Mapathon 21 begins on Thursday September 23rd at the Autumn Equinox, when day and night are equally long, and continues until Saturday 25th September: World Dream Day.

Results will be woven together, and exhibited online September 29th, which is World Heart Day.

23-25 September

Mapathon 21

This September many groups around the world will think about their desired futures & make maps showing how to get there

How to shape your futures with your own voice

How will your world look in 2025? How would you shape it?

Mapathon 21 is about people envisioning desired futures, and creating stories & maps that describe them.

Groups from all over the world will think about the futures they really want.

We will weave these results together, and exhibit them online.

And bring them to the attention of people making decisions about the future of the world.

Inspire us with your stories!

What if we could map desired futures together?

People are often disheartened by the negative prognosis of many recent attempts to anticipate the future. Dark and frightening predictions are a wake-up call, but they can also scare people into apathy.

This Marathon invites you to think in a positive way about the world you would like to live in – in 2025, beyond Covid-19 – and about the steps needed to get there.

Positive images build inner strength, focus the imagination, and can move us to action. Positive maps help us navigate the future.

Co-creating a map of desired future. Illustration: Arye Dvir

How it works?​


Send us the join-form, and you become part of the global Positive Cartography community. Anything you want to know before joining? Ask us, and we will respond quickly. Use the link to join form

Create a group

Groups can be colleagues in an organization, association or club, students at school, neighbors, a group of friends. OR: join an online group with people who may know each other before they start.

Make a plan

Make a plan for the Mapathon. Decide how the group will participate in the Mapathon? At face to face meetings or online work sessions? In one long session lasting several hours, or several one or two hours sessions? At what time and on which days will you work?

Imagine your desired future

‘What does the world look like in 2025 - beyond Covid-19’?
Think about the question: How do you want the world to look in 2025? Describe it in words, and with pictures. What makes that world different from the world today? Why do you want it like that? How is it a positive future?

Tell a story, draw a map

Meet with your group (face-to-face, or online). Now it's time to tell each other about the desired futures you want, in pictures and words. Does the group have one story, or many stories? What do they have in common? What has to happen in order to get there? Make a road-map for the journey.

How will you get there?

Because this is a positive future - your desired future - what steps will YOU take to get there? What are the concrete actions (small ar large) the group and its members can take? What steps will you take? Upload your map to the Positive Cartography website.

From desire to action, from action to reality

After the Mapathon. Time to relax. . .or not? Think about the first steps towards your desired futures? The road-map is already there.

Additional information will be posted here regularly. We are working on a guidelines for Mapathon 21 which we’ll send to everyone who joins.

The Big Question

‘What does the world look like in 2025, beyond Covid-19?'

The ‘world beyond Covid’ will be many things. The things we have learned about making vaccines, and taking fast and positive action. Different health practices and better cooperation between organizations.

And there are many questions: What to do about Climate? And the ‘inner climate,’ the mindsets driving how decisions get made? Questions about education, the economy, and the environment.

‘What does the world look like in 2025?’ is clearly a Big Question.

During this global Mapathon we invite you to use visual storytelling, collective imagination and personal conviction to explore answers to ‘powerful’ questions like:

  • What is the future you are preparing for beyond COVID 19?
  • What is the future you are ready to invest in beyond COVID 19? 
  • Where will you take the future?


Join the global Mapathon 21

Are you  interested in sharing your ideas about the world you want to live in beyond Covid?

People in two dozen countries, communities in The Netherlands, Sweden, and several other countries  – plus a number of international organizations – have already indicated they will join.

Share your ideas with the world.

The Mapathon 2021 team has arranged three Positive Cartography workshops, scheduled at different times, and we hope one of them will fit your agenda and time zone.  

In addition, you are encouraged to organize a workshop with and for your colleagues, and we will happy to provide advice on how to run it. 

Are you interested in joining, knowing more about this Mapathon, or about Positive Cartography?

Interactive Atlas of Positive Cartography

While you are creating your maps, other groups around the world are focusing on the same ‘big question’.

Following Mapathon 21, our team will consolidate all the maps we have in an Interactive Atlas. 

A tapestry of ideas about the different futures we want.

You can add to the Atlas, and change the maps, as your ideas change.

This autumn, winter, and spring, there will be meetings all over the world where people make decisions about what to do. What to do about Climate, about Corona, about our Cities, about the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Your stories and maps should to be on the agenda there too.

Global Conversation for Sharing the Results Online

29 September 2021

16:00 – 18:00 (CEST)

Let's make our voices heard

These are some of the places where your ideas can be heard.

Stockholm 50+

50th anniversary of the UN Environment Programme

Positive Future – the city in 2100

About our lifestyles in the coming century

Voices of the Future

Children & young people thinking the future

FAQ | What to expect?

A Hackathon brings people together and asks them to help solve somebody else’s problem.

This Mapathon asks people to define their own preferred futures, and think about how to get there.

Mapathon 21 asks you to think about big questions about possible futures. It lasts 3 days, in order to give you enough time to really think about what you want from the future, and what you are willing to give.

