Mount Royal University Changemaker Campus

Mount Royal University’s campus-wide culture of changemaking inspires and empowers us to create meaningful change in partnership with communities.

Since 1910, Mount Royal has built a reputation on a strong, liberal education foundation with an undergraduate focus. More than a century later, it remains responsive to the needs of the community through its enduring commitment to its legacy. Mount Royal is a community of engaged citizens, providing personalized, experiential and outcome-based learning in an environment of inclusion, diversity and respect. Through its focus on teaching and learning informed by scholarship, Mount Royal is preparing its graduates for success in their careers and lives.


Vivacity 24-Hour Challenge: This challenge brings together students from Calgary's six post-secondary institutions to reimagine, design and activate solutions to local challenges, making our city more vibrant, livable and sustainable. Key partners are Calgary Economic Development and developer, Aspen Properties. Civic Innovation Course (SINV 4401): Vivacity has grown to include ongoing student learning opportunities through a social innovation course – available to students from across campus as well as two other universities in Calgary – that takes place in the downtown site that is being reimagined. Students also participate in ongoing mentorship, receive project implementation support and facilitate community dialogue events.

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Trico Changemaker Studio

Launching in early-2018, the Trico Changemaker Studio will connect and engage on- and off-campus changemakers who are working on developing products, processes, policies and programs in service of a better world. The Studio will consist of roughly 4800 sq. ft. of space. The Studio will be connected to curricular programming and will provide several additional opportunities for co-curricular engagement in changemaking. An Indigenous presence will be woven into the structural design of the Studio (art work, smudging corner, signage, greeting and land recognition, etc.). Relevant, informative, culturally sensitive programming and activities that increase the awareness, education and collaboration with Indigenous and non-Indigenous Studio users will be an essential part of the Studio, as will be programming suited to the needs of Indigenous changemakers. Community resources, access to elders, knowledge keepers, Indigenous mentors. For example, Elder Roy Bear Chief will be the Studio’s ‘Elder in Residence’ and there will be an Elders Circle affiliated with the Studio.

Mount Royal University’s General Education Curriculum

25% of the course load across all years of all MRU baccalaureate degree and diploma programs is chosen from General Education (liberal education). ‘Active citizenship’ underpins all General Education (GNED) courses. In addition to having four Social Innovation (SINV) courses that satisfy GNED requirements, GNED is building changemaking into its foundational curriculum. A new schema is being applied to all GNED Cluster 3 (Community and Society) courses that will further enhance changemaker education at MRU. Each of these GNED courses will soon include ‘Animating Concepts’ (e.g. human rights), ‘Institutional Expressions’ (e.g. political systems and structures) of these concepts, a substantial ‘Critique’ of the animating concepts and institutional expressions, and every course will include some form of ‘Action’.

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Mount Royal University’s Changemaker Roadmap

Through a series of workshops held in late-2015 and early-2016, a steering committee comprised of students, faculty, staff and administration co-created a draft MRU Changemaker Roadmap to help achieve this shared goal. The draft roadmap was shared at a campus-wide open house in February 2016 at which attendees were invited to provide further input and feedback. The roadmap describes nine capability areas within the MRU institutional ecosystem that all have a role to play in achieving the shared goal described above: 1) Teaching, 2) Learning, 3) Students as Changemakers, 4) Courage, 5) Bridge to Community, 6) Mentorship, 7) Awareness and Engagement, 8) Supportive Environment for Changemaking, and 9) Research and Scholarship. Also illustrated in this roadmap are three impact streams that describe MRU’s contribution to large-scale, systemic change: 1. MRU is recognized nationally and internationally as a post-secondary creating meaningful change; 2. MRU students, staff, faculty, administration and alumni are actively engaged, contributing citizens; and 3. MRU contributes towards the collective goal of reconciliation among and between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

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John Fischer Director, Iniskim Centre, Mount Royal University

John Fischer is the Director of the Iniskim Centre, Mount Royal University. He is a retired high school principal, proud of his leadership in Plains Indians Cultural Survival School, Alternative High School, Chinook Learning Services, and Forest Lawn High School. He holds a Master of Education with a focus on Anti-Racism/Multicultural Education and is an executive coach. He sits on the board of The Calgary Foundation. John and his family are members of Cowesses First Nation. His priority is Indigenous student success and his interests are leadership, reconciliation, and institutional change. His work at MRU supports Indigenous students and advances the implementation of the Indigenous Strategic Plan.

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Michael Quinn Associate Vice President - Research, Scholarship and Community Engagement

Mike is an interdisciplinary scholar with interests in applied research that focuses on sustainability, resilience, land-use management, protected areas, water and community-engagement.  He is widely published and has a supervised over 75 graduate students.  He has long been a proponent of a broad approach to liberal post-secondary education and an advocate for relevant education that makes a positive contribution to personal and community transformation.  Mike has increasingly embraced administrative leadership roles within academia and is currently the senior leader for research and scholarship at Mount Royal University.

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Wendelin Fraser Associate Professor, Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation, Bissett School of Business, Mount Royal University 

Wendelin Fraser teaches entrepreneurship, innovation, social enterprise and nonprofit management. She is an active member of the community, receiving several awards in recognition of this contribution including a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award in 2012. Wendelin’s mentorship of Mount Royal University’s Enactus Team was recognized in May 2017, when she was awarded Faculty Advisor of the Year at the Enactus Canada Nationals.

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Jill Andres Changemaker in Residence, Institute for Community Prosperity

Jill is a facilitator, coach, and thinking partner. Through her company, Creating Value, Jill has worked alongside inspiring changemakers in the nonprofit, public and private sectors to amplify social impact though adaptive strategy, collective impact and systems change, service design, and social enterprise. At Mount Royal University, Jill has embraced her role as Changemaker in Residence, working with students, staff, faculty and administration to co-create a campus-wide culture of changemaking. Jill supports the Be Local movement as Chair of the Board of REAP Calgary. She is increasingly interested in the role of mindfulness in social change.

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Changemaker Campus

Launched in 2008, Ashoka offers the Changemaker Campus designation to leading institutions in social innovation education. These institutions share the vision for higher education to become the next global driver of social change by transforming the educational experience into a world-changing experience.