Map the System

UBC Map the System 2018

Identify opportunities to effect positive change

Map the System 2018 Winners!

1st Place - Inclusive Education for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in British Columbia

Did you know that there has been a 555% increase in students with Autism Spectrum Disorder from 2001 – 2016? And yet, there has been a 24% decrease in Special Education Assistants in BC.

Tackling the challenge of Inclusive Education for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in British Columbia, Gurkamel Gill, Alexandra Lemon, Samantha Wong, and Joanna Xia, 4 students in the Faculty of Science, presented a strong understanding of this issue, identified gaps that exist in meeting the needs of students with ASD, and opportunities through which positive change can be made.

This team will represent UBC at the Canadian Final competition at SFU in May, and won a $500 prize!

2nd Place - Post-Consumer Textile Waste Management in Metro Vancouver

In spite of being recognized as one of the greenest cities in the world, the Metro Vancouver region contributes over 20,000 tons to the 9.5 million tons of clothing waste dumped in landfills in North America every year.

Tackling the challenge of “Post-Consumer Textile Waste Management in Metro Vancouver”, Morsal Niyaz and Mychelle Wong, 2 students in the Faculty of Science, explored the lack of centralized textile waste recycling opportunities in this region, and identified opportunities for change with a variety of stakeholders including waste management companies, clothing donation bins, and thrift stores.

This team placed second and won a $250 prize!

3rd Place - Impacts of Climate Change on Smallholder Rice Production in Southeast Asia

Did you know that global rice yields are expected to decrease by 50% by 2100 due to climate change?

Francis Durnin-Vermette, Skylar Kylstra, and Emily Peer-Groves, a team of 3 students in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems examined the effects of climate change on rice production, focusing on smallholder rice farmers in Southeast Asia. These students identified the various socio-economic and environmental impacts due to this decrease, identified opportunities to make positive change, and explored ways to mitigate the various negative impacts of this issue.

This team placed third and won a $250 prize!


Map the System is a great opportunity for those interested in a social or environmental issues, 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

    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