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Thank you to all participants, facilitators, and expert panelists who joined Humber’s inaugural Global Challenge! Click to view the winning team submissions, meet the mentors and facilitators, the expert panel members and see the photo gallery. Watch this space for future #HumberGlobalChallenge events.

June 15 – July 17, 2020

Join Humber’s five-week challenge and prepare yourself to become one of the innovative changemakers needed beyond COVID-19! Collaborating virtually in teams of four with participants from around the world, you will work with Humber mentors to understand the landscape for systemic and sustainable social, economic and/or environmental change. Each team will use a systems thinking mindset to examine a complex problem in one of the following areas and identify some possible paths to a future solution: Business, Education, Social Innovation, or Health & Wellness.

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Develop new skills in research, presenting and teambuilding.

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Connect with changemakers from around the world.

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Expand your professional development network.

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Collaborate with Humber mentors and present to an expert panel.

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Use a systems thinking lens to better understand complex global problems.

As part of the Challenge, you’ll participate in:

  • Skills building virtual workshops to learn about your innovation style
  • Social mini-challenges for teambuilding and networking (and fun!)
  • Professional development sessions to articulate your experience to future employers

Plus, every participant will receive a Certificate of Completion from Humber upon finishing!

Teams will submit their Global Systems Gap pitches for judging to our Panel of Experts for prizes.

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What is the goal of this challenge?

In the span of several months, COVID-19 has irrevocably transformed economies, education, communities and health systems globally.

That’s why we are calling on YOU.

  • As solutions are being created in this time of need, no one should be left behind due to lack of access or resources.
  • Your team will use a systems thinking mindset to get a better understanding of the root causes to a complex problem and identify gaps in the system for future intervention.
  • Not sure what a systems thinking mindset is? That’s what our mentors and workshops are for! A systems thinking mindset enables us to effect real change by harnessing the interconnectedness of all things. Your team will be guided week-by-week to understand the complexity of solution efforts already underway in this time of COVID-19, and identify where there may be gaps for intervention.
  • You will use the Impact Gap Canvas Tool to guide your research, created by Daniela Papi-Thornton from the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford, with funding from the Clore Social Leadership Program.
  • You will use the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Humber Learning Outcomes (HLOs), and Humber’s Centres of Innovation Network (COIs) to guide the challenge topic of your choice!

Who is this challenge for?

This challenge is open to all current Humber students, prospective Humber students, and students from global partners worldwide!

If you have a(n):

  • Enthusiasm for Passion for creating social or environmental change
  • Desire to increase your global network and social connections
  • Willingness to prepare for your future career and develop professionally
  • Readiness to commit to a team and investigate a new future

You are who we are looking for!

What do we submit to complete the challenge?

As a team you will create a maximum five-minute presentation on your system gap analysis, following structured guidelines given at the beginning of the challenge. Impress us with your depth of research and learning journey, as well as your ability to see connections, gaps and potential changes that could positively impact your chosen challenge!

Your submission can take the form of a video, presentation, infographic, online gallery, magazine and more! Use your creativity and ensure it is on a common platform for sharing with the Expert Panel.

You are also tasked to prepare individual reflections on your challenge experience by answering the following questions:

  1. What was it like to complete this systems-thinking project with a globally diverse team in a virtual environment?
  2. Which of the Humber Learning Outcomes (HLOs) skills do you feel you strengthened during this experience, and why?

Get creative – you can submit a written, visual, or verbal response (max. 500 words for each written reflection, and four minutes for videos)!


All participants of the Global Systems Gap Challenge will receive a Certificate of Participation from Humber! In addition, a Humber prize package valued at up to $500 CAD will be awarded to the top eight team submissions (the top two teams per category), judged by our expert panel!

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Humber Prize Pack (valued at $500), a personal recommendation for your LinkedIn profile and a feature on the Humber website

Choose Your Challenge Theme


Businesses around the world are reeling from the impacts of COVID-19. Many now face challenges across all aspects of their organization to continue their business in this new climate.


To follow physical distancing, many educators scrambled to adjust, and where possible, take learning into the home. However, not all families can access these new systems for online learning.

Social Innovation

The social innovation challenge addresses the need to maintain a sense of community and mental well-being during this time of crisis. Ensuring social security is difficult when distancing is necessary.

Health and Wellness

Health is holistic and as we isolate at home, other social and economic issues around health and wellness have presented themselves, especially with varied circumstances within homes.

Application Deadline for Student Participants and Faculty and Staff Mentors

Thank you for your interest in joining the Beyond COVID-19: Global Systems Gap Challenge! Due to overwhelming popularity, we’ve reached our participant limit for the Challenge and applications are now closed. Please keep an eye on this space for future events, and contact us to express interest in future challenges!

For more information on the Beyond COVID-19: Global Systems Gap Challenge, check out the FAQ, review the Calendar and/or contact us with your questions. The Challenge is led at Humber by Rebecca Fitzgerald, Associate Director, International Mobility and Partnerships, and Rebecca Trautwein, Manager, Global Learning and Engagement.