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Recap of Map the System 2020: A Record-Breaking Global Final

Map the System (MTS) is a global competition that asks students to think differently about social and environmental change. MTS is run by the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, in partnership with educational institutions across the world who each run the competition at their institution.

The Canadian element of MTS is organized by the Institute for Community Prosperity, in partnership with the J.W. McConnell Foundation’s Re-Code Initiative, the Trico Charitable Foundation and the Skoll Centre.

Given the challenges of COVID 19, this year’s global final went virtual.  Six Canadian teams participated in the final.  James Stauch, Director of Mount Royal University’s Institute for Community Prosperity says:

“A record 31 institutions from 6 continents took part in this year’s global finals.  The calibre of submissions was clearly exemplary and a number of the judges noted how much more “systems” focused the submissions were this year, with very few “solutions-by-stealth”.  Many more US schools participated for the first time this year, including Harvard, Vanderbilt, and the University of Chicago.  Despite not finishing this year in the top six, Canadian schools can hold their heads high, with thoughtful, well-researched, and very well-communicated analysis of systemic issues. The top Canadian teams will continue to deepen their work on the issues they’ve examined through the “Apprenticing With a Problem” program.”

A HUGE congratulations to teams at the virtual 2020 Map the System Global Finals. The teams mapped complex challenges and identified solution landscapes and levers for change on topics ranging from women’s health to environmental sustainability.

The three winners are:

1st place winner Team University of Oxford ‘Violence, Women, and Modern slavery in Papua New Guinea and West Papua

2nd place winner: University of Illinois ‘Women’s Health Affected by Menstruation in the U.S’

3rd place winner: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ‘Using Systems Science to Advance Health Equity in Tobacco Control’

Watch the entire live 2020 Global Final here:

The top six Canadian teams that participated in the global finals are:

CAD Institutions Team Name
Corpus Christi & St. Mark’s College Rise Above
University of Waterloo Transit-induced gentrification in Kitchener-Waterloo
Mount Royal University Canadian Charity System
University of British Columbia Free Periods Canada
Memorial University Holocene
Ryerson University The Affordable Rental Housing Crisis in Toronto

Jill Andres, one of the judges from the Map the System Global Final, comments:

“Our world needs people who “think in systems”, perhaps now more than ever, to work together to address the challenges of our time. Map the System is less a competition than a platform to support the development of systems thinking and connect emerging systems leaders. It is continuing to iterate and evolve in step with what participants and, indeed, what the global community is asking of it. Our decision as judges was incredibly difficult, as there were phenomenal entries this year. However, one thing stood out above all else. To paraphrase one of the other judges, Joe Hsueh, seeking to understand systems requires more than just technical know-how and mapping skills; it also requires heart and a connection to our own and others’ humanity.”

Anna Johnson, Programme Manager of Map the System leaves us with:

“For students around the world whose lives and studies have been upended by the pandemic, it was important to them to see their projects through to the finish. Over the course of three days, 150 students from all over the world came together virtually to present issues they care deeply about. And while we were not able to bring everyone together in Oxford this year, the transition to a virtual event proved that a sense of community and connectedness can be created no matter the physical distance. What began as a competition, ended in community – a true reflection of what Map the System is all about. To the students, educators, judges, speakers, and virtual attendees, we thank you for your energy, passion, positivity, and for bringing a virtual event to life.”
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