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Complexity in action week!

February 22, 2022

The Cynefin Co, Complexability and The Cynefin Centre Australia are excited to partner to showcase Complexity in Action.  

Through a range of events across the week beginning 7 March you can join global practitioners as they share their learnings, experiences, adventures and misadventures!

This week is about offering an opportunity to explore and share conversations around how people are practically applying complexity tools and methods.  It’s all about theory into applied practice.

It’s a mix of the practical ‘how it happened’ with 

  • emergent learnings, questions and processes
  • safe-to-fail elements
  • a strong emphasis on community engagement and capacity building
  • exploring new concepts and ideas

We look forward to seeing you, and colleagues you believe might be interested, at the various events.

Monday 7 March
Yarn 4 – Re-emergence: Complexity Yarns with Indigenous Thinkers

This is the fourth in a series of webinars – Indigenous thinkers in conversation with each other about complexity.

The fourth session’s thinkers will be

  • Tyson Yunkaporta, Chels Marshall from the Indigenous Knowledge Systems Lab (Deakin University Australia)
  • Dave Snowden and Beth Smith Welsh Cynefin Centre colleagues (Wales)
  • Guy Ritani (la/they/them) Creative Director at PermaQueer (New Zealand)

For more information and to book click here

Tuesday 8 March

It Happened Here … Session 1 (Using SenseMaker® to Explore Mentorship)

9.00 am – 10:00 am (AEST – Brisbane)

Ian Chisholm (Chiz) founder of The Roy Group has been fascinated by Mentorship for 25 years – and has some ridiculously strong views about the threshold between leadership and Mentorship.

With some 160 narratives already collected, this session will serve multiple purposes – a key complexity principle.  

  • Chiz will share his philosophy and principles of practice
  • Add to the growing global SenseMaker® database of experiences
  • Explore some key concepts; like the difference between coaching and mentorship and whether both structured or organic mentorship programs can work.  
  • Share what’s been discovered so far 

And, we might ask Chiz ‘Are there any surprises for someone who’s worked in the field for as long as you have’ (advanced notice question!!)

If you’re inspired already to add to collection, here’s the link ahead of the session.

To book click here

Wednesday 9 March
Session 1

It Happened Here … Session 2 – Community Activators – Glades Life Tri-City Team (Florida)

8.00 am – 9.00 am (AEST – Brisbane)

Join Palm Health Foundation’s Andy McAusland, Director of Grants and Evaluation and Glades Life Tri City Team Facilitators Cynthia Blake and Gertavian Blake as they share how they are doing community activation at the grass roots level using complex facilitation tools and methods with real impact.

Palm Health Foundation is committed to addressing social environmental factors that impact the health of communities through their role as collaborator, convener and by engaging with local partners.

In this session Andy, Cynthia and Gertavian will talk about their experience in using SenseMaker® and complex facilitation methods in working with their local communities, progress to date and how they are now becoming peer mentors to other community based initiatives.

This session is available for members of the Complexability Community of Practice.  

For those who aren’t members, here’s the link if you would like to Join the Community of Practice

For those who are already members, here’s the direct link to It Happened Here…Session 2

Wednesday 9 March
Session 2

It Happened Here … Session 3 (Complex Facilitation)

3.00 – 4.30 pm (AEST – Brisbane)

Join Complex Facilitation Program Alumni as they share experiences of using complex facilitation tools and methods.  

This is an opportunity to hear and ask questions of those who have been applying the complex facilitation tools and principles in a variety of contexts.

This session is available for members of the Complexability Community of Practice.  

For those who aren’t members, here’s the link if you would like to Join the Community of Practice

For those who are already members, here’s the direct link to It Happened Here…Session 3

Thursday 10 March
Session 1

Partnering, Complexity and Power

9.00 – 11.00 am (AEST – Brisbane)

Join this Forum to explore emerging themes and ideas from previous Practitioner Clinics, Yarns and other complexity based workshops.

Conversation starters are:

  • What do partnerships look like from a complexity perspective?
  • Exploring power dynamics, including:
    • Relationship between funders/providers
    • Power dynamics in the meeting space
    • Cultural diversity
    • Role and mandate of consultants
    • Embedded assumptions in methodologies
  • What does Decolonisation mean in this context?
  • How does monitoring and evaluation need to differ?

Numbers for this session will be limited.  Workshop catalysers to be confirmed.

This session will inform a further series of workshops.

This session is available for members of the Complexability Community of Practice.  

For those who aren’t members, here’s the link if you would like to Join the Community of Practice

For those who are already members, here’s the direct link to Partnering, Complexity and Power

Thursday 10 March
Session 2

New Approaches to Community Engagement
4.00 – 5.00 pm (AEST – Brisbane)


Join Beth Smith and Linda Doyle from The Cynefin Co as they share an ecosystem of methods that enables the collection of narrative, collective sensemaking, and insight to action design, at scale. 


An approach that can create deeper, more inclusive, and more far-reaching engagement to advance our democracies. We use real-time feedback to create more strategic and evidence-informed decision-making, and we empower citizens and communities to co- create on a local scale so they can rewrite the global story.
Citizen sensor networks provide real time feedback— essential to managing complexity—which helps to identify many different potential solutions and micro-scenarios to be explored, tested and monitored.


To book click here

Friday 11 March

Creating A More Resilient Ecology To Manage The Unimaginable
4.00 – 5.00 pm (AEST – Brisbane)


Join Dave Snowden in this session as he explores basic practices for creating a resilient ecology. These practices include:
the need for leadership to focus on the coordination of distributed decision making (except in a crisis)
creating resilience which he defines as ‘the capacity to manage with continuity of identity over time’
the role of situational assessment in strategy
creating human and human ecosystems that respond to conditions of uncertainty
managing for serendipity not certainty.


To book click here

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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.
ABOUT US

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

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