Wayfinder requires careful preparations to set it up for success. This first phase lays the foundation for the rest of the Wayfinder process. The journey begins by building a committed, capable and legitimate coalition for change that can drive the Wayfinder process forward and ensure a long-term positive impact.


People often have a tendency to jump straight into the process of defining problems and solutions, but unless you have built a proper foundation it is unlikely that your Wayfinder process will lead to intentional change. Therefore, we strongly encourage that sufficient time and resources are spent on building the right coalition for change, designing the process, and doing an initial exploration of the system. In particular, the more transformative change that is sought, the more critical it is to strategically set up and design the process to allow for that.

Phase content

In module A, you will assemble the members of your coalition, and collectively agree on an ethical compass for your Wayfinder journey. The coalition prepares for the work to be done by first building its own capacity for systems thinking and reflective practice. In module B, you design your Wayfinder process to suit existing social and environmental conditions. This includes deciding on how and when to engage with a wider group of stakeholders within the system, and to set up a framework that captures and supports learning along the way. In module C, you begin exploring the social-ecological system in focus, by assembling relevant information, such as existing reports and data, and making a first attempt to articulate how your Wayfinder process will contribute to creating positive change in this context.


While everything that you will do in this phase, serves a purpose for your subsequent Wayfinder journey, Phase 1 should result in four concrete outputs that are essential to continue. The first and most important is the coalition itself. This should consist of a committed and legitimate core group of people with the right skill set and influence to take the process forward. The second output is a tailored process design, that is tuned to the local context and where clear principles for engagement with other stakeholders have been decided on. The third output is a system for information management that will help you organize, deal with and make use of the large amounts of information and data generated through the process. The fourth and final output from this phase is a scoping report that summarizes relevant previous projects and initiatives together with an overview of the kinds of data that are already available.