Map the System Challenge

What is the Map the System Challenge?

An initiative of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford, Map the System encourages students and educators to think differently about social, environmental, and economic challenges by mapping out the landscape of current problems and solutions while identifying missed opportunities for change. In teams of up to five people, SFU students and recent alumni choose a problem space to thoroughly research on a systems level. Then, they present their findings to their peers, community members, and influencers.


Frequently Asked Questions

What you Need to Know

Any problem you are passionate about, whether it’s a local or global issue – all the better if you have already been working on something!

In 2018, the successful SFU team placed in the top 3 for both the national and global Map the System Challenge competitions with their extensive research project about mental health outcomes in second generation Canadians. 

Nope! You just need a thorough understanding of the problem and current gaps or opportunities.

Individuals or teams of up to five people. You must have at least one SFU student (undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral) OR a recent alumni (i.e. within 1 year of the registration date), and may include community members.

Registration is currently closed.

Generally, initial registration occurs in January, project submission deliverables are due in March, and both the national and international finals are in the late spring.

Prize money is awarded to the top three SFU teams, and the top contender will move on to the Canadian finals with the chance advancing to the international competition in Oxford. The top SFU team will gain access to further funds and support.

We host several workshops for Map the System Challenge participants well in advance of the final project submission deadline (in March). We  do our best to support and advise teams with narrowing down their problem area, sparking community connections to experts in their chosen fields, 1-on-1 coaching, and offering presentation guidance. 

Additionally, there are already lots of great resources available by the global host, the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford.


Should you have further questions, feel free to contact Amy Farahbakhsh at


Equipping students to become changemakers

The Map the System Challenge at SFU is coordinated by RADIUS SFU and Student Engagement and Retention at SFU with support from the SFU Alumni Association, SFU Innovates, and the Charles Chang Institute for Entrepreneurship. This opportunity is offered in partnership with the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at The University of Oxford, RECODE at the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, and the Trico Charitable Foundation.