Should Universities Teach ‘Startup Culture’?

Friday, 24 September 2021 via Zoom

Speaker: Chris Evans

Should Universities Teach ‘Startup Culture’

Lecture Summary:

An emerging trend in university offerings is training in entrepreneurship through hands-on experience of what one might call “startup culture”. This is often described as an important learning experience for students. Why are universities devoting scarce resources to doing this? Is it an appropriate activity for publicly funded universities to engage with? How do universities actually do this? Is this just a passing fad, or is it here to stay? And, most importantly, does this experience have any particular value for students? These are a few of the questions I’ll try to answer in my Almonte Lecture. For the most part, my comments will be offered in the context of Ryerson University’s Zone Learning experience.

Bio: Chris Evans:

Dr. Chris Evans holds a PhD in chemistry from the University of Ottawa and is a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biology at Ryerson University. Always a bit of a generalist, Chris has taught in the Faculties of Science, Engineering and Architectural Science, and Communication and Design. And as self-confessed “curriculum nerd”, Chris led a number of ambitious developments including a major redesign of the undergraduate curriculum structure, the rollout of Ryerson’s university-wide quality assurance process, and design of curriculum with a focus on entrepreneurship and innovation.

At Ryerson, he has served in many roles including faculty member, department chair, Vice Provost Academic, and interim Provost. Since September 1, 2021 Chris has been on secondment to the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance as Executive Director, Quality Assurance.

Prior to joining Ryerson, Chris was a faculty member at the University of Iceland. His scholarly interests include organic photo-chemistry, deterioration of archival photographic images and experiential learning pedagogy.

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