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Social System Mapping SenseMaking Session | October 4th, 2021

October 4, 2021 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm EDT


Once a month SenseMaking sessions for diving into and making sense of social system maps.

About this event

We Made a Social System Map – Now What Do We Do With It?

Social System Mapping enables us to map, inquire into, and take wise action in a domain that we’ve previously only been able to speculate about. I’m referring to the domain just beyond our own ego-network horizons – the ecosystem that connects our own ego-networks to the broader systems we’re seeking to transform. Now that we can map that domain, we can start to make sense of and act upon that domain in ways we’ve never had access to before.

And yet, the kind of SenseMaking needed for Social System Mapping involves a mental muscle we’ve only begun to have a need for and are just beginning to develop. A muscle that entails a paradigm shift. And developing that paradigm-shifting mental muscle takes practice, repetition, frequent reminders. Ideally in the company of others.

This SenseMaking muscle can also be applied beyond Social System Mapping, to help us understand change in complex adaptive human systems. And this is actually the whole point of Social System Mapping – helping us to understand and set conditions for positive systemic transformation.

Thus a Social System Mapping SenseMaking practice is a two-fer. Two big benefits in one.

I (Christine) need to develop this muscle. Many of you want to develop this muscle. Many of us need to help others develop this muscle. I figure, why not practice doing it and learning to teach it together? So that’s what we’re going to start doing!

Announcing a NEW monthly session for:

  • Practicing SenseMaking with Social System Maps.
  • Plus a brief introduction to one of Human Systems Dynamics (HSD) * models and methods.


The first Monday of every month, at 10:00-11:30 am US Central time.

Who should attend?

  • Anyone who has made a Social System Map, is a member of a Social System Map, is considering making a Social System Map, is responsible for getting value from a Social System Map.
  • Those who are working on systems transformation, and would like to add a little HSD spice to their change and mapping efforts.

The regular hour and a half session format will include:

  • A quick overview of our purpose for being together.
  • A brief introduction to the HSD Theory of Change, and one HSD model/method.
  • Collective Inquiry rounds applying the HSD model/method to a Social System Map.
  • Debrief of the session & potential next steps where relevant.

Call for Social System Maps to practice with:

We have a Community of Practice map we can always use as a back-up, but I’d love to practice with a range of maps. If you have access to a sharable (public) Social System Map you’d like us to practice on, please contact christine@greaterthanthesum.com.

* What are Human Systems Dynamics models and methods?

From the Human Systems Dynamics Institute website:

“Human Systems Dynamics (HSD) offers a mindset, methods, and models to help make sense of the patterns that emerge from the chaos that comes when people work and play together in groups, families, organizations, and communities.”

Among the many approaches to systems-thinking and complexity available, HSDs is one of the most applicable and accessible that I’ve come across. The HSD models & methods are relevant to any context where people interact, but they’re especially useful in the highly-complex and squishy context of transformation networks. And many of them are perfect for exploring a Social System Map. They provide the structure and guidance needed to find meaning in the visual chaos that a Social System Map represents. I believe combining HSD with SSMapping will help us take SSMapping to the next level, and I hope you’ll join me in this exciting new journey.


		Social System Mapping SenseMaking Session | June 7th, 2021 image



October 4, 2021
11:00 am - 12:30 pm EDT