Community Mapping – Connecting Projects sharing Future Visions

At Personal Cloud Community Gathering  in August I designed a community mapping exercise to support different projects learning about what each other was 1) working 2) needed as a complement and 3) held as a long term vision.

Number of People: 10-100

Time:  Depends on Size of Group

  • Small groups 5-10 min
  • Medium Groups 15+ min
  • Large Groups 30+ min

Formats: Individuals first write answers to questions and then share with the whole group before posting on a wall.

Use of Method: This method is great for supporting a community getting to know itself better in several ways:

  1. There are two end products  * a list of future visions  * a map/list of what people are building and their complements.

  2. Inviting people to think about what they are doing AND how it relates to other things helps clarify people’s own focus.

  3. Asking people to read their answers to the questions out loud lets others who’s visions match/map connect to each other after the creation of the list/map.  Working to place map out the answers provides insights into collaboration opportunities.

Supplies: Big Post-It sheets 8×5.5  minimum 3 post-it needed per-person. Sharpie Pens to write with.


To begin we handed out the Post-it sheets and sharpie pens.

I both read aloud and had written on flip-chart paper:

photo copy 8In the future…

I will be using ______ OR

I created/helped build ______ service or hardware or _____ to enable an ecosystem

AND it connects to _____________.

Then everyone read their answers out and put them up on the wall.

Then we asked people to answer these two questions on two different Post-It sheets:

Futures Flip Chart

Today I am building/want to build ______

and it connects to ________ that exists already/needs to be created.

We invited everyone to read their statements out loud and post on the wall.  We then concluded the structured part of the evening  and devolved into networking and gave people a chance to read the statements on the wall and organize them.


We took the notes and typed them up. You can see the responses here on the personal clouds wiki.

Here is the image of some of the stickers.

Recommendations: You don’t have to start with the future question. I chose to because the community is very oriented to what could/should be and it was a good idea to get peoples ideas about that out first.  We then focused on “the now” and what people are building (or hope to be building).


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