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BUSA/MSUS 434 Managing for Impact

Image result for un sustainable development goals

Provided by the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

On this page you will be able to find resources and material to help you build your own Impact Gaps Canvas (a system developed by Daniela Papi-Thornton and Tackling Entrepreneurship). If you have any questions about how to use the databases or conduct secondary research, please feel free to reach out. 

impact gaps canvas with columns for challenges, gaps, and solutions

Challenge Mapping

Describing The Challenges

To begin Challenge Mapping you will need to consider the different ways of describing your challenge. Start thinking of synonyms and related words that might be used. 

Use the chart below to map these words.

Topic: [YOUR TOPIC HERE] Concept 1 Concept 2 Concept 3
Challenge      
Effects      
Relation to other Challenges      

Build a search string using the words you come up with and join them together with AND/OR 

Ex/ (Challenge Concept 1 OR Challenge Concept 2) AND (Effect 1 OR Effect 2)

Ex/ (Challenge Concept 1 OR Challenge Concept 2) AND (Relation 1 OR Relation 2)

Finding the Impact and the Cause

Using the search terms you built above, try your searches in some of these journal databases. You can include additional search terms like "impact" and "cause" to help refine your search. 

Solutions Mapping

Local Efforts

Here are some examples of local sources for information on SDGs.

Ville de Montréal

Foundation of Greater Montréal

Remember you can always search for local initiatives based on keywords from the challenges or goals you are trying to address! 


Find additional local efforts by looking in newspapers and magazines from your area. 

Global Efforts

Use the databases below to find data on topics from a global perspective and see how different countries are responding to sustainable iniatives.


Find additional efforts by searching our global news databases to see what stories or developments are emerging.

What's Working and What's Not

To round out Solution Mapping you will need to consider what other possible solutions have been tried. Start thinking of synonyms and related words that might be used. 

Use the chart below to map these words.

Topic: [YOUR TOPIC HERE] Concept 1 Concept 2 Concept 3
Solutions      
Success      
Failure      

Build a search string using the words you come up with and join them together with AND/OR 

Ex/ (Solution Concept 1 OR Solution Concept 2) AND (Success 1 OR Success 2)

Ex/ (Solution Concept 1 OR Solution Concept 2) AND (Failure 1 OR Failure 2)

Impact Gaps

Now that you have found your challenges and solutions, began the analysis of your research to determine your Impact Gaps.

  • Where are the gaps between challenges and solutions?
  • Where are the gaps within the solutions?
  • Where are the unaddressed obstacles?
  • What are the key lessons learned?

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