A world-changing opportunity for SAIT students: Applications now open

SAIT students can now apply to be part of the globally-recognized experiential learning program, How to Change the World.
It was a pilot project described as life-changing, empowering and career-moving. Now it’s back, and applications are open — at no cost to SAIT students.

Changing the world is a complicated task. Where do you even begin?

It’s a question SAIT’s School for Advanced Digital Technology (SADT) is answering with an incredible opportunity.

SAIT students can now apply to claim a free spot in the globally-recognized development program, How to Change the World. The Oct. 1 application deadline is fast approaching, and it’s a rare chance for young professionals to solve global issues while being mentored by industry stakeholders and international experts — at no cost.

The intensive five-day workshop spans over a six-week period from late October to early December. You don’t need formal experience to be selected, you just need to demonstrate your ability to problem solve, innovate and collaborate, and most importantly — a passion for learning. Students from all schools and disciplines are encouraged to apply.

How it works

Successful applicants will work with a team of exceptional colleagues from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures. With guidance from coaches and a global network of industry experts, the group is tasked with developing innovative solutions to real-world problems outlined by the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The list includes global issues such as climate change, poverty, hunger, clean water and quality of education, among many others.

The students will work collaboratively to solve a real-word problem, receiving industry feedback throughout. At the end of the series, a public showcase is held where a panel of judges award first prize for the best solution, based on both creativity and viability.

Creating real solutions to global problems

In spring of 2021, SADT welcomed students to take part in the first pilot project, including Marie Donohoe who was part of a group of people from around the world who worked together to brainstorm an actionable, local plan to reduce pollution in Montréal.

“I used to wish I could change the world someday but the more I thought about it, I couldn’t imagine how,” said Donohoe. “This program really did empower me to look at this, not as a distant hope, but as an achievable goal.”

Lee Ackerman, Director, Digital Strategy at SADT, coached Marie’s team and says he witnessed incredible growth in each member as their critical thinking skills flourished.

“Marie was in my group, and I can’t read her comments— because I tear up when I do,” explains Ackerman. “The group she worked with was one of the award winners. They focused on climate change in Montréal, and their solution was a community outreach program for six and seven-year-old children. The kids are taught to watch and see if delivery drivers turn off their vehicle when dropping off a package. This initiative essentially uses the social shaming of drivers to reduce emissions.”

“It influences behavior in a scalable way, and you get a lot of households advocating for change,” he adds.

A big boost for your resume

The best part — these solutions can truly become real-world answers. How to Change the World shares the ideas generated in the workshops with its global network to start implementing immediate action.

Program graduates get exclusive access to this network of professionals, along with several resume-boosting, skill-building online resources. It’s an incredible way to gain a competitive edge and show employers how you’re using skills to create meaningful solutions.

“The highlight of the program was being able to meet so many people from around the world and see how they worked through their projects. The sessions are very iterative and collaborative, so I was constantly talking with experts, mentors and other participants,” says Claire Mikalauskas, How to Change the World graduate.

“The program ended up being the perfect starting point for understanding how to go about creating a change within these seemingly insurmountable problems,” she explains.

How to apply

Barring COVID-19 restrictions, SADT is planning to host the next phase of How to Change the World in-person at its location in the Odd Fellows Building in the heart of downtown Calgary.

The program is possible thanks to a partnership between SADT and the University College of London, where How to Change the World was founded in 2014.

Applications will still be accepted beyond the Oct. 1 deadline, but due to the high amount of interest, students are asked to apply as soon as possible.