Oxford Global Challenge - Map the System 2022

February 06, 2022

Opportunity begins:

Jun 09, 2022

Opportunity ends:

Jun 11, 2022

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Location (s):

  • Online
  • United Kingdom
  • Worldwide
Final event: University of Oxford


Map the System asks you to demonstrate a deep understanding of a pressing social or environmental issue by mapping out the landscape of current solutions and identifying missing opportunities for change. Take Part! 


What is Map the System? 

Map the System is a global competition that challenges you to think differently about social and environmental change.

Map the System is a global competition of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, delivered in partnership with educational institutions around the world. From its inception in 2015, Map the System was designed to change the conversation in social impact education — moving from an overemphasis on the ‘heropreneur’ and new ‘solutions’ (typically in the form of a new proposed program or social venture) — toward a focus on deep understanding of complex problems as the foundation for driving transformational change. 

The competition challenges participants to use systems thinking as a guiding approach to understanding some of the most complex issues the world faces today. Participants will delve deep into a social or environmental issue that matters to them and will take the time to explore, probe and research all its connecting elements and factors — later sharing their findings in a way that people can meaningfully understand, share, and learn from. 

It is not a pitch competition, but rather a discovery process for participants of any discipline who have an interest in social and environmental change. It is designed to foster a systems thinking mindset among participants and encourages a learning first approach to social change — one where people take the time to understand and build upon existing efforts before attempting something new.

How does it work? 

Each year, universities and post-secondary institutions from around the world partner with the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford to bring the Map the System to their students for a local edition of the competition. 

With dedicated support from the Skoll Centre team, educators (faculty or staff) from partner institutions lead the organisation of Map the System on their campus for a localised edition. Institutions can choose to offer the competition to students either campus-wide or department specific and can also choose to incorporate Map the System into their for-credit curriculum or run it as an extracurricular programme. 

Affiliated students and recent graduates from all disciplines and levels can register to take part individually or as part of a team of up to 5 members and spend the next several months diving deep into a social or environmental topic they are passionate about. 

Participants learn and utilise the principles of systems thinking as a guiding approach to understanding a complex social or environmental challenge and create visual systems maps as a means to articulate their findings in a way that people can meaningfully understand, share, and learn from – key skillsets for those interested in creating systemic and sustainable social or environmental change. 

One team of finalists from each partner institution is selected to present their findings at the Global Final event in June.

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

Who is the competition for?

Map the System is designed for students and recent graduates of any discipline 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. It is ideally suited to those who meet at least one of the following: 

  • Those who have an existing passion for or lived 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.
  • Those that are looking to have a high-impact career and want to understand where their unique skill set can be best applied to effect lasting change.
  • Those who have an existing solution, product or business idea in mind, but would like to research the issue area thoroughly to understand what solutions have already been tried, and are willing to pivot their idea based on their findings.

Map the System is less well suited to those whose business idea or start-up enterprise is further advanced to the point where pivoting their model is not feasible at this stage.

Eligibility criteria

  • Participants can apply for Map the System as an individual or in a team of up to 5 people.
  • At least one member of the team must be a current student at any of our partner institutions (enrolled on a course of 6 months or longer), OR a recent graduate of one of those institutions (i.e. having completed studies within 12 months of the date they register for the competition).
  • Students may be at undergraduate, diploma, postgraduate, or doctoral level.
  • Non-students, or students from another institution, may join a team as long as at least one member is a current student/recent graduate of the registered partner institution.

Your institution may have additional eligibility criteria. Please get in touch with your local Map the System contact for further information.


Deadline: February 06, 2022

Program Starts: June 09, 2022

Program Ends: June 11, 2022

Cost/funding for participants:

What are the prizes?

The top three entries of Map the System will receive cash prizes:

  • 1st Prize – £4,000 cash prize
  • 2nd Prize – £3,000 cash prize
  • 3rd Prize – £2,000 cash prize

In addition, your institution may provide its own prizes and development opportunities to finalists – please talk to the Map the System contact at your institution to learn more.

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