Amara Bains  Thinking
Amara Bains
It’s just over six weeks since I attended the Cynefin retreat on Ethics and Leadership, and it’s almost taken me that long to recover from the cognitive overload during those three days. So, why was it a cognitive overload? Well for me, it was because of three things. Firstly, the structure of the event is […]
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Catherine Khazarian
The Cynefin Retreat on ‘Learning in Complex Adaptive Systems’ was idyllically located in the Welsh countryside. A group of big, interwoven, fairy-tale-like looking trees in front of the impressive (and unpronounceable) Coed-y-Mwstwr hotel seemed to welcome us, participants. For the next three days, we would apply Dave Snowden’s Triopticon process to explore and discuss what […]
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Tim Logan
Society… as in any living organism, is the co-operative consensus of multitudes of cells, each living in exchange with others. (Dewey, J., 1931. Individualism Old and New. London: George Allen and Unwin). It’s a truism to say that education is complex. We accept it and we talk about preparing our learners to be “future-proof”, “agile” […]
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Donna Glanvill
The Cynefin Co are delighted to announce that Dave Snowden and Beth Smith will be in Australia this July and August 2022 for a series of events and workshops, hosted in partnership with the Cynefin Center Australia and Complexability. Overall, the trip is built around a theme of community engagement in sharing lived experiences and […]
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Sue Borchardt
This fall I had the pleasure of being a member of the faculty for a Cynefin retreat on aesthetics and semiotics. It was a deep dive at the intersection of beauty and meaning and was, for me, a rare opportunity to “sense-make” in community. Often I’m left to do my deep sense-making in solitude, creating […]
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The location of the Cynefin Retreat about Narrative in Organisations (Ireland, 18-21 March 2019) is specially chosen for its unique landscape and naturally rugged beauty. This is so as to facilitate learning, sense-making, the blending of art and science, and also to loosen constraints on the imagination with a view to releasing artistic creativity and ‘joining […]
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Dave Snowden
The pictures here are from the first ever Cynefin Retreat in Snowdonia last year; our fourth retreat, the third of 2018 will be in the same location in a few weeks time. Last year we put together some interesting people and just let things happen; this year we have been more structured. In Whistler earlier […]
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Dave Snowden
In yesterday’s post I illustrated the difference between a resilient and a robust system by contrasting a salt marsh with a sea wall. The Sea Wall is highly efficient, it creates a clear boundary but when it breaks the result is catastrophic. It can only survive as it is. I can add sluice gates that […]
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Dave Snowden
Our first retreat of 2018 explored the general area of design and innovation. It took place in Whistler with an outstanding faculty and a lot of participation from the delegates. Combining the event with our first ever Train the Trainer session also produced multiple benefits. In that linked event we took an approach (that may […]
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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.
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