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Iterative Inquiry
Group Size2-20
Facilitation LevelIntermediate
MaterialsPen & Paper / Whiteboard

In this exercise, participants will learn to engage in a cyclical process of questioning, researching, and refining their understanding of complex systems or issues over time.


Step 01


Before you begin mapping, define the scope of the issue and identify key questions to explore for a better understanding of the system and its complexities. Consider various perspectives and potential challenges within the problem space.

Step 02


Gather information from various sources such as literature reviews, interviews, observations, and data analysis to deepen the team's understanding of the problem and its context. Include diverse inputs and cross-disciplinary insights to capture a more comprehensive view of the system.

Step 03


Organise, analyse, and interpret the collected information to identify patterns, trends, and causal relationships within the system. Map these learnings to the sections of the inquiry model, starting with function and moving through to context/purpose to complete a full inquiry cycle.

Step 04


Formulate tentative explanations, assumptions, or predictions about the system based on the synthesised insights. Be open to new ideas and perspectives, and to consider multiple hypotheses that may explain the observed patterns or relationships.

Step 05


Continue the cycle to delve deeper into the inquiry process. Reflect on the progress and learnings, and adjust the inquiry process as needed to address any gaps, challenges, or new questions that may arise during the activity. Embrace continuous learning and improvement throughout the process.

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