The World Adapted to Us

Written by: David Legg and Jenn MacDonald

This past year David Legg, a professor of Adapted Physical Activity at Mount Royal University, decided that his students needed to expand their reach and skill sets and better understand the innovation process. He asked Jenn MacDonald from Mount Royal’s Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to help him develop a project within the class to address this need. The result was an Innovation Sprint where students in groups worked on a project focusing on innovation that will enable persons with disability to be more active, more often. The full course can be found at

Pedesting was one of the examples used as a template and exemplar for their project. And you’ll soon understand why.

While it may not seem obvious at first, innovation is deeply embedded in every aspect of sport and recreation and innovation in disability and sport is perhaps even more so. The challenge for our students then was to identify a problem and create an innovative solution to it. By identifying a problem and exploring a solution, students were exposed to problem solving, critical thinking, customer/user discovery, design thinking, and pitching. We helped students then understand that these skills would be critical to their career regardless of whether they started a business, joined an established organization, or a startup.

More specifically we helped our students understand that having an entrepreneurial mindset was important for any students in Health and Physical Education because all businesses need to innovate and grow; adaptability, critical thinking, and problem solving are skills employers will require as we continue to experience globalization and rapid technology advancement; it would create a unique resume builder via an interesting, well-rounded story; and perhaps most importantly students could can be a changemaker!

Jenn and I then hosted four classes specific to this project with the first class focusing on an introduction to the customer and problem. The second focused on solution and pitching while the third was a roundtable with community members. The fourth day is the final pitch - on March 25th at 8:30 am and 11:30 am at the Canadian Sport Institute/Winsport. All are welcome to attend so please email me at if you’re interested in attending.

What you’ll see at this presentation are budding Nabeel’s and Pedesting ideas at their nascent stage of development.

Students are embarking on the process of identifying problems through observing, listening, research, empathy, analysis, and testing. We’re using the same philosophy espoused by Albert Einstein where “If I had one hour to save the world, I would spend 55 minutes to understand the problem and 5 minutes to devise a solution”

Examples of what students have created include new products or services, new ventures or companies or social enterprises or non-profit organizations, new processes inside an organization, new experiences, marketing approaches and new technologies or solutions with new technologies.

If Pedesting wasn’t already invented it would have been an outstanding award winning project. It clearly identified a challenge, used cutting edge technology to address it, was adaptable to the individual with the end goal being a person’s genuine satisfaction. They even innovated by creating a new verb!