Deadline: February 5, 2020 00:00 (CET)| Apply here
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Eligibility: 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.

Map the System Competition 2020

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. Map the System asks participants to use ‘systems thinking’ as a guiding approach to understanding complex social and environmental challenges.

Participants create 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.

Social change is complicated. Mapping is a way of understanding its complexities.

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.

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.


At the Global Final in Oxford, teams from all over the world will compete to win cash prizes. In addition, partner universities may provide their own prizes to finalists.

  • 1st place: £4,000 cash prize
  • 2nd place: £3,000 cash prize
  • 3rd place: £2,000 cash prize

Interested in applying for the Map the System Competition 2020? Register your participation by following the registration link and taking the suggested steps.

For more opportunities, check our opportunities section and subscribe to our weekly newsletters.