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Map the System

Passionate about making a difference? Dive deep into issues that matter.

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

Map the System is a prestigious global competition spearheaded by the University of Oxford, delivered in collaboration with leading educational institutions worldwide. Unlike traditional pitch competitions, Map the System emphasizes a comprehensive discovery process. Participants from diverse disciplines immerse themselves in a systems-thinking approach, meticulously exploring intricate social or environmental challenges. This deep dive enables them to grasp interconnected factors, leading to a holistic understanding of the issue at hand.

Map the System encourages participants to adopt a learning-first mindset towards social change. Rather than hastily proposing new solutions, the competition emphasizes understanding existing efforts and building upon them. By doing so, participants contribute meaningfully to ongoing dialogues and efforts addressing global challenges.

Why participate?

  • Join a global movement committed to systems change.
  • Compete for $5,000 in cash prizes at UCalgary competition. Winners have the opportunity to compete at the Canadian National Finals.
  • Learn new innovation skills to address the world’s most pressing issues and bolster your resume.
  • Bring awareness to a social or environmental issue you are passionate about.
  • Connect with socially-conscious students, researchers, and practitioners from across UCalgary and Canada.

The UCalgary Campus Finals will be conducted in-person at the Hunter Hub Collision Space. The standout team will then advance to represent UCalgary in the Canadian Finals, held in-person at the ATCO Campus. The Map the System Canada program is made possible with the support of the ATCO Energy SpaceLab.

By participating in Map the System, you're not merely entering a competition; you're embarking on a transformative journey that equips you with invaluable skills, networks, and insights to create meaningful change.

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The deadline has been extended to January 31 (11:59 PM MST)

UCalgary Team's Success at Map the System Global Finals 2023

Last year, UCalgary's Assemble Health team reached the global finals at the University of Oxford, impressing judges and participants with their project on addressing Canada's physician shortage. This achievement not only garnered international recognition but also opened doors for additional funding opportunities, including an MTS Apprenticing with a Problem Grant. Join Map the System and be part of a legacy of impactful research and innovation.

We're Here to Support You


Learn foundational skills from experienced experts to impact societal problems.


Receive 1:1 coaching from a mentor assigned from the Hunter Hub, Haskayne School of Business, and Innovate Calgary.

Tools & Resources

Access resources and tools that empower social innovation as you develop your project.

Info Session

Information Session

On January 9 and January 16, the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking will hold a virtual info session for UCalgary students.

Frequently asked questions

Did we miss your question? Email us directly at to let us know what you're curious about, and we'll get back to you with answers.

Don't forget to watch our info session to learn more about the program.

Map the System is a global competition of University of Oxford's Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, delivered in partnership with educational institutions around the world. From its inception in 2015, the competition challenges participants to use systems thinking as a guiding approach to understanding some of the most complex issues the world faces today.

Visit global Map the System website or learn more about Map the System Canada

UCalgary undergraduate students, graduate students, and recent alumni (within 1 year) are eligible to participate in UCalgary's Map the System program.

Map the System can be completed by teams of 1 to 5 people. You don't have to join with others, but it is strongly recommended given the workload.

We are hosting a facilitated team building workshop on January 16. This is a great place to meet others interested in working on problems you're passionate about.

As a participant in UCalgary's Map the System program, you will receive:

  • Resources
    • A guidebook with directions that will move you through the program
    • Access to a D2L page with relevant resources such as the Impact Gap Canvas, Systemic Design Toolkit, and Causes Diagram worksheets, and weekly discussion boards that will help you connect with other teams for peer-to-peer support
  • Workshops
    • Research Methods
    • Human-Centred Design
    • Systems Mapping
    • Storytelling and Communications
    • Presentations
  • Connections
    • Coaches and subject matter experts from the Hunter Hub, Haskayne School of Business, and Innovate Calgary who can help you with your project
    • Taylor Family Digital Library librarians 

Workshops are highly recommended. They will provide a space for you to develop new knowledge, actively work on your projects and receive feedback, and connect with other participants. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions about the various tools and methods that are introduced throughout the program.

Participants are expected to take a system thinking approach to their research analysis and present their findings in three ways: visual, written, and verbal.

1. Written submission materials

  • Visual systems map(s)

  • Written systems analysis (up to 3000 words)

  • Detailed bibliography 

2. Presentation

The presentation is the part of this competition that most closely mimics a pitch competition, but only insofar as participants are telling a story. Teams will present a visual representation of their systems map. 

This program is free to join.

UCalgary finalists will also have a chance to compete for a share of $5,000 in cash prizes awarded at our local competition. The winning UCalgary finalist will have a chance to compete for additional prizes at the Canadian National Finals.

Map the System Canada has projects from last year's program available online. Check them out to see what this program can help you achieve.