A lecture in the world’s smallest classroom? How Sauder did it

Tagged: Faculty

Five people, a professor and a dog walk into an elevator. What do you get? A surprise business lecture in the world’s smallest moving classroom, taught to unsuspecting professionals by Sauder School of Business Marketing Professor David Hardisty.


Because we wanted a challenge that reflects the culture of innovation at the school and the spirit of our teaching, to create a memorable experience with the Sauder brand.

Sauder is constantly evolving the way it educates and shares ideas with the business community. So, we decided to take this to new heights – literally. We presented a Sauder professor with the challenge of creating a business lesson that could be given to working professionals on their way to the office in a crowded elevator.

"When the doors first opened, my heart skipped a beat."
- Assistant Professor David Hardisty

Cut to a crisp, sunny morning in Vancouver’s business core. Unassuming commuters are queued in front of the lobby elevators, reflecting on what they have on their plates for the day.

Unbeknownst to them, they may be victims of what research by Sauder Professor Dale Griffin calls the “planning fallacy” – a proven notion that people underestimate how long it takes to complete any given task.

Cue the elevator doors – ding! Enter Assistant Professor Hardisty, who jumps into our commuters’ day with a lesson on how to plan for the unexpected. 

“When the doors first opened, my heart skipped a beat. I had a plan for the lecture, but didn’t know if I could pull it off,” said Hardisty.

However a short ride in Sauder’s moving classroom quickly proved effective, equipping the commuters with strategies and a new mindset with which to tackle daily tasks and projects.

“An elevator in a busy downtown building was the perfect setting for our brand activation,” said Sauder School of Business Marketing Director Leanna Yip. “It gave us the chance to create an authentic learning experience that conveys the unique culture and personality of our school.”

Watch the lecture:

Video: Watch marketing professor David Hardisty's full 'Planning Fallacy 101' lecture.

Read the reaction:

FP"Sauder turns elevator into world’s smallest classroom as part of new marketing campaign."
- Financial Post

huffington"Unsuspecting people (and even a few dogs) were treated to a free and fast lecture on planning fallacy."
- Huffington Post

bc business"A viral video from the UBC Sauder School of Business markets a fresh approach to learning."
- BC Business