Industry innovation begins in the classroom  

As Pathways Alliance joins policymakers, educators, scientists, activists, and other key community players to meet the climate and energy challenges of our time, it recognizes it’s essential to ensure the energy industry has the talent ready for the job.  

That’s why the alliance of Canada’s six largest oil sands companies embraces the opportunity to participate in and support Open Learning Lab, a unique collaboration that allows employers to play an active role in the learning journey of Calgarians. 

“Education, purposefully crafted to enrich the student experience while proactively responding to the labour and leadership requirements of the energy transition, is essential.” says Patricia Bailey, Director of Strategic Engagement at Pathways Alliance. 

“Hands-on experience nurtures outstanding critical thinking skills and offers invaluable insights into the intricacies of decision-making and communicating clearly.”  

“The Open Learning Lab emerges as an exceptional platform, empowering students to develop confidence, practical competencies, and a robust professional network right from the outset.” 

A practical learning approach 

The Open Learning Lab isn’t just another program; it’s a multi-stage pilot designed to bridge the gap between academia and industry. The 15,000-square-foot lab in Bow Valley Square is a modern facility that serves as a hub for collaboration, harmonization, and experimentation between learners, educators, and employers.  

Led by David Finch, chair of the LearningCITY Collective and a professor at Mount Royal University, the Open Learning Lab offers a fresh perspective on how learners and professionals can collaborate and solve real-world challenges. The lab is hosting up to 1,000 students studying social innovation, entrepreneurship, and marketing from both Mount Royal University and InceptionU.  

Open Learning is based on the principle that inclusive, agile, and adaptive learning is the outcome of a co-creative process incorporating learners. educators, and community. Therefore, the goal of the Open Learning Lab is to create transformative experiences by facilitating the collision between learners, educators, and the community. The Open Learning Lab is home to a diverse array of community members, actively collaborating with educators and learners. In addition to the In addition to the Pathways Alliance, its members include for-profit, not-for-profit, and public-sector organizations committed to providing unique learning opportunities.  

Pathways Alliance involvement 

As a member, the Pathways Alliance team can engage directly with students, supplying insights into the current and future needs of the energy industry and offering students the valuable opportunity to connect with industry professionals, giving them a firsthand glimpse of their future roles. 

As part of the partnership, the Pathways Alliance is sponsoring the LearningCITY Career Pathways Series. The goal of this program is to use the Open Learning Lab to promote increasingly diverse career pathways available to Albertans, both inside and outside of the energy sector. As Dr. Finch states, “Our partnership with the Pathways Alliance enables young people to explore the diverse career paths that our city and province have to offer. This is a critical step to developing the adaptive talent essential to transforming all parts of our economy.”   

Join us at the Open Learning Lab 

The Open Learning Lab is excited to welcome other members. To engage in this exciting initiative, complete a short online application. Your involvement could be the catalyst for a new wave of industry innovation, starting in the classroom and extending far beyond it.