You can work on this for part of the three days, or all three days, or longer. It depends on how important the questions are to you.

Small groups work together, use pictures  to show what their desired futures look like. Together the group discovers what is common to everyone’s story. 

The story may be about the health of society, of your city, your country. It may reference the way we practice our profession, or learn things at school, or do things online. It may be about climate, or energy, or how people relate to each other, or how government relates to people.

Then they think about how to get there. They check their thinking with what science has to say, and get advice from experts online.

The groups draws a map to visualize the story, and uploads it here.

We will weave your maps of the world together, with the other groups in Mapathon 21.

Participation can take many forms.

People can work face-to-face or online.

Groups can decide to work for several hours on one of the days.

Or work for two or more hours on two days, or even on all three days.

In practice, 3-4 hours is probably the minimum investment. 

Groups can choose the form that works best for them.

If the question is important to them, they can continue to work together after the Mapathon, and upload new stories and ideas.

A map can take many forms: 

  • a drawing-board (with pictures and words) on an online application (e.g. MIRO), or made with an online mapping-program. 
  • a set of handmade drawings, or a landscape drawn together on a large sheet of paper. 
  • a 6-slide presentation, with voiceover.
  • a 2-minute video.

There are many ways to tell a story about your preferred future, and how you think we can get there. 

Positive Cartography is about visual thinking, storytelling, consulting science, and making maps

It is a way to help communities envision desired futures, and create stories and maps that describe them.

Then consult with science, to keep the stories possible.

Plus one additional ingredient – the commitment mapmakers make to think about actions they can take to make their futures happen.

In this way, we take hopeful steps towards the futures we want for society.

International groups are encouraged to work in English.

Groups in one country can work in their own language.

And send us a summary of their story in English.


A history of the future

A gallery of interesting Positive Maps

Since the beginning of history, people have felt the need to make positive maps of their world. Some of these have had profound impact – they have changed the world. Many can inspire us still.

Positive Cartography is much needed in the third decade of the 21st century. There are many landscapes of gloom and frightening future-scapes circulating through the media. Where are the ones that inspire?

Have you seen a Positive Map that inspired you? Please send us a link (to a webpage, Facebook page, image or video clip) and contribute to this growing gallery.

The Sky Scenario

The Sky scenario illustrates a technically possible, but challenging pathway for society to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. Sky builds on previous Shell scenarios publications and is our most optimistic scenario in terms of climate outcomes.

Read More »

Reasons to be Cheerful

Reasons to be Cheerful is a non-profit editorial project that is tonic for tumultuous times.

We tell stories that reveal that there are, in fact, a surprising number of reasons to feel cheerful.

Read More »

A positive map of an Education City

The Education City aims to create an educational social system and to build a community that takes responsibility for expressing the uniqueness of the individual, and inviter them to shape the world in which they live.

Read More »

Palmanova | revolutionary form of an ideal city

On 7 October 1593, the superintendent of the Venetian Republic founded a revolutionary new kind of settlement: Palmanova. Built ex nihilo according to humanist and military specifications, Palmanova was supposed to be inhabited by self-sustaining merchants, craftsmen, and farmers.

Read More »

Utopia by Thomas More | 1516

Willigula:”Hand-tinted map of the Island of Utopia from A Fruitful and Pleasant Work of the Best State of a Public Weal, and of the New Isle Called Utopia by Thomas Moore, 1516″,

Read More »

Netherlands 2120

In 100 years from now, the Netherlands will be a land of green cities, circular agriculture, and more forests, water and swamps. A climate-proof Netherlands

Read More »

Who are the people behind the Mapathon

Mapathon 21 is an initiative of the Global Lab for Societal Innovation.

In the Mapathon Core-team are:

Leif Edvinsson (Sweden), Ron Dvir (Israel), Karl McFaul (Romania), Frits Bussemaker (The Netherlands), Chabela Maturana Parraguez (The Nethelands), Arnold Koning (The Netherlands), Hank Kune (The Netherlands)

Other people are welcome to join the team!

Contact us


Mapathon 2021 team

Hank Kune | ⁦+31 6 50691371⁩ |

Arnold Koning |

Chabela Maturana |

Ron Dvir |


Join the global Mapathon 2021​

Are you interested in contributing your ideas about the world you want to live in beyond Covid?

pls. correct if needed: The Mapathon 2021 team has organized three Positive Cartography workshops, scheduled at different times, and we hope one of them will fit your agenda and time zone.  

Or, you are warmly welcome to organize a workshop with and for your colleagues, and we will be happy to provide advice on how to run it. 

Positive Future – the city in 2100

The 1st Positive Future competition was launched this Spring.

The competition is an invitation to think about our lifestyles and urban spaces in the coming century. The goal is to encourage the creation and dissemination of energizing visions that describe a desirable world that is worth living in. It will reward creative and original contributions on the theme of “The City in 2100” that are believable from scientific, technical, political and social standpoints, and include the ability to generate commitment, create social links, and provide directly actionable perspectives.

Awards will be announced online in September. A new competition on a similar theme is planned for 2022.

Thanks for your response

We will contact you soon with further information

Mapathon 2021 team