Making Sense of Complexity

The Cynefin Company is an action research and development hub working at the limits of applied complexity science, where sparks become light, light becomes research, and research becomes practice. 

Prevailing Currents

Learning & training, current events, trending publications and all kinds of interesting new things like programmes and webinars are at the top of our minds right now. Have a look.

Advanced Cynefin & Sense-making Intensive
May 15, 2024 - May 17, 2024

This Advanced Cynefin & Sense-making residential programme offers a deep dive into our theory, practice and tools in a residential retreat-style setting. Including:

  • Anthro-complexity on one slide – AIMS, 3As, Constraints and Constructors
  • All three frameworks as an integrated methods and tools ecosystem:
    1. Apex Predator (Flexuous Curves)
    2. Estuarine Mapping
    3. Cynefin Framework and Mapping
  • Complex facilitation and Hexis
  • Scaffolding and tactics to lead clients into the conversation about complex sense-making
  • Managing uncertainty (putting the EU Field Guide into practice)

AI Triopticon
June 27, 2024 - June 29, 2024

Tropticon is a formal workshop method that facilitates the interaction between different disciplines, participants, ideas, and beliefs. It encourages the sharing of conflicting points of view and actively involves the whole participant group in a collective sense-making process to enhance understanding.

It uses experts as food for thought rather than ultimate authorities and prevents us from narrowing to a single point of view too soon.

Discover our Triopticon 3-day workshop on AI, ML, and Ethics with Dave Snowden, The Cynefin Co team, and our Eagles. Sponsorship options are available.

Learn more

Hexi method packs kits

As part of our effort to rewild The Cynefin Company with the move away from the Cognitive Edge name, we have started focusing on our methods. We have spent much of our focus this year on producing and testing our Hexi facilitation kits. 



The Cynefin Co hosts a range of events including Masterclasses, Advanced Training, Retreat, Members & Public meetups,  and Partner events. 

Training and Learning with The Cynefin Company focus on Complexity theory-informed practices.

We offer various development pathways for Organisations and individuals through facilitated events (virtual and in-person), together with online self-paced learning products and mentoring journeys.

Browse learning

Gain unique insights into your  Research, business, community, markets, employees, and broader socio-economic contexts with the world's first rich data collecting crowdsourcing tool.

If you are new to SenseMaker you can start with the basics of  "What is SenseMaker"



We are the pioneer of the field of complexity, charting the way before complexity became mainstream. We created the concepts of Naturalising Sense-making, Distributed Ethnography, Flexuous curves (formerly Apex Predator theory), and have developed the whole field now known as Anthro-complexity: complexity as experienced in human systems.


St David’s 2024: 5/5 The 3A’s & more
This final post in the annual update series has a flavour of putting things together and tying up some loose ends.   When I started the series I listed seven frameworks; three are stable or have only recently been updated, so other than listing them, there are no updates.  Those are Cynefin, Flexuous Curves and […]
Typologies in pieces: Fragmentation, reconnection, and granularity
 The summer of 2012 was crucial in my thesis – I had finished my theoretical framework and a couple of chapters. I was about to tackle the most grounded part of my research: wading through a lake of approximately 40,000 bits of broken pottery.  The purpose was to make sense of that material to understand […]
International Women’s Day: Narratives and Networks
When I was asked to reflect on the role of women in science, philosophy, and research for International Women’s Day, I was immediately taken back to an A-level history lesson at the age of 18.  We were lucky enough to have a teacher who inspired us with tales of his previous life working in the […]
see all our thinking here


Engage with us. Join the ever-growing community around the world. Learn something from us, so that we, in turn, can learn something from you. Make sense of complexity, so that you can act accordingly, and navigate uncertainty.
contact  us  here

About the Cynefin Company

The Cynefin Company (formerly known as Cognitive Edge) was founded in 2005 by Dave Snowden. We believe in praxis and focus on building methods, tools and capability that apply the wisdom from Complex Adaptive Systems theory and other scientific disciplines in social systems. We are the world leader in developing management approaches (in society, government and industry) that empower organisations to absorb uncertainty, detect weak signals to enable sense-making in complex systems, act on the rich data, create resilience and, ultimately, thrive in a complex world.

Cognitive Edge Ltd. & Cognitive Edge Pte. trading as The Cynefin Company and The Cynefin Centre.


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