Andrew Luba ‘15

What was your Question?: How does understanding human behaviour lead to socially innovative policy design?

Tell us a bit about your Keystone project. What was the best thing about the process?
My Keystone was a novella exploring the creation of, and life within, a designed society. Fundamentally, it questioned whether we should design decisions in our institutions and structures to nudge people toward certain pro-social behaviours — such as organ donation, environmentally sustainable practices, consent-based culture, etc.. It also asked who has power to decide what is “good”, and whether they should be able to embed that understanding into our societal framework.

I loved the Keystone because I had complete freedom. I could choose any topic, and approach it in any way. I’m very happy I wrote a novella because I’d never taken on a significant creative-writing project before, and it brought forth many unexpected challenges.

What did you do for your experiential learning block?
For experiential learning, I created an app connecting young people in Toronto to free sport-related coaching. Specifically, I wanted to break down access barriers for kids who were new immigrants or who didn’t have enough money to join standard sports leagues, while also connecting these kids to people more established in Toronto’s sports world. I was lucky to partner with two very supporting mentors who worked to find us a placement at the Digital Media Zone business incubator at Ryerson University.

What are some of the Concentration Courses you took?
The Concentration Courses that influenced me most academically and in how I want to live my life were Behavioural Economics, Gender & Politics, Comparative Political Institutions, Social Psychology, and Political Identity & Conflict.

What are you up to now?
I recently finished my Masters of Design during which I explored futurism and organizational strategy. My thesis was a tabletop card game that empowered players to acknowledge and produce alternative future narratives, thereby subverting those dominant in their societies. During this time, I also co-founded a design company with another Quest alumnus, through which we have successfully crowdfunded six products. At this moment, I’m working on another board game, a documentary about the coextinction of the Southern Resident Killer Whales and Chinook Salmon on the west coast, and an installation art piece about perspective and privilege. In September, I’ll be at the University of Toronto starting my law degree.

How do you feel Quest prepared you for your current endeavors?
Quest taught me how to think critically and communicate effectively. It taught me to improvise and to make my own path. It taught me to subvert norms. Quest prepared me for any type of work, but, more importantly, it challenged me to live a life with meaning: one where I contribute positively to the world around me.

Do you have a favourite “Quest moment”? A great memory of something that wouldn’t have happened at most other universities?
My “Quest moments”, those that wouldn’t happen at other universities, were when I’d sit down at lunch with other students and a professor would come along and we’d all talk about life without it being at all awkward or unusual, or when I’d play pick-up rugby with the school’s Vice President, or when I’d walk fifteen minutes from residence to go swimming with salmon in the woods. There are too many moments.

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