Catherine is Mount Royal’s first tenure track professor of social innovation. Prior to joining academia, Catherine spent almost twenty years in the private sector; in corporate planning, finance and marketing. She has also spent considerable time volunteering and consulting to the nonprofit sector. Her experience is wide as well as deep as she was the President and CEO of a Calgary-based registered charity that operated a social enterprise.
Catherine is passionate about teaching, curriculum design and experiential learning and over the past two years has been involved in course design and ‘test driving’ many of MRU’s new course offerings in social innovation.
As part of the Vivacity team, Catherine is helping to shepherd the first cohort of Civic Innovation students who have been tasked with “reimagining Calgary’s every changing environment”.
Katherine McGowan, phd
Katharine began her academic career as a traditional Canadian historian - and this eventually led her to be the annoying fact-checker and long-term perspective haver on social innovation at the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience. Her clear joy in public speaking and mild likeability led to a position with Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo (SPWB), a community-based project in Fort McMurray that sought to support a culture of social innovation. This directly led to her current position as Assistant Professor of Social Innovation in the Bissett School of Business.
She has not abandoned her historical roots however, as she is currently delivering a first - a history of/and social innovation course, where she has already subjected serious business students to a frivolous discussion of resilience and the French Revolution. Upcoming topics include the Dutch East India Company, the Canada Health Act, Intelligence Testing, and (sigh) that new flash-in-the-pan, the Internet. Katharine is currently helming/coordination the Apaat tsi kani takiiks, a three-year Indigenization initiative that builds onthe Suncor Aboriginal Business Education Pilot Program here at Bissett. That is, helming it until the incredibly impressive and driven Bissett Aboriginal students mutiny and take over the ship. She can't wait to live in the Canada they are going to (re)build.
Katherine Ziff Citizen experiment mentor
Before joining Mount Royal University to teach social innovation and entrepreneurship, Katherine Ziff accrued decades of experience developing exhibitions and programs for science centres and museums. She has led projects for public audiences from inception to completion, including developing exhibitions for TELUS Spark, Calgary's science centre, where she rose to Vice President of Content.
In all her roles she is passionate about developing the effectiveness, daring, and originality of creative teams.
Patrick Moskwa Five Year timeline mentor
Patrick Moskwa is a practicing architect, industrial designer, artist and teacher with a special interest in immersive environments and experience design. His focus is on interactive experience between participants and object, be it landscape, planning, buildings, product, or visual design/art. Aside from practicing architecture for more than 15 years, he teaches marketing, design, creative entrepreneurship and social innovation at MRU, is a public speaker on creativity and human centred design. He has a thriving art practice which is as varied as his career, from large scale installation and public art, exhibition and curatorial work, to drawing, painting, and Illustration.
He has been with Glenbow facilitating Art on the Rocks for 3 years, as well as an external curator of interactive pop up exhibits for Glenbow Launch Parties, and invited guest artist with Arts Commons for various public special events.
Jordan Piraux Brand Design and content Manager
Jordan IS An ALUMNI OF MOUNT ROYAL UNIVERSITY'S Bcmm PROGRAM WITH A MAJOR IN information design and certificate in marketing. jordan'S PASSION FOR MARKETING FOCUSEs ON TELLING MEANINGFUL STORIES AND BUILDING SUSTAINABLE RELATIONSHIPS.
Jordan is the lead designer on multiple projects based out of MOunt royal university including otahpiaaki fashion week and the paul brandt legacy project.
although she is new to vivacity, she believes that these challenges are opportunities for institutions to grow and learn together. these projects will help create a better clagry for those in the future.
james stauch Strategic advisor
James is the Director of the Insitute for Community Prosperity at Mount Royal University (MRU), which connects students and citizens to learning opportunities and research to lead transformative change in their communities.
James has served as a foundation program manager, executive and consultant with nearly two decades of experience working in the field of philanthropy. He has guided or advised on programs that support the emergence of community leadership and sound community investment practice. An urban and community planner by training, James has worked extensively with communities in the Arctic and Far North, with the non-profit sector in the Calgary and Greater Toronto regions, as well as with Aboriginal communities and organizations across Canada. .
patricia DERBYSHIRE Faculty Champion
Patricia is the faculty champion that introduced social innovation impact projects in 2012, at that time the CleanTech Challenge, followed by the Making Waves Challenge, and as of a few years ago, Vivacity.
Patti is a catalyst, community organizer and business leader in Calgary’s creative economy. In both her professional practice and in her current role as Chair & Associate Professor – Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation at Mount Royal University’s Bissett School of Business, she draws upon her eclectic professional career in broadcasting, design, cultural marketing, start-up ventures, and music industry management to build rich and engaging brand strategies. She is a Top 40 Under 40 Alumni (1998 & 2000) and was a judge for Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2012.
lena soots (ON leave)
In addition to being the Director of Vivacity, Lena holds a position as Changemaker-in-Residence with the Institute for Community Prosperity and is a faculty member in Social Innovation at MRU. She has been working for over 15 years with local government, academic institutions and community organizations at the intersection of sustainability and social innovation with a focus on creating programs and projects that foster inter-institutional collaboration and transformative learning.
Lena brings her experience as founding team member and Program Manager of CityStudio Vancouver - an award-winning innovation hub that brings university students together with the City to co-create solutions for a more livable, joyful and sustainable city. Lena was also a member of the City of Vancouver’s Greenest City Steering Committee and is an Associate with the Centre for Sustainable Community Development at Simon Fraser University.