Ecosystem Mapping: A Great Tool for Social Impact

In the world of social change and impact, ecosystem mapping is a powerful tool to harness to improve your work. By mapping connections between the people, organizations, places and problems that the issue you’re addressing, you can find new ways to leverage and shift systems to make the world a better place. Learn how this works in practice below!

What is Ecosystem Mapping?

Today in the world of social impact, we know that systems thinking is critically important for achieving goals. To address an issue like homelessness, it’s now necessary to consider the larger system effects that help create and reinforce the problem. You may work with those involved in education, healthcare and mental health, substance abuse issues and more to find systemic ways you can collaboratively address homelessness. 

Ecosystem mapping involves creating a map of the interconnections between all the people, organizations, ideas, and other factors that impact the problem you face. It can help you understand the interactions between different issues and sectors, to find new opportunities for action and impact. 

Ecosystem Mapping

What Can You Learn Through Ecosystem Mapping?

Ecosystem Mapping

Explore the Structure of Connections

Dig into the way the parts of your ecosystem interconnect. Discover new ways to structure your connections to change ecosystem flows and interaction.

Ecosystem Mapping

Measure the Quality of Connections

Use our validated measures for trust and value, along with traditional network science metrics to track how your relationships change over time.

Ecosystem mapping

Connect Multiple
System Levels

Map multi-level ecosystems at the individual, sub-system and complete ecosystem levels to identify how each level impacts and affects the others.

Key Leverage Points

Identify key nodes with significant influence on the rest of the ecosystem so you can leverage them intentionally to improve and reach goals.

Ecosystem Mapping

How Does It Work in Practice?

Ecosystem mapping can be done quite simply using a pen and paper to identify connections. However, it is more effective using innovative tools like the PARTNER Platform. It uses validated trust and value metrics, along with standard network science measures, to help you map and analyze your ecosystem connections more quantitatively. With options for tracking and integrating systems at multiple levels, it’s a flexible, powerful tool for ecosystem mapping.

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More Resources About Ecosystem Mapping

Ecosystem Mapping

Ecosystem Strategies
Need CPRMs

With the development of ecosystem strategies, we need new tools like our CPRM to help track and adapt them over time to continue improving.

Ecosystem Mapping Webinar

In this network leader webinar, we demonstrate how to use social network analysis to map and track ecosystems using the PARTNER Platform.

Ecosystem Mapping

Using SNA to Shift Systems
for Health

This VNL case study shares how we used social network analysis mapping to help the ReThink Health Initiative shift systems for health & well-being.

Ecosystem Mapping

Ecosystem Strategy Development

This article introduces the concept of ecosystem strategy development, and how to approach this process to get as much out of it as possible.