28 January 2019  ** Application Deadline for Teams** Map the System is a global competition that challenges you to think differently about social and environmental change.


Tackling global challenges starts with understanding a problem and its wider context, rather than jumping straight into a business plan or an idea for a quick fix. This competition asks you to select a social or environmental issue and to explore, probe, and research all the connecting elements and factors around it. We want you to present this issue back to us in a way that people can understand, share, and learn from. Social change is complicated. Mapping is a way of understanding its complexities. We believe that social transformation doesn’t happen in a silo, nor does it come from one person or one great idea. Mapping out the system allows us to think about context and the many interacting factors that contribute to the development of the issues facing us – be they economic forces, political movements, or global trends. It gives us the tools to understand the whole picture and takes us out of our silos. Map the System is an initiative of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, in partnership with educational institutions across the world.


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.


Why enter?

You’ll have the opportunity to make connections with socially-conscious students, researchers and practitioners from within your school and the wider community. You can compete with other teams from across your institution. You could also be selected to attend the Global Final at the University of Oxford, UK, and compete with teams from across the globe to win cash prizes. But more importantly, you’ll get the chance to research a real-world problem, learn about organisations working the field, and contribute towards making a real difference in your chosen area.

Who is the competition for?

This competition is ideally suited if any of the following apply: % You have a passion for, or experience of, a pressing social or environmental challenge and you would like to investigate this problem fully % You are preparing for a career with a social impact and want to understand where your skills could be applied to deliver lasting impact % You are interested in an internship and want to find out more about the organisations working in your chosen area and potential opportunities % You have an existing solution, product or business idea, but you would like to research the issue thoroughly to understand what has been tried and tested, and you are willing to pivot your idea based on your findings Map the System is less well suited if your business idea or start-up enterprise is at an advanced stage of development and pivoting your model is no longer feasible.

Eligibility criteria

% You can apply for Map the System as an individual or in a team of up to five people. % At least one member of the team must be a current student at a partner institution (enrolled on a course of 6 months or longer), OR a recent graduate of a partner institution (having completed studies within 12 months of the date you register for the competition). % Students may be at undergraduate, diploma, postgraduate or doctoral level. Your institution may have additional eligibility criteria. Please get in touch with your local Map the System contact for further information.


Key Dates


17 September 2018 –28 January 2019 Registration

To participate in Map the System, you first need to register online. Tell us a few details about your team, topic, and what you hope to learn. Please register online here

Once registered, you’ll receive updates about the competition and reminders about upcoming deadlines. Your host institution will review your proposal and may be able to provide you with feedback on the suitability of your chosen topic so that any adjustments may be made before the final submissions deadline on 1 April.


1 April 2019 Final submissions deadline

You must submit your final materials via an online form by 1 April at 23:59 GMT. You must submit three documents: 1. Visual map or chart 2. Analysis of research 3. Bibliography Full details are provided in the Submissions Guidelines.


2 April – 8 May 2019 Shortlisting and selection by judges

Each institution has a panel of judges for Map the System. The judges will review and select their students’ entries to Map the System. Your institution may hold a local presentation event or select the winner through this review process alone. Once selected, your institution’s winning team or individual will be invited to the Global Final event in Oxford, UK. Finalists will be notified by 8 May at the latest.


7 – 9 June 2019 Map the System Global Final event

Each year, the Global Final event is held at the University of Oxford, UK. Teams from all over the world present their ideas and compete for the three top cash prizes. All finalists are given feedback by our expert judges, who work in impact-focused organisations, such as private foundations, impact investment firms, and social enterprises. This event provides a great opportunity for finalists to build their connections with socially-aware students, educators and innovators from across the world. All finalists are also invited to a traditional Oxford College dinner and a keynote address by an influential social impact leader.



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