Ecosystem Mapping: A Tool to Strengthen Systems and Impact

Ecosystem mapping is an excellent tool for those taking a systems or network approach in their work. Whether you aim to improve community health, education, and other social issues, you will benefit by understanding the systems influencing your approach. By visually understanding how the entities within the system are interconnected, interdependent, and interacting, you can identify ways to shift the system towards improved and more equitable outcomes. Learn more about ecosystem mapping and get a map template 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 your problem. It can help you understand the interactions between different issues and sectors to find new opportunities for action and impact. It draws heavily from the fields of network science and system dynamics.

Ecosystem Mapping
Ecosystem Map Template

Get Started with our Canva Ecosystem Map Template

Ecosystem mapping can be difficult for beginners. To make things easier, we put together an ecosystem mapping template on Canva – a free graphic design program that’s easy to use. Just fill out the form, and we’ll send you an access link to make your ecosystem map using our template. It includes a sample map to show you some of the ways you can visualize and categorize entities and connections in an ecosystem. When finished, you can export it as a PDF to share.

Download our Free Ecosystem Mapping Template!

Fill out the form below to get instant access and start mapping your community ecosystem right now.

NOTE: By completing this form, you are subscribing to receive additional communications from Visible Network Labs. We keep your data 100% secure. You can unsubscribe at any time from the bottom of our emails.

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 with PARTNER CPRM

Ecosystem mapping can be done simply using a pen and paper to identify connections. However, it is more effective to use innovative tools like PARTNER. With trust and value scores, network science measures, and more, it maps and tracks ecosystem connections and interactions over time. With options for mapping systems at multiple levels, it’s a flexible, powerful tool for ecosystem visualization.

Connect with our Team!

Contact the VNL team to demo PARTNER™ or discuss a research or evaluation project. We can help you learn more about our services, help brainstorm project designs, and provide a custom scope based on your budget and needs. We look forward to connecting! 

Email our team:

Send a message: Contact Us Here

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.