Map the System Challenge

What is the Map the System Challenge?

Map the System is a global competition organized by the University of Oxford that challenges students to think differently about social or environmental change.

Map the System challenges participants to thoroughly research a specific social or environmental issue in order to fully comprehend its underlying components and to compellingly articulate their findings in a way that engages audiences and promotes understanding.

The goal of Map the system is to encourage a learning first approach to social change – one where people take the time to understand and build upon existing efforts before attempting something new. Ultimately, social change is complicated. Mapping is an effective strategy to gaining insight into the complexities surrounding complex social issues.  

Deeply explore an issue that matters to you and share your findings with the world.

Map the System is for SFU students and recent graduates of any faculty who have an interest in social or environmental issues and who want to learn more about a problem they care about and present their findings to the world.

Ideal applicants are:

  1. Those who have a passion for or, experience of, a particular social/environmental challenge and would like to investigate this problem fully to understand what sort of intervention in the system would be most effective;
  2. Those that are preparing for a career with a social impact and want to understand where their skills could be applied to deliver lasting impact;
  3. Those who have an existing solution, product or business idea, but would like to research the issue thoroughly to understand what has been tried and tested, and are willing to pivot your idea based on their findings.

program information

How to participate in Map the System Challenge

Registration process

Registration is currently closed. 


RADIUS and SFU will host several workshops for Map the System Challenge participants well in advance of the final project submission deadline. 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 great resources available from the global host, the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford.

SFU has participated in Map the System for a number of years and has had great success! See previous student projects here:

  1. MediMorph team’s Solid Waste Management in Vancouver Hospitals won First Prize in the Global Competition in 2017
  2. Bridging the Gap team’s Mental Health in Second Generation Canadians won Third Prize in the Global Competition in 2018


Should you have further questions, feel free to contact Pegah Djamzad,