Map the System (previously Oxford Global Challenge)

Map the System is an opportunity for USD students to practice changemaking by demonstrating a deep understanding of a pressing social or environmental issue by mapping out the landscape of the current solutions and identifying possibilities for positive change.

Students competing in the  Map the System Challenge will compete in the first round at the University of San Diego and then join 25+ participating universities at Oxford University for the finale. USD will assist with and cover travel and accommodations.

To start, check out the global competition website, the submission dates below (please note that the USD submission dates may differ from the global dates) and our resource page. Any questions can be directed to


Registration deadline: January 22nd, 2018 
Simply register the names of your proposed team (limit 5 members) and submit you proposed topic to study. Changes can be made to both topic and team after this date.

Round 1 deadline: February 15th, 2018
Teams will address three important question areas of the issue, including the problem landscape, the solutions landscape, the lessons learned and any proposed levers of change through a visual map, a written summary and a bibliography. 

Round 2 deadline: March 26th, 2018
Teams will improve upon the previously submitted components based on feedback received during round one and re-submit for round 2. 

Round 2 presentation: April 10th, 2018 (11am to 1:30pm)

Teams invited to advance will present in front of a panel of selection judges to determine which 1 team will advance to the final round in Oxford.

Round 2 presentation: April 25th, 2018 (4 to 6pm)

The team selected to represent USD at the final event will present at USD for the Social Innovation Showcase. 

Final: June 1st through June 3rd, 2018
The finalist team from will represent USD at the final event in Oxford University.


Oxford Global Challenge 2017 Finalist receive $1,500 in cash prizes to continue with their projects.

On November 14, 2017, the top three USD students competing in last year's Oxford Global Challenge finalist were recognized and awarded a collective $1,500 to continue "apprenticing" with thier chosen problem. 

The finalist spent Spring Semester 2017 researching and analyzing global challenges that include human traficking in San Diego-Tijuana, feminicides in Mexico and land mine victims' barriers to using pit latrine restrooms. Apprenticing these problems has helped these students to better understand current approaches and to brainstorm sustainable ways in which they could improve upon current solutions and innovate. 


Simple seat video

USD Team took second place in the global final

In the first year of participating, a USD team represented by Harrison Schmachtenberger and Mei-Li Hey took second place in the global final. This year, we have once again provided the opportunity for students to "apprentice with a problem" alongside university students worldwide.

Learn more about the 2017 global finalist, the Global final ceremony, and USD Simple Seat team presentation (left) and get inspired with USD participation in Map the System global final.