English or Dutch
For Whom
Anyone interested in tackling complexity through visualisation
By Whom
Philippe Vandenbroeck and Liesbeth Jenné, shiftN

Mapping systems with Kumu

Learn how to visualise complex systems in a powerful mapping environment

1-day program, planned for late spring 2020

System maps are a powerful tool to visualize complexity. This hands-on course helps participants to build skills in developing and using a specific format of system maps: causal-loop diagrams, also referred to as influence diagrams. This is a rigorous mapping approach that requires clearheaded thinking. It can be used to pursue multiple objectives:

  • Showing the ‘big picture’;
  • Illuminating the architecture of a complex system in terms of feedback loops and leverage points;
  • Stimulating multi-actor engagement and collaboration;
  • Integrating expert knowledge;
  • Communicating complex messages and stories;
  • Providing access to an evidence base;
  • Developing future scenarios;
  • Identifying options for intervention in the real world.

In this course we will rely on Kumu as a powerful, web-based environment to develop causal-loop diagrams. Participants will learn how to usethis rich mapping environment to craft complex, beautiful and richly documented system maps.


  • Maps as a tool to visualise complexity;
  • Overview of mapping approaches;
  • Building blocks: variables, connections and loops;
  • Reinforcing and balancing loops;
  • System archetypes;
  • Leverage points;
  • Building more complex maps. 

This program will be organised when 6 people have signed up. Date will be mutually agreed.