Neelam SandhuBlackBerry VP Neelam Sandhu will hear proposal pitches from students in the Ways of Knowing class.

Course partnership with BlackBerry to develop pitch skills

Students in the course Ways of Knowing will learn this semester to develop and pitch proposals, with practice in front of a corporate executive.

Neelam Sandhu, BlackBerry vice-president of business operations and strategic accounts, will once again hear pitches from students on how the company can further commit to the United Nations Global Compact. The compact is a corporate commitment to the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals.

"We need to work together on initiatives that deal with the well-being of citizens around the world,” says instructor Tim Brunet.

In his course, students learn about the Capabilities Approach, the underpinning framework for the United Nations Human Development Reports and Human Development Index. It gives them insight into measuring social and economic progress. The students apply these lessons to develop proposals for community partners who provide feedback and mull the ideas for potential implementation.

In Winter 2020, students pitched to Sandhu, who endorsed two projects for further development.

“I am delighted to extend the partnership between the University of Windsor and BlackBerry,” she said. “The Ways of Knowing class focuses on issues that are core to the future and well-being of our society, which the future workforce must keep front of mind.”

The class receives coaching from BlackBerry student ambassador Noah Campbell as well as from Brunet, who aims to teach students that society must work together to develop partnerships that reflect upon and solve the world’s problems.

"This unique experiential learning opportunity does just that,” Brunet says. “The course gives students the chance to interact with online guests who experience life in other countries.”

Rather than teaching remotely, he works on dispersed collaborations, an opportunity to work with people beyond traditional networks and the conventional lecture.

The first Ways of Knowing class was Wednesday, but there is still room for interested students to register. More information is available on the course website.