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Being a good person, applying responsible business practices, communing lovingly. What does that mean in a time of climate change and the decline of nature? Lifemaps help to give substance and direction to this
Lifemaps.NL Wereldbol

The earth’s boundaries have become tangible and the journey to a natural world goes hand in hand with changes that affect everyone. We have to recognise that continuing as we are is not an option. The ball is in my court, in our court. It all starts with introspection, listening profoundly to each other and applying everything we already know. The intention behind the lifemaps is to visualise what’s going on, make connections and find new perspective. To choose principles which will make the direction clear for both the individual and the collective. To create a personal or a shared compass, based on overview and insight, and translate everything into actions.

Visualising, understanding, finding direction with lifemaps
Lifemap building blocks

Which new insight and knowledge do we need? What could we change in our behaviour to help improve the life conditions on earth? Lifemaps are an instrument for awareness raising. Central to each lifemap is a scenario about a societal theme or goal, which participants in a lifemap workshop play out together. Various lifemap building blocks are used: text and symbol stickers, which contain knowledge on the topic, and a table poster, that carries a discovery process. Mapping the current reality and imagining the future are individual activities. A workshop programme is designed to combine these activities with a group exchange and a dialogue about the future. The Master Code of Care: Taking care of self, others, place and planet is introduced as a guiding principle.

The scenarios for Integral City tell the story of the Master Code of Care
Archetypal voices working together in the integral city
Being a world citizen in a Doughnut Economy
Connecting to climate change
Following your life’s mission
The lifemaps originated during a personal quest
7 Keys in unity

Shortly after I ended my career in business and government, I had a burnout. Exhaustion, hypersensitivity. My entire inner system of ideals, willpower, control, amplified by my far-reaching efforts to fit in, was exposed for fundamental reconsideration. Creating the lifemaps for personal transformation helped me to reinvent myself from within my heart and soul. Later, after intensive shadow work and when there was more tranquility, the question arose: how do I view the world now? Where is my place in it? How can I remain positive when conditions of life on earth are deteriorating? What can I do? I created new lifemap scenarios to help chart all this, to reassess my principles and find direction. The 7 keys I discovered on my ten year journey with lifemaps have been embedded in all lifemap building blocks – posters, text stickers and symbol stickers: being yourself, leading a creative life, following your life purpose, responsible business practices, harmonious community, seeing the whole reality and taking care of place and planet.

The integral city as a frame for societal innovation

Throughout that period, I remained a member of the Integral City core team, even though I couldn’t do very much. In 2020, Marilyn Hamilton, founder of Integral City, and Anne-Marie Voorhoeve, like me a member of the core team, invited me to create lifemaps for the city and the stakeholders. It was perfect timing for me. I had just reached the stage when I had realised the importance to a human being of the physical place to connect with nature. I also had a clear idea of how to translate the Doughnut Economy to the level of the citizen. Just as it had become clear to me that the city forms an ideal context for societal programmes centring on greening and sustainability. The city taking its example from the beehive – giving and taking in harmony with the natural environment. Humanity taking direction from the Master Code of Care: Taking care of self, others, place and planet. Understanding the significance of this vision, I choose to put my work with lifemaps at the service of Integral City.

With love, Ellen van Dongen
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