Network maps need conversations to be useful, and conversations benefit from mapping … the dynamics of civic operating systems

The latest interview by Christine Capra with Aldo de Moor suggests that a map with conversations is nothing … and without some form of mapping conversations are fragmented.

Christine and Aldo talk through a process of participatory network mapping which I think brings life to the ideas for civic operating systems which I posted earlier.

Christine and Aldo talk about a sequence for finding the conditions for common ground among the different interests who may be mapped; developing a seed map that shows the potential; sense-making to interpret the map; then embedding the map so that it is integrated with future activities.

In writing about civic operating systems, I suggested we needed:

  • Maps of assets, groups and organisations – the social infrastructure.
  • Stories and conversations.
  • A set of communication tools and other methods, which I called a social app store
  • Methods for self organising
  • A community of practice or learning network
  • Living Lab workshops to test and evolve the system

Christine is developing the Sumapp tool which my colleague Drew Mackie uses for building maps, as described here. It feels as if things are joining up.