Many years ago, I sketched out a visualization of how social and environmental impacts interelate as a living tree. It helped me think about how diverse impacts can be closely connected, especially in how individual well-being connects with community well-being and the environment. People I showed it to liked how it made them think about impacts that they wouldn't otherwise associate with their work. Today I have made that sketch into a more legible drawing using Paint.! Not the most high end graphic design program, I know, but it no longer resides in a folder near my desk. Each impact area also has many dimensions to explore which are already part of the Impact Mapping Worksheet and are listed below.
How to use the tree?
Beyond imagining sitting under the tree on a lovely summer's afternoon, you can scan the tree illustration to find the words that you identify with your impact. Look at the related branches to identify other facets that relate. For instance, if you know that you are contributing to the personal growth and well-being of employees that you hire, consider how you may also be contributing to (or doing things to support): building relationships, health, mobility and economic security. Click here to download the tree and impact dimensions.
- decrease in air pollutants, smog, acid rain
Biodiversity/ Habitat protection
- health of biological systems
- use of native vegetation
-level of citizen involvement in civic life - political and non-political.
- reducing the possibility of significant, long-lasting changes in the climate of our planet.
- adapting to changes in the climate
- encompass all other parts of the tree relating to the healthy functioning of individuals, communities and the natural world.
-shared traditions and values
-cultural identity and preservation.
financial resources necessary to participate fully and with dignity in community activities
-reduction in the amount of energy used
Equity and freedom
-quality and sustainability of the food supply
Greenhouse gas emissions
--reduction in GHG gases by cutting emissions or improving sinks.
-physical and mental health
Leisure and Recreation
-decrease in the amount of materials used (per good/ absolute)
-the ability to move in the community
Personal Growth and Well-being
-emotional well being
-individual or community ownership and possession of land
-cultural and intellectual property
Relationships and Supports
-incidence of crime
access to secure and affordable housing
- improvements in soil quality
reduction in solid waste to landfill through recycling, and reuse.
-limiting water pollution
- improvement in water quality
-decrease in water use for human consumption and manufacturing
-using water in a way that doesn’t compromise ecosystem functioning of the water system
My sketch, circa 2008