Development conference blog: Day 1

November 30, 2009

I am out here Wageningen University with a group of people all interested in Development. The event is over two days and is about Being strategic in the face of complexity .   I managed my way here through the Dutch public transport system, maintaining my purity in respect of the use of public transport, on Sunday and after three attempts got a room key that worked. Monday morning I had the opening keynote and provided an introduction to our approach to complexity, but made the point to strongly differentiate complexity from systems dynamics and also made it clear that human complex systems are different. I will blog on that specifically later today or tomorrow. Aside from the keynote I ran a session in the afternoon for those interested in which we did a cynefin workshop with ritual dissent. Oh, and they have a great cartoonist in action, for obvious reasons I liked this one, more later on my flickr stream.

The general conference blog, run by The Broker can be found here.

The other keynote on day one was about creating pathways to scale. A six stage model

  1. The eureka moment
  2. Experimental
  3. Enterprise
  4. Ecosystem
  5. Economy

One of his examples is on solar micro-franchising, replacing expensive and damaging use of kerosine. Most of the presentation is about finding innovative ways to fund this, through sponsorship, peer to peer loans and the like. Focus on social entrepreneurship. I didn’t have my act together to make detailed notes here, but its worth looking up the detail of the work of Volans.

My presentation is here and the pod cast is here.

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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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