On 16 April, six teams from the University of Oxford presented their final research projects on social issues for the Skoll Centre's Map the System semi-final.
The event was kickstarted with a conversation between Peter Drobac, the Director of the Skoll Centre, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus. It was an important reminder, especially in today’s troubling times, that we remember to put our efforts together to create more inclusive and equitable systems. And to keep the creativity in us alive!
Map the System is a global competition for students and recent graduates, of participating educational institutions, to learn more about the issues they care about. Rather than jumping in to find a solution to these issues, teams are scored on their understanding of the problem; to research the problem and existing solutions landscapes to identify the gaps and the possible levers of change.
For Oxford’s semi-final, six teams were selected out of 13 submitted applications from across the University, to present their learnings to a panel of judges and a live virtual audience.
Teams were judged on their ability to demonstrate their understanding of the broader system in which their challenge exists, identifying root causes of the problem and surfacing any critical assumptions, systemic patterns, and potential levers of change that their systems analysis surfaced.
First place was awarded to team Colo(u)r, who explored the systematic and causal relations between the youth and fine art in Ghana. The team made up of four Oxford MBA students: Sarah Ehlinger Affotey, Esther Ninshuti, Pelumi Olawale and Kwaku Kufuor, won a £1500 cash prize.
Second place went to team Oxford 62, awarded £1000 for their examination of youth loneliness in the UK.
Third place was awarded to team Gin and Tonic. Their team used systems thinking to better understand the evolving ecosystem of impact investing. The team won £500.
The three runner-up teams who also presented in the final round were:
- Team Contested Forests who explored the commercial afforestation in Uganda
- Team the Great She-cession, who investigated the impact of Covid-19 on women in the workforce in the US.
- Team Edheads looked into how England’s school system adapted to deliver remote learning during school closures due to Covid-19.
At a time when good news feels hard to come by, the semi-final was an important reminder of the Map the System community’s enduring drive to make the world a better place.
The winning team will go on to represent the University of Oxford at the Global Final on 9 - 11 June 2021. More information on how to join the final, public event can be found at mapthesystem.sbs.ox.ac.uk
If you are an educator interested in teaching systems-led thinking at your institution and want to be a part of the 2022 Map the System competition, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org