We Figure

Greater than the Sum

We're here to help

We have roughly a decade, at best

Amplify and accelerate this crucial transformational movement

Belongs to a global movement

To turn all human-generated and human-impacted systems inside out.

For example, our: Justice SystemsEconomic systems Energy systems Healthcare systems Agricultural systems Governance systems Educational systems Housing systems Transit systems Land use systems Waste management systems

All of them - because they're interconnected and we can't transform any of them without transforming all of them.

Of activists, healers, growers, change-makers, leaders, evaluators, guides, scientists, network weavers and others, who are working towards that inside-out transformation from systems of dominance, exploitation and extraction to systems of connection, healing and regeneration.

By developing tools and training for a new visual language that supports change networks in thinking more systemically and collectively, from the ground up, in context, so that they can see, understand and leverage themselves as transformative systems.

We Figure

Greater than the Sum

We're here to help

We have roughly a decade, at best

Amplify and Accelerate this transformational movement

Belongs to a global movement

To turn all human-generated and human-impacted systems inside out.

For example, our: Justice SystemsEconomic systems Energy systems Healthcare systems Agricultural systems Governance systems Educational systems Housing systems Transit systems Land use systems Waste management systems

All of them - because they're interconnected and we can't transform any of them without transforming all of them.

Of activists, healers, growers, change-makers, leaders, evaluators, guides, scientists, network weavers and others, who are working towards that inside-out transformation from systems of dominance, exploitation and extraction to systems of connection, healing and regeneration.

By developing tools and training for a new visual language that empowers change networks to think systemically and collectively, from the ground up, in context, so that they can see and understand themselves as transformative systems.

WE FIGURE

We have roughly a decade, at best

To turn all human-generated and human-impacted systems inside out.

All of them - because they're interconnected and we can't transform any of them without transforming all of them.

Greater than the Sum

Belongs to a global movement

Of activists, healers, growers, change-makers, leaders, evaluators, guides, scientists, network weavers and others, who are working towards that inside-out transformation from systems of dominance, exploitation and extraction to systems of connection, healing and regeneration.

We're here to help

Amplify and accelerate this transformational movement

By developing tools and training for a new visual language that empowers change networks to think systemically and collectively, from the ground up, in context, so that they can see and understand themselves as transformative systems

What we do

sumApp

sumApp is the front-end data-gathering tool we designed to enable us to make live, evergreen Social System Maps with a minimum of fuss. Works with the data-viz platform Kumu with no extra wrangling needed. Available by subscription to network leaders and sponsors.

We pioneered the emerging field of Social System Mapping, and are leaders in envisioning, designing, creating and coaching clients and other Social System Mapping practitioners in SenseMaking with their maps and leading from mapping insights.

Community

We believe that to effectively support the necessary conditions of self-organizing systems and systemic transformation, we have to live into those conditions ourselves. And since weaving strong networks is core to systemic transformations, it’s core to our work as well.

Training

We nurture Social System Mappers through project collaboration, a Community of Practice, on-line trainings, a robust knowledge base, a Slack team, and weekly office hours.

Data Wrangling

Systemic transformation is in our hearts and beings, but data is what we do with our heads and hands (especially Tim’s). We’re experts at cleaning up and restructuring old data from incompatible survey tools into the structures required to work with graph visualization tools like Kumu, Gephi, or Graph Commons. We also prepare old data for loading into sumApp.

About Us

christine-300

Christine Capra

founder, consultant

My background in data-gathering, -analysis, and -visualization, combined with a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership and a fervent passion for systems transformation fuel my ongoing drive to discover and develop tools that help turn intentional networks visions of transformation into realities.

Through the many different roles I've played in collective change efforts over the decades, I always bring a deep lifelong interest and attention to the complex of power, the inner being/ways of showing up that aspiring change-makers practice and embody, and the consequent potential for co-creation (or lack there-of).

Having spent the past 16+ years working through inherited multi-generational trauma as well as my own personal early-childhood through early-adulthood trauma, intentionally and in community, I am sensitive to how trauma shows up in community. I use my own embodied sensing to lean into, explore, learn from, and (when the potential is present) help heal the dynamics of trauma in group work, and am always aware of the need to make space for healing and re-balancing power in all our work together.

I also practice intentional and radical acts of transparency & vulnerability in my personal life as well as in community because life has taught me that true co-creation (whether we’re talking about computer software, or ways of creating a regenerative society) emerges out of trusting, energizing, loving relationships. Systemic transformation especially requires robust co-creation across differences of experience, perspective, power, privilege, thinking styles and more - and life has taught me that radical acts of transparency & vulnerability are among the most effective acts for breaking through people's barriers.

In other words, I try to model the ways of engaging that I believe are crucial to true interbeing and transformation. I don’t always get it right (I probably rarely get it right), but I’m always committed to taking the inherent risks involved - in an as contextually-relevant way as possible. So if you ever witness me behaving ‘inappropriately’, please trust that it’s a principled experiment, and not that I’m a drama queen, need coddling, have no filter or have lost my mind. And when my transparency/ vulnerability arises in your presence, I invite you to lean into the experiment with me and help find ways of turning it into a learning opportunity for everyone present who is willing to be expanded.

