In 2000 I could see that technology was accelerating the emergence of new structures and new ways of doing things. I saw these much like ocean waves that had their own course but altered by parallel waves with their own distinct impact. Sometimes these culminate in almost a coordinated movement with striking effect, but then recede as new waves surface.
We generate wave maps by paying attention to developing patterns from very grass roots sources including surveys, journals, newsletters, markets, books, conferences, AND lots and lots of conversations with people at the base of the ecosystem. (Cab drivers are great proxies by the way). We count on working with a great set of talented friends and collaborators who are positioned to see the formation of new waves of change. Its not predicting the future its being super aware of the present; observations from many perspectives; and its twenty-five years studying waves.
In 2004 we were commissioned by the Canada Council for the Arts to map Digital Culture in the country. This led to the development of a landscape map, but a timeline and geo-database of the organizations in the field. Seeing the need lack of coordination within such an important field, this led us to help develop an online network and platform called Circuit4. Landscape maps like this created from a collective vision become powerful common visions empowering growth and development.