Map of Meaning International is a not-for-profit organisation and global community of researchers, subject matter experts and certified practitioners working together to deepen our understanding of meaning and expand the body of knowledge about the Map of Meaning. We co-create meaning-centered ways of living, working & organising to reach new audiences in new ways.
Meet our Board
Our Certified Practitioners are leaders, facilitators and change makers from private, public and not-for-profit sectors, representing a wide variety of professional fields. What unites us is a shared passion for serving humanity by giving people access to the knowledge and skills to create and maintain more meaning in their life and work.
By working with a Map of Meaning Certified Practitioner, you are choosing a trained meaning professional who has the depth of experience to apply the Map of Meaning one-to-one, in groupa and wider systemic or organisational contexts. Each certified practitioner brings a profound understanding of the complex dynamics of meaning, and embodies our principles of working with meaning to ensure the quality and integrity of the work.
Becoming and being a Certified Practitioner is a commitment to join a professional learning community, in which we continuously research and co-develop new applications for the Map of Meaning across different fields, sectors and cultures
As the Map of Meaning International Trust, we set ourselves the task of making the Map of Meaning available to you, and to the world. We learned there are five principles that support the Map of Meaning being used easily, effectively and responsibly by individuals and practitioners. We ask you to carefully consider the principles below.
1. The Map of Meaning is research based.
The Map of Meaning is based on high quality peer-reviewed academic research. We therefore ask you to maintain the structure of the Map. Although people may want to choose their own words to describe the elements in order to make the Map more meaningful for them, this works best when you, and they, maintain the essential framework of the Map. If you change any element of the Map you change its structure and then it is no longer research-based.
The intellectual source of the Map is established through the published research papers. Please cite the source at all times. You can find these on our website under Resources.
Because we want to make the Map of Meaning readily available we have made the validated questionnaire freely available in the research papers. To reciprocate, we ask that where you see opportunities to further research the Map you consider involving us.
2. Meaning is both constant and ever-changing
While we have discovered that certain exercises with the Map work very well, we have also found that every application is new and fresh. People bring their own spirit to their work with the Map of Meaning and so it is important to be continually open to that creative process.
3. The data that forms the foundation of the Map of Meaning was gained from ordinary human beings, like you and us.
In using this work, please stay present to the fact that all human beings yearn for meaningful lives and work, and that all human beings can articulate what gives meaning to their lives and work, not just managers or professionals.
When the Map is used well, it is a humbling process. One is constantly confronted with the depth of insight people from all walks of life have into the purpose of their existence. They know what gives it meaning, and where and when meaning is lost.
We ask you to honour the intrinsic dignity of each human being with whom you work by inviting people to stand in their own strength.
4. Meaning is not a technique, it is an embodied experience
The Map of Meaning helps people uncover what is meaningful to them. It operates at all levels of human experience and works physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually.
Meaning is a relational concept. Working with the Map with others is effective to the extent that you understand how meaning works in your own life. Therefore applying the Map to yourself on a regular basis increases your ability to share the Map effectively with others.
5. The Map is the product of people’s generosity
Generosity has been integral to the development of the Map of Meaning, to getting it into the world, and to our understanding of how the Map works. We ask you to honour this principle.
Marjolein Lips-Wiersma, Patricia Greenhough, Lani Morris Founders of the Map of Meaning International Trust
The Map of Meaning is based on empirical research.
Marjolein Lips-Wiersma originally surveyed people from a variety of backgrounds and roles, including professional, managerial, blue collar and administrative on what gives meaning to their work. Marjolein summarised their answers in the Holistic Development Model. The Model was tested by Marjolein, Lani Morris and Patricia Greenhough with hundreds of people in workshops, lectures, and in organisational and therapeutic interventions. We double-checked its relevance and robustness with twenty colleagues (academics, community workers, consultants, managers and coaches) who use the model in their work. In 2010 we quantitatively tested the model on 500 participants from a wide variety of ages, occupations and cultures. This confirmed that the model captures the content and process of meaningful work. After twenty years of testing the Model in this wide range of ways, in an ever-expanding range of countries (including Romania, Saudi Arabia, and Brazil) we know the framework is robust, relevant and very useful.
In 2011 we published the book The Map of Meaning and decided to rename the Holistic Development Model, the Map of Meaning. In 2017 our original publisher, Greenleaf, was bought out by Routledge, and the second edition of our book, The Map of Meaningful Work, is published by them with worldwide distribution.
In 2017 we formed the Map of Meaning International Trust. This trust supports our goal of sharing the Map of Meaning with all peoples of the world.
The Map of Meaning International Trust goes from strength to strength. We acknowledge all who have been a key part of this growth: Marjo’s husband, Charles Lips; Patricia’s husband, Richard Greenhough; Margaret Jeffaries who was the initiator of the first Spirit@Work in conference in Christchurch in 2000 at which the Map was first made public and which created the spark that led us to begin our work together. The early pioneers who worked with the Map: Laura Brearley, Sue Howard, Dave Burton; Robin Burgess and Drew Pryde from the Scottish Institute of Business Leaders; Helena Clayton, Steve Tarpey, Kerry McGovern, who each in their own way took the Map into new parts of the world, and developed new applications. Further pioneers, Chris Henderson, Sandra Hogan and Judy McLelland also added to our work. We have also been greatly assisted by Cara Bennett of Langley Twigg, and Geof Shirtcliffe, Tim Sherman and Pearson Williams of Chapman Tripp, Wellington who gave us advice and legal support to set up the MOMICT and then complete the IP agreement with the MeaningSphere. We also acknowledge Sean Bevin who was the witness for the Trust documentation.