Discursive sonar: The theory of mapping meaning applied

We met Jane Cherrington in 2021 whilst she was authoring a review on education. Through our conversations we learnt about Jane’s role as a sense maker and navigator in branding and recognised how her approach was core to integrative briefing. We asked Jane to articulate her praxis and here is her response…

Education 5.0. I am no educator. How then to author a review? How do you make sense of a sector, in all its complex plurality as a visitor to its space? Meaning can seem so concrete, powerful, solid on arrival. But stand back, and take a good look across any space – of cultures, sectors, groups – and meaning’s inherent instability is visible, formed as it is through individual and ongoing re-interpretations of words, stories, objects, experiences, actions, all in hot debate. Contested and contesting forms swirling in tides of incoming information; massive, complex oceans of sensory inputs (data) we swim (drown) in minute by minute, hour by hour. When overwhelmed and seeking sense, volume usually equates to form. The ocean is made of ‘this’ say the monitors. Eddying currents of less or more slipping beneath the surface of such collective registry say no, it is also made of ‘that’. Collapsing ‘that’ into ‘this’ is so common, because landing any idea of ‘truth’ of a situation does require anchor into a sufficiently common recognisable framework. A normative narrative curve. But is this acceptable when there is no normal? What hope then for integrity of navigation if truth is instability? Dissonance. Chaos even.

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