oikos EdmontonProjectsMAP THE SYSTEM CHALLENGE



Is a global competition to learn more about the issues you care about & present your findings to the world. By working in teams or stepping out on your own, you will dive into the ecosystem of a social or environmental problem and have the chance to present your findings at the 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 positive change.

By working in teams or stepping out on your own, you will dive into the ecosystem of a problem and present your findings back for others to learn from. If selected as a finalist at the MacEwan competition, you will be flown to the national competition to compete against other Canadian campus winners. Two winnings teams from the national competition will each win $2500 and have the opportunity to present their work at the University of Oxford, UK.

Registration is open! Deadline January 27, 2019


Select a social or environmental issue and to explore, probe, and research all the connecting elements and factors around it, then present the issue back in a way that people can understand, share, and learn from.



The purpose of the competition is to promote a systems-thinking approach to tackling social/environmental challenges. It is ideally suited to:

– 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.




Map the System is for MacEwan University 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.

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 MacEwan University, OR a recent graduate of MacEwan University. 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 MacEwan University.

– Students may be at any academic level (Diploma or Undergraduate).



1. Kickoff and Scoping Problems Roundhouse, Allard Hall

– January 31, 3:00PM-4:00PM

– Greetings by Dr. Wanda Costen (Dean, School of Business)

– Presented by Dr. Leo Wong (Founding Director, Social Innovation Institute)

2. Deep Dive Research 7-269, Library Multi-Purpose Room

– February 7, 3:00PM-4:00PM

– Presented by Martina King and/or Kym Sobchyshyn (Librarians)

– Please bring your laptop or borrow one from Borrower Services

3. Visual Map Workshop Roundhouse, Allard Hall

– March 21, 3:00PM-4:00PM

– Presented by Leslie Robinson (Design Studies Instructor)

Sign up for any or all of the workshops HERE!



Info-Sessions in Roundhouse, Allard Hall

– January 23, 3:30PM-4:30PM

– January 24, 2:00PM-3:00PM

Registration Deadline ONLINE – CLICK HERE!

– January 27, 11:59PM

Final Submission Deadline

– April 1, 4:59PM

You must submit three documents:

1. Visual map or chart

2. Analysis of research

3. Bibliography

Full submission guidelines

MacEwan Competition Roundhouse, Allard Hall

April 5th, Time TBD

Map the System Canadian Final Event Ryerson University, Toronto

May 3-4, 2019

Map the System Global Final Event Oxford University, UK

June 7-9, 2019



MacEwan Competition:

– First Place, Transportation and Accommodations covered to go to the National Competition

Map the System Canadian Final:

Access to the Map the System network, with new ideas, learning tools, and resources

– The chance to win one of two cash prizes of $2,500 CDN at the Canadian final event (May 3-4, 2019)

 Presenting their findings at the Map the System Global Final at the University of Oxford, UK (this opportunity is for the two winners of the Canadian final). The event will provide opportunities to network and learn with other students from around the world.

 Apprenticing with a Problem Funding for Canadian Final winnersFinalists of the Canadian event will be eligible to apply for up to $10,000 of Apprenticing with a Problem per team. The funding is intended to deepen the learning experience of Map the System and may be used to subsidize an unpaid internship or field research in the country or region relevant to the problem being explored.

Map the System Global Final:

– First Place – £4,000

– Second Place – £3,000

– Third Place – £2,000



oikos Edmonton will host Three Workshops for Map the System Challenge participants well in advance of the final project submission deadline (on April 1). We will 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.See previous student projects here:



If you have any questions please contact Efren Alfaro at [email protected]