Map the System

Explore an issue that matters to you and share your findings with the world!

What is Map the System?

Map the System is a global competition hosted by the University of Oxford that challenges students to think differently about social and environmental change.

Unlike traditional business pitch competitions, students are not judged by their proposed solutions, but rather on their depth of understanding of the challenge they want to address.   

Map the System 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.

Watch the following video to find out more:

Who is Eligible?

  • Teams consisting of 1 – 5 people.
  • One team member must be a current SFU student or recent alumni within 12 months of the date they register for the competition – Team members can include, community members, students from other institutions, professors, etc.
  • Students may be at undergraduate, diploma, postgraduate, or doctoral level.

I’m interested – what should I do next?

  • Want to find out more first? Register for an upcoming Map the System mixer in January!
  • Ready to dive right in? Register your team.

Key Dates

  • January 28: Burnaby Campus Map the System: Info Session - Registration required
  • February 4: Registration Deadline - Register your team.
  • March 25: Final Submissions Due - See submissions from last year.
    • Visual Map
    • Research Summary
    • Bibliography
  • April 4: SFU Final (Location TBD)  
    • Teams that successfully submit their projects and meet the requirement of the competition are invited to participate in the SFU Final on April 4.
    • The winning team will represent SFU at the Map the System Canadian Final on May 7-9, 2020 in Montreal.
    • The top two teams from the Canadian Final will compete at the Global Final on June 5 - 7, 2020 at the University of Oxford, UK.

Why attend a mixer?

Mixers are a great way to meet like minded students, form teams, meet your competition coach, ask questions and kick-start your project.

What do I need to submit?

  1. A visual map that tells the story of your research in an accessible and engaging manner.
  2. Written summary of your research (3,000 words max)
  3. Bibliography that cites the sources used throughout the research
  4. For more information, see guidelines.


Amy Farahbakhsh - Student Engagement Coordinator at for more information.