It’s all about the paradigm shift with us. And we know that paradigms are deeper than ideas. If we don’t walk our talk, it’s just another empty abstraction. If we don’t actually lean into doing things differently, in accordance with what we believe matters, in accordance with the change we’re trying to see in the world – what we believe won’t matter all that much.

The transformations we seek can’t be generated by practices that align with the paradigms that we’re trying to move away from. We understand that our purpose cannot be fulfilled if we approach our work using an old-school business model. Attempting to do it all on our own, hoarding our expertise, and keeping things proprietary would limit the potential inherent in Social System Mapping, which we believe would be wrong.

It isn’t always easy, because we’re not sitting on a pile of savings and we need to eat like everyone else does, but we consciously choose cooperation over competition and share our learning and experience with whomever could use it. Because to fully develop this field and this potential requires a highly-connected, co-creative, diverse community of practitioners and stakeholders who rapidly experiment, iterate and generously share their learning. Doing this means doing it in community.

And because we get that, we put at least as much energy (and often more) into building community as we do into building software and building client maps. Whether you’re a mapper, a network consultant, a network funder, a developer or have anything else to offer in support of, or anything you need from, this community – we invite you to reach out and become part of our Social System Mapping network. There are several pathways in, starting with putting yourself on one of our mailing lists.

Laura Kaestele
The Community of Practice events as well as the knowledge base for me began as a place to get started, indulge my curiosity, and learn about social system mapping. They evolved into a community of colleagues to connect, ask questions, get new perspectives, receive support, and learn together. It is such a joy (and relief) to be in the company of fellow complex, interconnected, and creative thinkers - network geeks united! :star-struck: Now I am experiencing an additional third level focused on ongoing practice, exploring the depth, sharing, and contributing. This is a community of purpose, belonging, practice, and growth!
Katy Mamen
The sumApp team has been very supportive and responsive throughout the process of getting set up and implementing my network mapping projects.
Water Bear
Mary Roscoe
Greater than the Sum and sumApp go beyond mapping and technical know-how to a dynamic environment with a knowledge base, interviews and case studies, leadership practices, learning community, and communication ecosystem. Behind all these offerings, there is something greater of the sum — humility, vision, generosity, sense-making, and co-creating with Greater than the Sum’s network of future thinking leaders and activists from across the world.
Ryan Mottau
Christine, Tim and the sumApp community have been generous with their time and have offered substantial leadership in the technical and sense-making aspects of this field. The online community of practice (which in my mind includes the online meetings as well as the Slack channel) has inspired and advanced my work, and given me a useful way to contribute. .
MIG Consulting
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Live Convenings and webinars

We offer three free online gatherings each month to help our community meet other Social System Mappers, see and discuss each other’s mapping work, and learn more about the process, principles and technical aspects of Social System Mapping. Plus an open-ended weekly OfficeHour session with Christine.

Join any and all of these sessions to connect with others working with Social System Mapping. This is an emerging field and we all have insights to offer, more to learn, and ideas to explore together.


Introductory Level

Each monthly OnRamp session features a Social System Map in progress by a member of the community.


It’s an opportunity to see a Social System Map for those who haven’t, learn about how others are handling the mapping process, and ask questions of the community.


Begin your exploration of Social System Mapping here. This is where we welcome and address the most basic questions.


Check out recordings of past sessions here.


For anyone who is curious about how a Social System Map can be kept alive and become an ongoing source of value and insight for a community.

We Made a Social System Map – Now What Do We Do With It?


Social System Mapping enables us to map, inquire into, and take wise action in a domain that we’ve previously only been able to speculate about. And now that we can map that domain, we can start to make sense of and act upon it in ways we may never have considered.


And yet, SenseMaking with a Social System Map involves a mental muscle we’ve only begun to recognize a need for and are just beginning to develop. A muscle that entails a paradigm shift. And developing that paradigm-shifting mental muscle takes practice, repetition, frequent reminders. Ideally in the company of others.


This SenseMaking muscle is applicable beyond Social System Mapping. It can help us to understand change in complex adaptive human systems. It can strengthen our pattern-spotting ability and help us set conditions for positive systemic transformation.


Thus a Social System Mapping SenseMaking practice is a two-fer. Two benefits in one.


We need to develop this muscle. Many of you want to develop this muscle. Many of us need to help others develop this muscle. Why not practice doing it and learning to teach it together? 


All are welcome!!


Assumes Some Familiarity With Social System Mapping

DeepDive sessions are an opportunity for the community of practitioners to engage in a deeper discussion about a specific topic related to Social System Mapping.


From getting started, to ongoing SenseMaking, we explore together and learn from one another about what’s working and not working in our mapping process.


All are welcome, though basic questions may not be fully addressed.


Check out recordings of past sessions here.


For The More Technically Inclined Members Of The Community

Social System Mapping engages & depends on three distinct (but overlapping) skill-sets. We call them ‘hats’. TechTalks are designed to meet the needs of whomever is wearing the ‘Mapper hat’.


We demonstrate new sumApp features, dig into the how-to’s of sumApp’s more esoteric or complex functionality, or share advanced Kumu tips to help you get the best visualizations possible with the data you’ve gathered in sumApp.


All are welcome, but know that basic questions won’t be addressed.


Check out recordings of past sessions here.


All Levels

For those times when you’re stuck, have a quick question or need a little thought-partnering.

Christine devotes 1/2 an hour a week to being available online to support whoever shows up. No charge.


OfficeHour occurs each Thursday from 4:00 pm – 4:30 pm Central time.


Cancellations are posted in our Slack (so get in there if you want to be sure, or email Christine ahead so she knows you’re coming).


Just use this Zoom Link

Self-Directed Learning

We also offer a wealth of resources for jumping in on your own