Mapping Workshops

The world is awash with information and data, but often we don’t have the very particular information we need to understand a challenge or capitalise on an opportunity. Mapping Workshops provide a very effective platform for sharing perspectives and building knowledge about an issue, particularly when that knowledge is based on individual experience or is very contemporary. Mapping workshops allow participants to share insights, identify themes, prioritise and set future objectives, in a real-time setting.

Workshops provide a powerful format for collecting and sorting complex information.

The mapping methods used in tfink* workshops can be applied to a wide variety of topics and issues. Workshops can be configured to map a journey, experience or a service, to reflect on lessons learnt from a project or initiative or to simply gather information about changes in the external landscape. Information from mapping workshops can be carefully collated and transcribed into visual maps and reports to inform future strategy.

Outlined below are some examples of mapping workshops designed and facilitated by Tom Inns to support very particular project needs. For more information about Mapping Workshops contact

European Capital of Culture: Impact Mapping Workshops. Guimaraes, Portugal.

The review map generated at the symposium through facilitated workshop activity.

This two-day workshop formed part of a major symposium exploring the impact of European Capital of Culture status on host cities. The symposium was attended by past, present and prospective future holders of European Capital of Culture status from across Europe. In workshop activity the impact of activity in Guimaraes was explored from the perspective of legacy in the following areas: Brand, Tourism, Co-creation, Democracy and Connectedness. Insights from the Review Map have informed the Capital of Culture bids of other cities.

Sharing Experience in Europe (SEE) Workshop: Design & Creativity into EU Regional Innovation Policy, Ardi Rhone Alps, Lyon.

This two-day workshop was organised to explore regional design and innovation policy across Europe. Participants included business advisors and policymakers from Ireland, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Wales, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Slovenia and Estonia. Activities were designed that allowed benchmarking of policies and identified new interventions that might fast-track the use of design in regional innovation activity.

5 Million Questions Workshop, Dundee, UK. 

At the 5 millions questions workshop participants worked through a series of workshop activities.

The ‘5 Million Questions’ Workshop was held at the University of Dundee to explore the questions that the public sector, private sector and general electorate would like to see answered in the run up to the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum. The workshop was attended by 33 participants representing a broad portfolio of interests. In total over 150 questions were generated through five workshop groups. These were the clustered into the following themes, including Europe, Identity & Self Image, Defence, Education, Health, Borders, Services, Governance, Human Outcomes, The Environment, International Relations and the whole nature of the referendum debate.

Glasgow City of Creative Production, Multiple Stakeholders, Glasgow

Across the world there is an increasing interest in the place-based creative economy of cities and regions. The City of Creative Production workshop was organised to explore the collective interests of different creative economy stakeholders in Glasgow. 35 representatives of different organisations with an interest in the creative and cultural economy of Glasgow mapped out key questions they would like answers to. Participants then explored the impact that having more information would have on the creative and cultural economy of the city. A subsequent workshop explored the projects that could be put in place to make interventions that would develop Glasgow as a city of Creative Production.

At the Glasgow: City of Creative Production Workshop, participants mapped out the key questions about Glasgow’s Creative Economy that they or their organisation wanted answers to. Participants then reflected on what impact having answers to these questions would have on Glasgow’s Creative and Cultural Economy.

European Design Management Forum Workshop, Business & Design Lab, University of Gothenberg, Swedish Industrial Design Foundation (SVID), Sweden.

The image shows design management experts mapping out the past, present and future drivers of change for the discipline.

This two-day workshop was organised by the University of Gothenberg, Aalto University and the Swedish Industrial Design Foundation (SVID) to share perspectives on contemporary design management and map out future collaborations between researchers, practitioners and educationalists. The event was attended by 60 design management experts from across Scandinavia.