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What Is Developmental Dialogue In Sensemaking?

Combining Open, Free Expression, And Generative Interpretation, Sharing And Connection

The Collective Navigator™ platform is based on a narratives-based approach called 'Sensemaking'. With its multi-disciplinary origins in social, anthropological and complexity sciences, the method is based on a very distinct set of principles, that are described in further detail here.

Free-form, open-ended narratives content allows participants to share concrete experiences or observations through narratives.

Narratives provide rich, qualitative data which communicate far more authentically the context, nuances and complexities of our daily lives than standard research methods, interviews and survey questions.

However, a challenge over the decades for NGOs, associations, social impact initiatives has been how to avoid the "subject-object" trap of assuming the position of an impartial outsider's objective view through analysis. Reliable quantitative analysis to such qualitative data, including across different languages and cultures, is notoriously difficult. (See Tim Ingold's writing on a new vision for anthropology.)

Development discourse within the school of Sensemaking provides a library of interpretative signification schema, for self-signification of narratives, that crucially integrate cognitive, moral and aesthetic frameworks. 

Offering these three domains of signification offers the opportunity to "coordinate" across these cornerstone of human sensemaking, and our necessarily competing truths across the Good (the moral fabric of community values), the True (rational, cognitive reasoning) and the Beautiful (our sovereign, personal preferences).

In the Sensemaking method, the participants interpret their own narratives against a series of spatial reflection (trade-off) questions, which are based on carefully chosen analytical/segmentation frameworks.

This provides quantitative input which allows the narratives to be mapped, thereby providing a compelling visualisation experience within the interactive dashboard. 


The purpose of the visualisations is to present a platform for collective reflection and new conversations. 

The results dashboard provides a rich space for the end user to reflect on their critical issues at both a high level as well as at a very practical level in terms of the concrete reality of each narrative.

  • Community development is a continual dynamic of conversations and collective actions. Stimulating and informing those conversations is the core purpose of Collective Navigator™.

  • Thanks to the immediate benefits for the participant from the self-reflective process stimulated by the spatial reflection (trade-off) questions, the platform increases self-awareness both at the individual and the collective level.

  • This increased self-awareness creates a powerful and systemic means for collectively navigating your dynamic and complex collective challenges. 

Our Purpose:
Supporting levels of consciousness

in discourse

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Narratives are ideally suited for observing the human and behavioural dimensions, whilst traditional survey, inventories and data analytics are best for more operational topics (e.g., production efficiencies, resource planning, and tracking). ​

Narratives can be called "thick" data due to their context-rich qualitative information, and can be integrated with big data analytics for even greater breadth of insight and decision-making support.

How do sensemaking and

narratives fit with other platforms and methods?

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What is 
What is Developmental Signification?
Gameified - Developmental Signification.png

A foundational feature in how we can have inter-subjective metrics applied to the qualitative narratives, is through the gamefied dilemma interpretation prompts.

The self interpretation process can be said to be 'developmental' thanks to the interactive prompts that scaffold our reflection process to the appropriate stage of cognitive reflection - based on systems thinking frameworks.

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