified digital economy.
To achieve our shared vision, SAIT is requesting others to join David Bissett in his vision and help SAIT establish a world-class School for Advanced Digital Technology that will help students excel in today’s new economy.
Your gift to the School for Advanced Digital Technology will help Calgary lead the way for Albertans and Canadians to embrace the new prosperity of the digital economy by transforming digital education.
Funding opportunities are available to support the school’s founding leadership, influencers-in-residence, disruptors-in-residence and industry secondments – possible naming of research chairs and other programs.
Thought leadership activities ensure industry, technology, and education coalesce, allowing SAIT to lead by preparing the industry for the future world of work, not just for today. The school serves as a knowledge incubator to nurture learning by sharing knowledge, insights and best practices to inspire new ways of thinking to foster innovation.
We are creating opportunities for awards, mentorships, work-integrated learning and student clubs to democratize access to digital education across all divides – including urban/rural and across all program offerings at SAIT.
We will lead the country in innovative education advances from learning labs, virtual reality, idea rooms and maker’s spaces with 5G infrastructure. To get ahead and stay ahead of the innovation curve, the new school will require financial resources, including gifts-in-kind, to secure leading-edge software and hardware.
Our curriculum will need to respond to changes in technology and be updated regularly to ensure students are learning relevant skills in a rapidly changing environment. Having a curriculum fund will remove the need to operate within a traditional three-year curriculum renewal cycle and allow us to be nimbler in responding to industry needs, giving us the ability to create a new way of learning.