Each year, Avenue digs into a Big Idea. It’s a timely, complex topic that the team explores in blogs, round-table events with stakeholders and Top 40 Under 40 alumni. The culmination of all this discussion and deep thinking is the Avenue October issue, which is dedicated to covering all the discoveries and ideas generated by the Big Idea process. Read the digital edition, or pick up the issue on newsstands through October.

Senior editor Jaelyn Molyneux (now Avenue’s web editor) says the 2013 Big Idea was actually sparked by the previous year’s project. “At the Big Idea launch party last year, a few of the Avenueteam were speaking to people from the Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary. This idea of design, healthcare and education converging was born during that conversation.”

In the past, Avenue has tackled topics like civic engagement and contemporary perceptions of Calgary, but 2013 may be the biggest Big Idea yet; this year, Avenue focuses on the three cornerstones of a livable city: Education, healthcare and design. The issue identifies where these elements overlap, and explores the ways in which these overlaps foster innovation and progress. Molyneux says, “Calgary is always changing, and we found that a lot of the big projects happening right now involve at least two elements of the Big Idea. It was interesting to discover how interrelated they are.”

The Big Idea issue visits progressive classrooms and medical simulation centres, looks into the city’s backyards and follows its wayfinding routes to report on Calgary’s myriad multidisciplinary successes. Plus, readers get ideas and inspiration for living their own lives at this point of intersection, from getting healthy to exploring an artistic skill to voting in the civic election.

As it always is, the process of creating the Big Idea issue was a conversation-starter throughout the RedPoint office. “It was illuminating,” says Molyneux. “We got to focus on areas of the city where we might not normally go. It was nice to look at design from a different perspective.”