Useful Resources

Below are some ideas and inspiration to help you in your research.

See last year’s finalists for examples of how to present your research findings in your submission.


The Impact Gaps Canvas

Impact gaps Canvas Systems copy-1

Impact Gaps Canvas with questions

Blank Canvas Systems copy-1

Blank canvas

Click on image to view larger version or to download

The Impact Gaps canvas is a tool to help you ask the questions you might want to consider in creating your entry for Map the System. By asking questions related to the challenge landscape (questions about the problem and its impact as well as what might be holding the current status quo in place) and the solutions landscape (what is already being tried and what has or hasn’t worked) you can then identify gaps where the solutions are failing to meet the problems.

The Impact Gaps Canvas was created by Daniela Papi-Thornton, former Deputy Director of the Skoll Centre, as part of her research for the Clore Social Leadership Programme.

Click here for a guide to using the Impact Gaps Canvas, and watch the video below.


Video: Five Reasons Why System Mapping Matters

Cheryl Dahle is the Founder of Future of Fish and was a judge at the 2017 Global Final in Oxford.

Cheryl is an entrepreneur and journalist who works at the intersection of business and social change. Along with a team of designers, scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs, she creates and tests new ways to solve large-scale, systemic problems. How do you achieve systems change to world-scale challenges? In her keynote speech, Cheryl shares her real-life examples of how complex challenges can be addressed by taking a ‘systems thinking’ approach.

Read more about Cheryl’s work here.


Video: Reclaiming Social Entrepreneurship

Daniela Papi-Thornton has a unique perspective on social entrepreneurship, developed as result of six years working for social change in Cambodia and from her role as Deputy Director of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford’s Saïd Business School, which she left in 2016. Daniela offers tools and perspectives that help educators, parents, and budding change makers re-position themselves and rethink how we teach and incentivize social entrepreneurs.


Article: Why Social Ventures Need Systems Thinking

A useful Harvard Business Review article making the case for the importance of systems thinking when tackling global challenges.


Suggested reading: How Change Happens by Duncan Green

This book from Duncan Green, Oxfam GB’s Senior Strategic Adviser, explains the importance of a systems approach to bringing about positive social change.

You can download the book for free on the website how-change-happens.com.


Mapping the causes of a problem

As you discuss the problem in your Map the System entry, you may want to examine one or more causes of the problem. This will also help you articulate which type of solution might be most effective.

DIY Toolkit: Causes Diagram from Nesta UK on Vimeo.

Watch this video to see how to produce a Causes Diagram, and visit this link to learn more from the DIY toolkit site:
http://diytoolkit.org/tools/causes-diagram/