This is a tool by the Presencing Institute and part of the Theory U methodology. You can also find other Theory U tools in our toolbox (just search for ‘Theory U’) and on the website of Presencing Institute.

In Social Presencing Theater, the word theater is used in connection to its root meaning – a place where something significant becomes visible, or where a community of people can see a shared experience. 4D mapping makes visible the current reality in a social system, such as a school system, health care system, or government.

You can use 4D mapping with groups who are looking to gain new insights about their own system, and with clients who have a case they want to explore using this method.

Principles of 4D mapping:

  • 4D mapping explores how the highest aspiration in a system might come forward. We assume there is an underlying wisdom – in spite of the diverse values or goals of stakeholders in a system – that could come to the surface and be visible as we move from Sculpture 1 to 2.
  • Participants apply mindfulness of the body and awareness of the surrounding space. 4D mapping is not about acting out preconceived ideas or concepts we have about a system.
  • 4D mapping is about surfacing and noticing what shifts in a system might be significant in going from a current reality to an emerging future reality.
  • Movement is based on what is actually emerging, not based on manipulation or what we think something should be.

This tool provides a video which explains how to set up and facilitate the 4D mapping exercise, as well as written instructions.

View tool

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