Evaluation, reflection and sense making


Before proceeding to the next phase, take some time to evaluate the quality of the process you have conducted so far, along with the quality of the data, information and content generated through this process. Use the list of conditions below to guide your evaluation. If you feel that you have not covered all points, we encourage that you revisit Phase three and see how to improve on the process or content before moving on to Phase four.

  • System dynamics have been thoroughly explored, and feedbacks, thresholds and traps have been identified and analyzed
  • Change dynamics over time have been considered, including the effects of cross-scales interactions
  • The resulting systems model reflects the idea of requisite simplicity – it is as simple as possible without being over-simplified – and provides you with a good hypothesis about how the system works and why the dilemmas persist
  • Relevant indicators for option space have been identified, changes in these over time have been analyzed, and the most problematic dimensions of option space have been identified
  • Emerging drivers of change have been identified, and you have considered potential interactions between these
  • Plausible future trajectories and their potential outcomes for different stakeholder groups have been explored
  • Scenarios that are clearly undesirable for everyone have been identified together with action points to avoid these


Having evaluated your work, it is useful to reflect more deeply on what you have learnt from the Wayfinder process so far. Use the questions below to guide this exploration. Make sure to capture your learnings, they will be important to guide you later on in the Wayfinder process.

  • Can you distinguish between evidence and assumptions in the model of social-ecological dynamics? Is the model supported by multiple knowledge types?
  • How has your understanding of the dilemmas changed by exploring the system? Is the initial framing of the problems still appropriate?
  • What key uncertainties around the system’s future development can you identify? How will you deal with these, moving forward in the Wayfinder process and beyond?


Finally, try to make sense of what all this means for your ambition to navigate the system you are interested in towards a more sustainable, safe and just future. This is crucial to make sure you keep moving in the right direction.

  • Given what you now understand about your system dynamics, emerging drivers for change, and plausible future trajectories, what level of change will be required to move towards a sustainable trajectory of development, and how acute is the situation?
  • Where and how could that change be managed over time, which organizations and people will likely be key changemakers, and are they engaged in your process now?