Systems & complexity


  • Be context-sensitive - understand that each tool has contexts in which they will and won’t work.

  • Access to knowledge - understand where the knowledge of the system is held. Who has access to it? Can you make that knowledge more accessible?

  • Notice what’s missing - gaps are information too. Connections and lack of them.

    Inside and outside - include both exterior and interior systems in your maps.

Present questions

  • How can we know which mapping system to use in which context?

  • How can we be accessible without being reductive?

  • How might we build a shared language and models with indigenous communities?

  • What are ways to get technical practice like systems mapping to resonate with everyone? Not just practitioners but also people with lived experience, funders and decision-makers?

Provocations for your lab

What and who are you including in your map? Whose voice is included and excluded? What are the different ways of knowing and experiencing systems? How is your mapping process emphasizing masculine or left-brain ways of knowing based on data, information and abstract concepts vs feminine or right-brain ways of knowing based on intuition, emotion and artistic expression?