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What is Causal Layered Analysis?

Causal Layered Analysis (abbreviated as CLA) is a group sense-making technique used to explore the underlying causes and worldviews contributing to a situation. Working together, groups made up of people representing different perspectives respond to a central question with:

  • Litany: how they "feel" about it
  • Causes: what's creating the situation
  • Worldview: the perspectives shaping it
  • Myths: the underlying stories feed it

The results of a CLA exercise are often shown as an iceberg, with the Problem visible above the water, and the Litany, Causes, Worldviews, and Myths shown progressively larger below the water. When complete, groups use the CLA to better understand the problem and inform their vision of the future.

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