Map the System

UBC Map the System 2018

Identify opportunities to effect positive change


Map the System is a great opportunity for those interested in a social or environmental issue, and want to identify opportunities to effect positive change.

A global research-based competition, Map the System asks you to think differently about social change. Participants select a social or environmental issue, conduct research, and present the issue in a way that people can share and learn from.

Confirming your participation in Map the System will sign you up for a series of workshops where UBC will help you to establish, develop, and research your idea; you will be supported every step of the way.

Register now for a chance to represent UBC at the global stage, and win cash prizes of $2500 and a trip to Oxford for the Global final.

Important Information for Registered Participants

Important info for participants

  • The deadline to submit your Map the System submissions is 3.59 pm on March 26, 2018.  
  • All participants have the opportunity to prepare an optional 2-3 minute video presentation of their project which can be submitted in addition to the visual map, research/analysis, and bibliography.
  • This video presentation is due by 11.59 pm on March 26, 2018 on this webpage. This is a valuable opportunity receive feedback and develop your presentation skills.
  • All participant submissions will be evaluated after March 26, and up to ten finalist teams will be selected and notified soon afterwards. These finalist teams will be asked to present their findings at the UBC Final competition on April 3rd, 2018.
  • Presentations at the Final Competition will be 6 – 8 minutes long, with an additional 2 – 3 minutes Q & A from the judges. The winning UBC Finalist Team will represent UBC at the Map the System Canadian Final in May. The finalist team and two runners-up will receive prizes.
  • Download the UBC Final Competition Evaluation Criteria and the Oxford Submission Evaluation Criteria here!

    Submit your final documents here

    Meet the judges!

    Susan Grossman 

    Susan Grossman has served as the Director, Centre for Community Engaged Learning (CCEL), since 2011. She is a professional educator, skillful relationship builder, community engagement specialist and strategic leader. At CCEL, Susan provides leadership to support excellence in educational consulting and community engagement. Working in partnership with senior administrators; Deans, Associate Deans, and Department Heads; Susan identifies how to leverage resources and assets at the Centre and the University to create, implement, sustain, and evaluate educational programs that engage students in deep partnership with community members and organizations. She also ensures that the Centre holds the requisite knowledge and expertise to enable community partners to work with the University, resulting in strengthened partnerships directed at resolving complex, community-based challenges. Susan will serve as the Chairperson of the Judging Committee at the Final Competition.

    Alexis Carr

    An international development professional, Alexis Carr has over 10 years of experience in education, research and programme design. Alexis currently works for the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), an intergovernmental organisation focused on learning for sustainable development, where she is involved in the design and implementation of development projects, monitoring and evaluation systems, and action research. Alexis is also the author of the ‘Measuring Empowerment Toolkit’ launched by COL and UN Women in 2016, and used by development partners in more than 7 countries. Prior to her work at COL, Alexis worked in community relations in the mining industry and as a teacher and programme developer in Chiapas, Mexico. She graduated with a Masters Degree in International Studies (Development Stream) from Simon Fraser University, and is an advocate and practitioner of systems thinking and results based management who believes in holistic, community-driven solutions for sustainable development.

    Jana Svedova

    Jana Svedova is the Fund Manager of the UBC Impact Fund. Jana has a background in the financial industry in wealth management and business banking, which inspired her interest in socially focused business. After completing an MBA at the Sauder School of Business she worked as Investment Manager for one of Asia’s first impact investments funds based in Hong Kong. Recognizing the need for more support for young social ventures in the region Jana co-founded Synergy Social Ventures, a San Francisco and Hong Kong based nonprofit organization that supports early stage social ventures in Southeast Asia.

    Dharini Thiruchittampalam

    Dharini Thiruchittampalam is an internationally qualified architect and has practiced in Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Sri Lanka, with a number of leading sustainable design practices.  Upon completing her Sauder MBA in 2000, she joined the business development team of a successful online brokerage start‐up. Dharini’s more recent work with the federal government in fostering partnerships between First Nations communities, industry, academia and government stakeholders has reinforced her interest in exploring the intersection between design, business and public policy and the role of integrated interdisciplinary teams in generating innovative solutions to complex challenges.

    Am I eligible?

    Map the System is open to individuals or teams of up to 5 people. At least one member of the team must be a current student at UBC, or alumni of 12 months from the date you register for the competition.

    Map the System accepts students of all degrees, levels, and faculties! The rest of the team can include anyone who is interested in taking part including community members interested in learning about an issue. Contact us if you have questions about eligibility!

    What do I submit?

    Participants submit 3 things by March 26:

    1. A visual map – The visual map represents your research in an accessible, and succinct manner. This map can take different formats including prezis, infographics, and PowerPoint presentations. See visual maps from last year’s UBC finalists here!
    1. An analysis of your research – This is an opportunity for you to present an analysis of your findings in up to 2000 words. This can be a written report or a presentation. See previous reports from global finalists here!
    1. Bibliography – It is extremely important that you cite the sources that you have learned from, and we encourage you to engage with a diverse range of sources including community-based knowledge through interviews. Please use Harvard, MLA, or other accepted citation formats that you are comfortable with!

    Check out the Map the System timeline below for important information on workshops and deadlines.


    Throughout the competition we will host a series of workshops to help prepare your submissions and get the most out of this competition. We will also provide one-on-one support to students on a rolling basis, and other support as requested. See additional resources below.


    Click here for a list of comprehensive FAQs provided by Oxford.

    Past Projects

    Take a look at previous finalists and their projects here.

    Struggling to come up with a topic?

    Click here for a some resources available to help you come up with a topic.

    Interested in taking part, but concerned you won’t be able to find a team?

    Contact us for access to a list of other students interested in putting together a team.


    Have any other questions? Contact us via email at or set up an appointment to come speak with us in person at the Centre for Community Engaged Learning.

    Contact us