Recognising the international field of practice
We know that to achieve systems change there needs to be a high level of collaboration and coordination, access to valuable frameworks, processes and tools and practitioners from a wide range of lineages. However this field is fragmented, with few connections, and has a greater influence from people and practitioners from a white, western and academic culture.
To tackle this, the Illuminate network set out to support the emergence of systems change practice by visualising the field with hopes to create stronger connections among people, organisations and resources, and to recognise the international field with equity at it’s core. As practitioners ourselves, we realised we needed to use our tools on ourselves to help us to see the wider whole. This project was initiated in 2020 with some initial questions like, as a small group of the larger whole building the field - who are the others? This project was led by the School of System Change, and designed by Eric Berlow - ecologist, complexity scientist and CEO of Vibrant Data Labs – a social impact data science group.
We set out to find publicly available profiles of people doing systems change field-building, to be able to identify these people, explore the words they are using to describe their work, and create a sense of affinities that could help us understand the practice of the evolving field.
We used a combination of manual and automated data collection, as well as collect systems terms, tags and taxonomies to identify ways in which practitioners were connected in their work. With practitioners being identified within a snowball method, we were able to enrich the corpus with systems change terms from their public information.
While discussing our concerns for this map, we’d like to promote awareness and participation from practitioners around the world. We will be running regular sense making sessions with the stewardship group, and with people who have been identified through the snowball process and appear on the map. We would like this to be a live dialogue over the next year.
If you are not on the map and you would like to be, and/or you would like to recommend other practitioners, please fill in this survey
If you are on the map and would like not to be, please get in touch here
If you would like to join a dialogue around what we are learning from this process, please sign-up here
Access more information here.