MRU and ATCO celebrate partnership to tackle social challenges

Dec. 8, 2022

Mount Royal University’s Institute for Community Prosperity (ICP) and ATCO are celebrating the formation of a $750,000 partnership that will ensure the growth and proliferation of the ICP’s signature Map the System program as well as ATCO business directives.

The partnership will allow students to deepen their research competence and understand an important and complex social challenge using a systems-thinking approach. It will also allow ATCO employees access to Map the System education and idea cross-pollination with emerging talent.

As a new signature sponsor of Map the System, ATCO has made a three-year commitment of $250,000 per year ($750,000 total). As part of the agreement, the ICP will work with ATCO’s Corporate Transformation team to ensure there are meaningful engagement opportunities for ATCO SpaceLab participants and other ATCO employees to access Map the System, tools, learnings and training.

SpaceLab is an enterprise-wide framework of collaborative support for the creative energy of ATCO’s people and a source of funding and expertise to any ATCO employee with the desire to pursue sustainable new value for the company.

“ATCO is investing in students as we are going to invest in their employees,” says James Stauch, director of the ICP.  “This is a company that is working on commercial innovation solutions and new technologies, new approaches to business, new areas of commercial opportunity. And they see Map the System as integral to that.”

A global challenge, Map the System is hosted and managed by the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship within the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. The ICP runs Map the System not just within MRU, but nationally. Last year 64 schools participated worldwide, with 20 from Canada. ATCO’s donation will assist with expenses for students to attend national and global competitions and provide support for the ICP in operating the program. Students have access to incredible learning opportunities, workshops and materials, and funding will allow for more capacity and agility.

“ATCO SpaceLab is engaging with the challenges of developing this understanding by emphasizing the question being investigated, its context and the multitude of legitimate perspectives that bear on it. We resist the temptation of expediently superficial solutions in favour of deeper understanding of the problems. In this respect, we are kindred spirits with our friends at the Institute for Community Prosperity at Mount Royal University and the Map the System Canada program, which we have the honour of sponsoring. Through this engagement with MRU and the leaders of tomorrow it educates, ATCO will support the ‘systems thinking’ approach and the mentorship of the next generation of Canadian leaders,” says George Constantinescu, chief transformation officer and senior vice-president at ATCO.

In addition to Map the System education, ATCO is looking at hosting virtual apprenticeship opportunities, with SpaceLab taking part in exchange sessions where new, novel and deeper insights can be shared between students, educators, SpaceLab and the Map the System team.

For further information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Peter Glenn, Senior Media Relations Officer or Haley Jarmain, Communications Officer