Entering MUSC 229 the first thing you notice are the whiteboards that replaced the old bookcases along the wall: colourful sticky notes map out work in progress by student working groups. Bright paint and varied seating arrangements allow visitors a cheerful uncluttered space to work on projects alone or in small groups.
Design-thinking and agile project management systems have moved in as OPIRG’s much smaller library collection becomes mission-focused: fewer books, but more material relevant to strategic organizing, social psychology, campaigning, communications, and hands-on resources that increase our effectiveness and impact.
There is space for students to linger as hours are extended, and sharing ideas over fair trade tea and coffee is the new norm. Anyone can drop in to lend a hand and help move an initiative forward: reducing campus waste; finding ways to protect at-risk turtles in Cootes Paradise; planning workshops, sharing social media strategies.
“VISION: a space where people can collaborate, work and turn ideas in action”
Tools to support creative thinking are at hand: sticky notes, Kraft paper, markers, notepads, there’s an iMac for design work loaded with Creative Suite programs, and there’s place to project your ideas on to the wall, and of course the full wall of whiteboards for scribbling thoughts.
Collaboration, invention, experimentation, play, these impulses are nurtured and form the basis for new ideas and novel solutions to public interest issues. It’s a safe and inspiring place to take chances on the journey to a better world.