Dave Snowden  Thinking
Dave Snowden
Actant, a significant term in our work, is not just about humans but takes a broader concept of agency.  Its origin lies in Greimas’s structural semantics and narrative theory, and it builds on early work, including fascinating material on the morphology of folktales.  It is part of a body of work that builds on structuralism […]
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Dave Snowden
Peder Söderlind pinged me on a LinkedIn post, which picked up a fair following, in part because of its very intriguing opening sentence: Doing my best to be a bit braver and trust my own thinking.  The link takes you to an article that seeks to view curiosity as a collective movement.   It coincided […]
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Dave Snowden
Some years ago, I picked up Jeremy Lent’s book The Patterning Instinct: A cultural history of humanity’s search for meaning largely based on the title and the fact that it had an introduction by Fritjof Capra.  As a book, it seeks to break the pervasiveness of Cartesian Dualism and “the tired clichés of the science-religion […]
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Anna Panagiotou
This blog post was created through the joined efforts of Beth Smith and Anna Panagiotou. If you are following our work and social media, you have probably heard about Estuarine Mapping. Estuarine Mapping explores what our current environment does and doesn’t allow us to do. The ultimate purpose is to change the environment so that the […]
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Jules Yim
What do people’s feelings towards the wooden buildings they live in and around have to do with property development now and in the future? Quite a lot. Before the rise of ubiquitous concrete, glass and steel structures in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, locals relied primarily on wood and other natural materials to build houses, resulting […]
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Dave Snowden
I’ve been spending a fair amount of time over the last month stabilising the current version of Estuarine Mapping ready for the Hexi kit version, but I have also been looking at some of the work that needs to be done to embed it into a broader framing of strategy.  This has focused on questions […]
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Dave Snowden
I went out to the hazel wood, Because a fire was in my head, And cut and peeled a hazel wand, And hooked a berry to a thread; And when white moths were on the wing, And moth-like stars were flickring out, I dropped the berry in a stream And caught a little silver trout.’ […]
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Beth Smith
In a world where algorithms and AI are hot topics, we at The Cynefin Co regularly get asked, “What algorithms or AI does SenseMaker® use to analyse the stories?” One of the key differentiators and fundamental paradigm shifts that SenseMaker® offers is that, unlike many survey or engagement tools, the software does not use pre-coded […]
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Anna Panagiotou
I might not write another blog in the MassSense series for a while, so I wanted this one to be a banger: an expanded exploration, twice as long as usual and focusing on more than one insight. As a reminder, this series draws from an open-source situational assessment we ran in 2020 and 2021 as […]
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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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