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Mapping Ourselves

Mapping Ourselves: The Practice of Personal Science

Designed to empower participants to better understand care in their lives and to strengthen their collective capacity to care for each other and their communities.

See Yourself, See Your Community

It is clear that we need to fundamentally transform how we navigate our world and reconsider how we collectively design our environments to benefit our physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

And we know that the people most likely to improve a situation are those closest to it. In this case, that is family caregivers. Many of us are family caregivers in one way or another, and yet, it is often difficult to fully understand our own situations because our communities and our interactions with others fall into the backdrop of our very busy lives: they become invisible.

What if, however, people could see the effort, activities, and resources required of care and compassion more directly? What if we took a moment to think about how our actions and environments impact our wellbeing? How can this understanding help us improve our situation today and in the future? And how might our increased self-awareness improve our ability to collectively build better services and products for the betterment of us all?

Mapping Ourselves: The Practice of Personal Science

This is our newest program designed to help people to see the invisible impact on their lives of giving and receiving care, to appreciate their interconnected lives, and to understand how to leverage their collective capacities.

The workshop is taught for 20-30 participants at a time, with follow-on activities. There are two goals of each course:

Seeing the Invisible : Mapping Ourselves teaches participants how to use a set of pen-and-paper tools to observe, visualize, and analyze key aspects of care in their lives: relationships, interactions, activities, environments, etc. By becoming more aware, they also become better able to understand (and care for) others. In addition, participants learn how to extend the ideas beyond the specific tools that are taught; they learn how to “practice science” in personal life.

Leveraging Collective Capacities

Mapping Ourselves is designed to spark and nurture rich social conversation. Participants learn by sharing their situations, drawings and reflections with each other. In the process they discover the uniqueness of their individual situations as well as their common humanity. They also discover how and how much they can benefit, emotionally and practically, from talking with others in the program (and by extension, others in their larger community). Today, due to the relative lack of such social conversation, people’s knowledge and personally-discovered solutions are hidden to the rest of their communities. Through sparking social conversation, we unleash that community wisdom.

Except where noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.