Toolkit Tuesday: Ecosystem Mapping

We’re suckers for a good ecosystem map. They are a wonderful tool that allows us to understand people’s experiences in the context of wider institutional and community systems.

Ecosystem Map Visual

This ecosystem map – which we created following a facilitated activity with a group of higher education innovators – reflects one holistic view of a higher education ecosystem.

The simple circular graph depicted here represents three critical entities within the higher education ecosystem: (1) at the center are the people being served by the model; (2) the next layer represents the organizations and supporting systems responsible for creation and delivery of the model; and (3) the forces that shape the environment that the models must operate within.

Looking at these entities in totality also helps us to focus an innovation context – particularly contexts that overlap between multiple stakeholder groups. It’s also a great way to create alignment as it allows us to frame elements that will influence and shape future student experiences and next-generation models alike.


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