Throughout the 2018 Fall semester, senior level Information Design students used the human-centred design process along with a systems thinking approach to examine the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals; a framework for the most important challenges that we are facing as a society, with topics ranging from access to clean water and healthy food, to decolonization and reconciliation, to meaningful education and many more. Students looked at the local manifestation of these problems to develop a deep understanding of the complex and overlapping systems that they are borne out of.

This publication features a collection of evolving understandings of global challenges that we are facing locally in Calgary and the surrounding area. The problems that are visualized here are the result of extensive research including fieldwork, interviews and literature review. Students have synthesized and organized their insights from this research into new frameworks and mental models.

Our students are tenacious problem seekers and solvers, who care deeply about making a positive impact on the world around them. Information designers have a unique capacity and responsibility to make the complex clear and accessible for people, enabling understanding, empathy and action. Our hope is that these projects can be a catalyst for change-making.

Kelsey McColgan, Humanly instructor


In the fall semester of their fourth year, Mount Royal University’s Information Design students undertake a semester-long project aimed at demonstrating the principles of systems thinking and change making.  


For the last two years the senior Information Design students have chosen one of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development goals and applied it to a local wicked problem faced by Calgarians or Albertans. The problem is approached by the student in the form of a “How Might We…” question, using human-centered design to attempt to solve or address the problem.