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So you wanna build a stronger movement? Build a Toolkit!
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So you wanna build a stronger movement? Build a Toolkit!

What sort of tools do you have in your hypothetical movement-building backpack? You may be surprised when I tell you, it is exactly the sort of items that you’d put in a survival kit too! 

  1. A map! This shouldn’t surprise you, and if it does, you’ve likely never been lost before. Good for you (you’re probably not the type to ask for directions either). But most people have been lost, and most people need this tool. A map can give people direction for where to look when they need some help getting from point A to point B, especially if they are growing an organization or a movement. 
  2. Resources. Typically, this may be water or food. In this case, we’re talking data and other information. Let’s face it, resources are essential to survival within our broader ecosystem. And what do we do with resources? We share them. Don’t be selfish.
  3. A willingness to collaborate. I’m assuming you want to be a stronger climate movement since you’ve read this far. So let’s be honest, our community is NOT a set of separate organizations focused on their own gain. If you’re looking at it that way, your beehive will not survive. Your network is a large motherboard with many facilitating smaller systems working to keep the main purpose and goal alive. If you do not collaborate, you won’t survive and the main purpose might get totally lost. Be the beehive, work as a team, know what resources each organization has to offer, and watch your network get stronger right before your eyes.

So let’s pull all this together…

Asset Mapping: What It Is & Why We Do It

WHAT?

An Asset Map is a tool that allows a network to share resources amongst their organizations in an organized way. We have chosen to use Google My Maps to display our data on a map - literally. Each organization will use a survey to identify their unique areas of focus as well as the resources they feel would be valuable to other organizations to share. Every organization will have their own pin on a map to show their location and assets they are willing to provide. The asset mapping process will allow the sharing of resources across USCAN in order to build power towards a unified purpose and to foster valuable methods of collaboration.

In order for an organization to efficiently provide their individual resources, an asset mapper will communicate with key stakeholders within each organization. The asset mapper will use a survey and provide a framework that is unique to the network’s mission by structuring and sharing resources in a meaningful way. 

WHY?

To put it simply, we do asset mapping because we have to. Living in a nation that feels divided, living in a world with a global pandemic, and all the while wondering about the sustainability of our planet is a lot to take on alone. Our first instinct is to reach out, connect, and raise awareness. We have to work together. That is the intuition of humanity. 

However, we also need the right tools to share resources and data that will help us unify under our mission to fight for a livable planet. Thus, the tools we use must also be sustainable. They have to be backed by a diverse slew of stakeholders, by research, and by a systems thinking process. Asset mapping is just the tool for the job. 

Asset mapping incorporates many stakeholders from multiple organizations. It is a tool that takes our most valuable resources and puts them on a data map so that a whole network can access those assets anytime, anywhere. This will save organizations time on researching through 90 pages of google searches just to find the right resource about community engagement, or marketing, or board development, or leadership training, etc.

And if you still need to google search for resources? Great. Don’t stop. Just be mindful of your network and share a great resource whenever you find one.

COVID19 has taught us the value of virtual discussion and it has pushed us to look further on how best to connect with other organizations and people around the world. An asset map gives you the ability to search an organization in your network and ask them questions about how they established their resources. An asset map takes a large system (i.e. a network) and breaks it down into its smaller organizations and stakeholders. Using resources efficiently will only help a network stay on the same page as far as their unified purpose and goals. 

Bottom line is, if we do not learn how to use the right tools to collaborate effectively, then a network cannot achieve their overarching purpose.

And we all want a better, more sustainable planet, right? So for the love of earth, use an asset map.

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