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Tool

Ecosystem Mapping

Time 45-90 min
Participants Group (2-6 people)

The purpose of this tool is to help you get an overview of the actors and potential participants on your platform and how they relate to your future platform.

This is crucial in a platform-way-of-working in order to build (and mobilize) an ecosystem of both existing and new actors.
Unlike traditional stakeholder mapping this tool aims at looking at the motivations, resources and capabilities, that will become valuable for the overall ecosystem.

  1. Map out all the actors you can come up with
    Create an overview of all the actors that make up your ecosystem surrounding your “missions statement” (see tool A1) that you have formulated: This includes your partners, your collaborators, contractors, your end-users, external stakeholders etc. Write as many as you can think of on post-its. Discuss them one by one and place them on the canvas according to categories to which they belong. Some might belong in more than one category? Then place them on the line between those two categories – or write two post-its for that actor.
  2. Identify new and non-traditional actors
    When mapping out actors we usually tend to map the ones we know well and have engaged with before. Use the Question Cards to disrupt and explore different and non-obvious players. Map these new and potential sactors on the canvas on post-its as well. Take as many Question Cards as you have time to process (don’t worry if you do not have time to do them all).
  3. Cluster all your actors
    Looking at your map you will probably realise that you have many individual actors who share context
    and, in a way, belong together. For example they could share the same motivation for being part of your ecosystem or they pose some of the same capabilities or resources relevant to your ecosystem.Identify the 5 most important Actor Clusters on your ecosystem map and fill out the Stakeholder Cluster
    cards. You might experience that filling out the cards can be challenging due to your clusters being relatively loose and broad. Try to avoid, as much as possible, broad categories such as ‘private sector’ or ‘civil society’ as this often obscures more than it reveals. If you are talking about the private sector, for example, then try to narrow to the specific segment or segments you have in mind.

Materials

  • B1 Canvas
  • Question Cards
  • Actor Clusters cards
  • Post-its
  • Pens

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