Cynefin® – a tale of 21 years of pioneering and stewarding

Along with Cynefin, Dave and others like Sonja Blignaut have been immersing themselves in the field of complexity for many years. Long before it became a buzzword and a trendy topic, Cognitive Edge have been pioneering and expanding the field. Drawing from fields as diverse as physics, evolutionary biology, anthropology and cognitive psychology, our ideas have been challenging conventional thinking on strategy, innovation, leadership, culture and change in human systems.

Nigel Thurlow hosts Dave Snowden and Sonja Blignaut in an in-depth conversation about the various ideas and language that Cognitive Edge has pioneered including Cynefin, anthro-complexity, naturalising sense-making, vector-based theory of change, and more. We will touch on the importance of language. As Dave says – if you don’t change your language, you can’t change your thinking.

Terms of Use

Cognitive Edge Pte Ltd. (t/a The Cynefin Company) are making this material available as part of celebrating and narrating the development and influence of the Cynefin® framework and SenseMaker  in various contexts.

This content is owned by Cognitive Edge, its licensors or other providers of such material, and is protected by United States and international copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, and other intellectual property or property rights laws. No right, title, or interest in, or to, the video, or any content in the video, is transferred to you. All rights not expressly granted are reserved by Cognitive Edge. Please note that you must not reproduce, distribute, modify, create derivative works of, publicly display, publicly perform, re-publish, download, store, or transmit this media.

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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