On the other hand, my psycho-spiritual attention and perspective are balanced by a strong, pragmatic and material interest in understanding how online tools can support (or hinder, as is mostly the case) collective intelligence, our capacity for co-creation, and greater consciousness. I’m interested in discovering how technology can support liberation and evolving consciousness, in opposition to its dominant capacity to generate mental passivity and laziness, addiction, and separation.

Our work with sumApp and Social System Mapping reflects, in part, my inner tension between those to seemingly opposing poles - embodied vulnerability vs. digital technology. I invite you to enter into and explore this tension with me.

Marriage

foundation

Business websites don’t usually have bios for marriages, so this might seem weird to you. But this isn’t a usual business, and in this instance, it’s relevant (plus, no-one is making you read it if you don’t want to). 

It’s relevant because of the many, many ways in which the work of ‘Greater than the Sum’ has emerged out of the transformational and healing process of this marriage. It’s also relevant because of how this marriage is one potent example of individuals working together across differences to become more than the sum of themselves. Our marriage actually IS a very present and active part in this business. 

No-one who knew us back in the day would ever have thought that we would get married, let alone stay married. That we’ve stayed together for 30+ years and eventually created and carry the weight of what we’ve created together is a testament to what’s possible when human beings decide to use our differences to create synergy instead of hegemony, when we choose to care for the ‘something greater’ or ‘field’ we’re enveloped within. 

If you’re into Myers-Briggs you’d figure out that Tim is a ‘J (judging)’ and Christine is a ‘P’ (perceiving), which explains some of our differences but certainly not all. 

If you understand the system’s thinking perspective on tension - as a major source of complex change and generativity, you’ll recognize the chronic tension inherent in our differences and how we leverage that tension to generate a synergy that has made us more creative and productive together than we’d ever have been individually.

Our marriage has taught us a lot about what it takes to co-create and to make inter-being a reality. That learning will never be complete, and we still have plenty of growing and healing ahead of us, but it informs everything we do, and it gives us hints about what’s possible.

Because of our own experience of the creative magic that emerges - from attending to the ‘something greater’, from the both/and of ‘I’ and ‘us’, from practicing the skills needed for collective intelligence - we want to help spread that creative magic into the the ‘network of networks’, the movements striving to transform the human systems that are so damaging to society and to the planet.

For us, Greater than the Sum, and Social System Mapping are extensions of that learning. They are an experiment in taking what we’ve learned in a very close & intimate setting and applying it to a broader context. The tools - sumApp and Social System Maps - are part of the experiment, but it doesn’t stop there. This experiment of living into more transformational ways of being starts with each of us as sovereign beings, flows into our marriage, then works its way through our ways of showing up and our approach to our business, then finally informs how we approach the tools we develop. 

At the deepest level, for us, it’s all about love. About the power of love, the transformational capacity of love, and the profound need for more living out of love in the world. 

Tim Hanson

founder, developer

In relation to our work, Christine often refers to me as our technical/mapping wizard. But I don’t consider myself a technical person. Most of my life has been spent developing listening skills in what you could call a soulful dimension, developing my own kind of shamanism under the guidance of the various unseen beings who have developed relationships with me. 

I have done regular volunteer energy-work with hospice and terminally-ill patients and their care-givers for over two decades. I’ve also worked for most of my adult life with persons with disabilities - mostly with the developmentally disabled, but I also spent nearly a decade working with the physically disabled as well. In all those contexts, my role is to be attentive to the needs and nuances of the other, and to be receptive and emotionally supportive. And because I don’t like to talk about myself or be in the spotlight, I’m also pretty good at drawing people out & getting them to talk. Those are the skills I’ve developed the most. 

However, I DO find what I call the ‘pathological linearity’ of code and formulas relaxing. I love the rules, the orderliness, the fact that when you get it right, you get an immediate reward. I’m also fairly dogged in trying to solve puzzles - the deepest rabbit-holes don’t scare me and if I think Christine wants something, I’ll do everything in my power to give it to her.

I’m the maintainer and sustainer of the two of us and I love to get things running smoothly. I love smoothly-running things. Which isn’t a priority for Christine. . . 

Christine is brilliant (according to me, anyway). Her mind moves fast, she has vision and intense purpose and a million ideas a minute for reaching her visions and purpose. And of course when she implements those ideas, she runs into blockages - because it’s never easy when you’re inventing. So when she runs into a blockage that’s where I come in. 

Sometimes she finds a way to flow, temporarily, around the blockage (we call her the queen of the work-around). But that generally makes a mess for me to clean up. Other times she just yells for help - which is preferable because then I don’t have to try to figure out how her convoluted mind screwed things up. I can just implement what she wants.

As a result, I AM sort of a technical person in spite of not thinking of myself that way, and I actually AM the tech-expert in this very specific realm we’ve entered into together. I make our client’s Social System Maps, I help design & test ongoing sumApp development, I wrangle data, I sometimes write stuff in Visual Basic or JavaScript, I manage our website, and I generally remove blockages & clean up technical messes for Christine. In addition to continuing to work with the developmentally disabled.

Lastly, I love to look for pictures that express things that cannot be expressed with words. Most of the imagery you find on our site comes from me. And I find most of it meaningful. Ask if you’re curious.