Royal Roads University, Canada


The community-driven Business School

The Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Innovation and Sustainability at Royal Roads University (RRU) is 100% community oriented and driven. It is our attempt to fully engage community in student learning, to break down the silos between academic disciplines, to better tackle the wicked problems of the world, and to eliminate lectures and exams as an ineffective way of student learning; all in favour of a 100% project-based, community-engaged, sustainability-focused business program.

From the first day of the program to the last, students are faced with community partner challenges as their way of learning. There are no formal courses, only real community, and organisational problems as the classroom. The RRU BBA is the only business program of its kind in North America and potentially globally.  

Top 3 Learnings

  1. We understand that 100% community-driven and project-based learning is more complex and time consuming than a more traditional education model. However, it is more rewarding, purposeful, and relevant for all involved.
  2. There is a magic that comes from incorporating a diversity of community leaders into our sustainability and innovation related business projects; our students worlds expand, they see themselves reflected in the change leadership in our region, and they come out with new ideas of what is possible for their own careers.
  3. We learned that our community wants to work with post-secondaries that are open, flexible, and are grounded in principles of reciprocity. The community demand to be placed in our BBA projects, well outpace our capacity to supply, and so we have had to build new channels to meet community needs.
8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production 13 - Climate Action
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