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Mapping Impact

Published
Sep 22, 2021 9:58 PM
Last updated
Dec 6, 2021 11:41 PM

What does it mean to Map Impact?

In the world of social impact, I see:

Ultimate Objectives (“lighthouses”)

The end goals we work towards. We can use frameworks like the Sustainable Development Goals and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to guide our thinking. Examples include:

  • Healthy bodies & minds for ourselves
  • Healthy biosystems
Key performance indicators (“Impact Metrics”)

The units of measure we use to determine success. To say “we’ve achieved it.”

  • Healthy bodies & minds for ourselves
    • Every human has enough of the right kinds & amounts of food, water, & clean air for their unique body
    • Every human has professional guidance for health & well-being
    • Every human has a strong community support system
    • Every human has access to the resources and activities that teach us & make us joyful
  • Healthy biosystems
Problems to solve

The things we’re trying to get rid of.

  • Healthy bodies & minds for ourselves
    • Every human has enough of the right kinds & amounts of food, water, & clean air for their unique body
      • Food is wasted in many ways
      • Food is created poorly (pesticides, processing)
      • Crops are destroyed by droughts, locusts, fire, …
      • Water is lost by droughts, or tainted by pollution
    • Every human has professional guidance for health & well-being
      • Therapy is too expensive
    • Every human has a strong community support system
    • Every human has access to the resources and activities that teach us & make us joyful
  • Healthy biosystems

Solutions to problems

The specific actions to take, playbooks to follow, things to create in order to eliminate the problems. There are many!!!

Also note, this is where we begin to see the most disagreement between parties. To avoid getting stuck in a Cycle of Arguing, we can focus on innovation & entrepreneurship.

  • Healthy bodies & minds for ourselves
    • Every human has enough of the right kinds & amounts of food, water, & clean air for their unique body
      • Food is wasted in many ways
      • Make imperfect produce desirable (Imperfect Produce™ )

        Recapture leftover food from restaurants, retail, hospitality, even homes??

        Teach people to consume more efficiently (only what you need)

        What else?

      • Food is created poorly (pesticides, processing)
      • Create delicious, wholly unprocessed foods

        Conduct better research on effects of pesticides & outlaw more of them

        What else?

      • Crops & land are destroyed by droughts, floods, locusts, fire, …
      • Regulate the earth’s climate

        Develop new forms of fuel that are cheaper & more efficient

        Drought-resistant, flood-resistant, fire-resistant (etc.) grow operations

        What else?

      • Water is lost by droughts, or tainted by pollution
      • Regulate the earth’s climate

        so many more … … … 

        What else?

    • Every human has professional guidance for health & well-being
      • Therapy is too expensive
      • Connect people to affordable therapists virtually

        What else?

    • Every human has a strong community support system
    • Every human has access to the resources and activities that teach us & make us joyful
  • Healthy biosystems

And as we begin to build this list, we realize…

It gets overwhelming pretty quickly. 😅

We could essentially continue slicing through each layer indefinitely, finding something else to measure or think about each time. I keep going back to it, even as I write this!!

But we already have plenty of information to start making real progress. Now, we can build. (What are you building for the social impact space?)

What I notice while building:

Many problems are solved by mutual solutions. The most foundational ones seem to be

  • Unlocking individual joy & potential, and
  • Regulating the earth’s climate

Together they can solve nearly all the other problems, making them sort of super-solutions. Make nature & people very healthy.

A visual framework for this project, if it’s helpful

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Warning: This might be more confusing 😂

We can think of all the moving parts in this (non-linear) order.

Impact Areas (industries)

contain

Companies/Organizations

which employ

People

to offer

Products & Services

that deliver

Solutions

to

BIG Problems

measured by

Impact Metrics (KPIs)

Why I started Mapping Impact

For me, Mapping Impact is an attempt to make sense of the world as problem-spotters, innovators, and good-doers.

It‘s about using our organizing, analytical, creative minds to understand exactly what we all can do as individuals—and together in groups—to eliminate unnecessary suffering for all, enable all to thrive, and create the paradise from which we came. 😊

What is it to you?

Originally published Sep 22, 2021

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