Ecosystem Loops

Describe a system in its entire complexity by visualizing flows and relationships, while considering different levels of scales: users, stakeholders, connected ecosystems as well as objects and environment.

applied for










inspired by

System Maps

what is it

The ecosystem loops is a synthetic map aimed at providing a comprehensive representation of all the stakeholders that populate an ecosystem. The map is built by showing each connection among the different actors as a loop, with a give and take value (or input and output). This helps expand the project perspective and include in the visualization all the hidden characters inside the different environment’s scales that could influence the design decisions, by seeing what values each role is exchanging with the others.

use it to

Understand and explain all the hidden synergies, gaps and opportunities that you would not be immediately evident.

remember to

Use different types of links (or loops) representing different kinds of values exchanged.

step by step guidelines


Put in the center of your framework the main users and all the stakeholders directly involved in the system.


Identify all the other possible areas of the environment (from the closest to farthest) in order to recognise all the available players and entities operating behind the scene.


Draw logical connections and exchanges (loops) between the different actors: they can be materials and physical relationships, as well as emotional and invisible links.


Highlight possible pain points or gaps in the map. This activity helps in understanding which aspects need to be improved or further explored during the next phases of the project.