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Cynefin Education Retreat 2023 – Recordings


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Our Cynefin Retreat in Wales from 19-22 April 2023 focused on the theme of education through the lens of complex adaptive systems. This theme is an invitation to explore the possibilities, challenges and dynamics of lifelong learning, unlearning and re-learning in the context of complexity. We intend our definition of education to include all stages and forms of lifelong learning both formal and informal.

For those who could not join in person, we offer a package of recordings of the key plenary sessions and group discussions.

Eagles (faculty)

Each retreat is stimulated by a faculty, called Eagles, who provide provocative food for thought and whose inputs form a key part of the Retreat recorded content. Our faculties represent different backgrounds and points of view and we deliberately combine academic and practitioner perspectives.

Lene Rachel Andersen

I am an economist, author, futurist, and Bildung activist. After studying business economy for three years, I worked as a substitute teacher before I studied theology. During my studies, I wrote entertainment for Danish television until I decided to quit theology, become a full-time writer, and focus on technological development, big history, and the future of humanity. Since 2005, I have written 20 books and received two Danish democracy awards: Ebbe Kløvedal-Reich Democracy Baton (2007) and Døssing Prisen, the Danish librarians’ democracy prize (2012). Among my books are The Nordic Secret (2017), Metamodernity (2019), Bildung (2020), What is Bildung? (Erasmus+ 2021), and Libertism (2022). I am a full member of the Club of Rome, president of the Copenhagen based bildung lab Nordic Bildung, and initiator of Global Bildung Network, Global Bildung Day, and European Bildung Day.

Jane Booth

Jane Booth is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Social Policy at University of Wolverhampton. Her research interests are in co-production and developing community-facing learning in the social sciences. She is part of a collaborative project with University of Bradford called “Dying 2 Talk”: working co-productively with young people and voluntary organizations to co-design resources to prompt conversations about death and dying. She has published journal articles on coproduction and community-based learning. She is module leader for a number of community-based learning modules at University of Wolverhampton.

In her previous role at University of Bradford she developed IMPACT: a volunteer ‘bank’ for social science students. Students also worked with voluntary sector organizations and service users to co-produce activities for people with mental health issues which formed the basis of a community event. This project resulted in her being awarded the 2017 Teaching Award at University of Bradford. Jane worked in the voluntary sector for a number of years post PhD, including managing the “Women in Governance” project in Southwest London to get women from disadvantaged backgrounds involved in decision-making, and managing a project for a national autism charity, supporting parent carer forums to work with Local Authorities to ensure better outcomes for children with disabilities.

Caryn Vanstone

Caryn’s work focuses on adaptive culture and performance change in global organisations, non-profits and small institutions, and UK Government Departments and Agencies. She is most often brought in by companies when they have some kind of ‘shock’, or are instigating a major strategic change, resulting in the need to profoundly shift mindsets, patterns of behaviour, or cultural norms. She helps them to not only look at themselves in a new way, but to co-create generative and life-giving ways to move forward with energy and purpose.

Her academic community is now Exeter University Business School, where she is a Faculty member, supervising and teaching on the MBA and MSc in Social Entrepreneurship, in the field of ecological, adaptive approaches to leadership, innovation and culture with a focus deep resilience, drawing on the beauty of the natural world and ecosystems as inspiration. After a patchy relationship with education in her teens (preferring surfing, gardening and beach-bumming), she returned to education in 1997, achieving an MSc (Distinction) in Organisation Consulting in 1999.

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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