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AshokaU Changemaker Campus

AshokaU Changemaker Campus is the leading designation for social innovation in higher education. Laurier is proud to be one of over 40 colleges and universities globally to be recognized as a Changemaker Campus. We received this designation in 2016 as the second school in Canada to receive the designation. We are committed to our role of empowering students and all university stakeholders to be changemakers, firmly embedding changemaking into our culture and operations, and working to address both local and global challenges.

Read Laurier’s AshokaU profile and learn what makes us a true changemaker campus – embodied in our philosophy of inspiring lives of leadership and purpose. Join the movement and become a changemaker. Watch for our Changemaker Awareness events to learn more about what it means to be a changemaker and how you can get started on your changemaker journey.

2020 Changemaker Innovation Challenge

The Laurier Changemaker Innovation Challenge is Open


The Laurier Changemaker Innovation Challenge is a multi-campus interdisciplinary competition, running through the winter semester, built around the global Map the System competition. Finalists in the Laurier Changemaker Innovation Challenge will compete for scholarship prizes, and in-kind support to further explore the change they hope to make in the world. The winning team of the Changemaker Innovation Challenge will represent Laurier at the Map the System Canadian Final in Toronto (May, 2019) to compete for a spot in the global final in Oxford, England (June 2019) and $2500 cash. The winner of the global final will be awarded £4,000. Let’s make that a Laurier team!

This is a competition that challenges you to think differently about social and environmental change.

Tackling global challenges starts with understanding a problem and its wider context, rather than jumping straight into a business plan or an idea for a quick fix. This competition asks you to select a social or environmental issue and to explore, probe, and research all the connecting elements and factors around it. You will be mapping the system around the problem and then create a solution that addresses one or several areas of that system. You will be asked to present this issue back to us in a way that people can understand, share, and learn from.

Social change is complicated. Mapping is a way of understanding its complexities.  Social transformation doesn’t happen in a silo, nor does it come from one person or one great idea. Mapping out the system allows us to think about context and the many interacting factors that contribute to the development of the issues facing us – be they economic forces, political movements, or global trends. It gives us the tools to understand the whole picture and takes us out of our silos.

What this Competition is Not

This is not a business plan competition.  If you are already deep into your solution and looking to design the specifics of a social intervention, enterprise plan, or non-profit start-up and are looking for funding, mentorship, or support to start your project, then you should consider entering a different type of competition. However, if you are already thinking about a solution but are interested in taking a step back and learning more about the problem and landscape of other solutions already being tried, then the changemaker innovation challenge is for you. It is also for students who are passionate about a particular issue, are looking to make positive change, and who want to find a way to better understand the problem to lead to better solutions in the future.

 If you focus ONLY on “your” idea for a solution to the problem, you will not be successful in this process. But if you map the system to learn a lot more about your chosen issue, it will contribute to your ability to come up with a successful intervention in the future.

How the Competition Works

  1. Teams research a social or environmental problem they are passionate about.
  2. Teams submit the required documents by the submission deadline.
  3. A Panel will review the submissions and select the semi-finalists.
  4. Semi-Finalists will present to a panel of judges on March 6th.
  5. The finalists will present on March 6th with the winner going on to present in Montreal at the Canadian National Championship in May.

What you need to know



Submission Guidelines:

4 Key Questions

Every submission should address three important question areas, and be focused on a single issue. Each of these question areas should build upon the previous one.

Selecting Your Topic

Special Topic Stream: Ezra St. Parties

A new special topic stream is available only for this years Changemaker Innovation Challenge. Students have the opportunity to work on researching the street parties that occur on Ezra st. and identify issues based on the many stakeholders involved. The students are then tasked with coming up with a solution that addresses one or a few select parts of the issues they identify.

Students pursuing this special topic stream will also have access to a 70-page report that a regional task force on the matter put together. This gives you a good head start on the problem mapping side of this exercise.

We are also creating a specific semi-final panel to this topic so that we can GUARANTEE a spot in the CIC 2020 finals for one team.

Final Submission Format

Every submission must clearly include these three components and address the key question areas listed above using the following formats:

Judging Criteria

Judges will be looking for submissions that show a deep understanding of the problem, clearly present the complex web of existing solutions, and identify opportunities that build on lessons already learned:

Resources to Help You

Access to all of these resources will be available on the MLS course for the competition once you register.


Step 1: Register for the Competition

Register your team ASAP at

 Once you register, please allow 1-2 business days for us to add you to the mylearningspace course for this competition. The course is called “Changemaker Innovation Challenge 2020”.

Step 2: Mylearningspace

In the mylearningspace course you will find resources such as the webinar registration links, a student mapping guide and other tools to help you be successful in this competition. All communication will also be done through MLS in this course.






Wed Jan 15



Introduce Ashoka,  what it means to be a Changemaker, and details about the competition and its expectations, etc.

Tues Jan 21

7PM – 8PM

Ashoka Fellows


Speaker series with Laurier Ashoka Fellow Mike Morrice to inspire the students.

Register at:

Thurs, Jan 30

11:59 PM

Team Registration Deadline

Register your team at

The sooner you register the better as we can add you to the mylearningspace course where you can access learning material, judging criteria and other helpful resources.

Tues Jan 28

5:30 PM– 6:50PM

Student and Alumni Changemakers

Speaker panel with students and alumni who are involved in ventures or initiatives related to a social or environmental problem.

Register at:

Wed Feb 5


Consulting Night


Students can book time to sit down with members of the Schlegel Centre and community experts to get feedback on their research so far.  

Sun Mar 1

11:59 PM

Student Submission Deadline

Submissions due for the 3-components indicated above.

Fri Mar 6

Competition Semi-Finals and Finals

Top student teams present to judges from Laurier and the community. Top teams are selected in each stream.

May 7-9

Canadian National Championships

Top teams from institutions across Canada compete in Montreal.

June 5-7

Global Final

Top teams from all participating countries present at the finals in Oxford, England.