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What is Cultural Mapping?

The word ‘culture’ has as many meanings as there are different cultures. ‘Culture’ is used here in the context of ‘identity’, which can be either personal or corporate.

Cultural mapping is an ‘action journey’ undertaken specifically to identify, investigate or reclaim your strengths, whether corporate or personal. Once you have identified these strengths they can be utilised to create a wide variety of outcomes, as demonstrated by the stories in the Case Studies.

In the past Cultural Mapping has been used as a technique by some professionals in the 'Community Development' sector as a way of 'Mapping' community assets. How it was undertaken was largely dependent on who was doing it and why, most commonly it was used as a tool to identify the resources of communities and was referred to as 'Community Mapping’. If one were to ask what is Cultural Mapping we would firstly have to say that it involves mapping the Culture of who or what you are, be it a tribe, organisation, community, group, school, association, business or an individual - to find your unique assets or strengths. Culture can in this case be defined as your intellectual property, your special way of being or doing, the purpose of your existence, the business you are in (or would like to be) or the special story that you have to tell, such as your reason for doing what you do. It is a process that has a purpose, and through the use of a proven ‘system’ Cultural Mapping outcomes can be harnessed and directed to create sustainable futures.