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Cynefin Retreat: Leadership & Ethics recordings (AU 09-23)

£99 £99



Cynefin Retreats bring outstanding faculty and engaged, interesting participants together to sow the seeds of new creation. Part intensive conference, part symposium, and part laboratory, they allow us to keep evolving and ensure that our work is regularly exposed to new ideas, while also benefiting those who come to explore alongside us.

LEADERSHIP & ETHICS: Our September 2023 Retreat brought together a diverse group to explore the theme of Leadership and Ethics through the lens of complexity theory. Join us to explore and make sense of the issues, challenges and possibilities facing leaders in complex contexts.


VIDEO 1:  46 min

  • Dave introduction to process
  • Eagle 1 – Jacqueline Boaks – Lecturer in leadership & ethics at Curtin University, VP of the Australian Association for Professional and Applied Ethics
  • Responses from Eagles 2, 3 and Dave

VIDEO 2: 26 min

  • Raven groups discussion feedback

VIDEO 3: 56 min

  • Eagle 2 – Ingrid Burkett – Professor & Director, Centre for Systems Innovation at Griffith University
  • Responses from Eagles 1, 3 and Dave

VIDEO 4: 38 min

  • Raven groups discussion feedback

VIDEO 5:  67 min

  • Eagle 3 – Tio Taiaki – Associate Director, Maori Health & Equity at Deloitte New Zealand
  • Responses from Eagles 2, 3 and Dave

VIDEO 6: 29 min

  • Raven groups discussion feedback

VIDEO 7: 15 min

  • Introduction to action phase and Beaver groups by Dave
  • Dave input on ethical principles

VIDEO 8: 47 min

  • Beaver groups share their summary of learnings and insights
  • Dave reflections

VIDEO 9: 39 min

  • Beaver groups reflections on actions


Each retreat is stimulated by a faculty, called Eagles, providing provocative food for thought and supported by the Cynefin Co team including Dave Snowden. Our faculties represent different backgrounds and points of view and we deliberately combine academic and practitioner perspectives.

Our Eagles for this Retreat were:

  • Ingrid Burkett – Professor & Director, Centre for Systems Innovation at Griffith University
  • Tio Taiaki – Associate Director, Maori Health & Equity at Deloitte New Zealand
  • Jacqueline Boaks – Lecturer in leadership & ethics at Curtin University, VP of the Australian Association for Professional and Applied Ethics

Jacqueline Boaks


Dr Jacqueline Boaks has a background in management, consultancy and academia. She has taught ethics and leadership at University of Western Australia, Notre Dame University and Curtin University. She teaches ethics and leadership to MBA students at the Curtin Graduate School of Business.

She is the Vice-President of the Executive Committee of the Australian Association of Professional and Applied Ethics, the founder of the WA Ethics Outside Philosophy group, the co-editor of Leadership and Ethics (Bloomsbury) and has published widely on democracy, ethics and leadership.

Jacqueline holds a PhD in Philosophy (University of Western Australia) and a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education (Curtin University).

Her current research areas include leadership, applied ethics, business ethics, and the question of dirty hands in leadership and a research project on Adoration and Leadership with Adam Andreotta.

Tio Taiaki, BMS (Waikato)


Kia ora and greetings from Aotearoa New Zealand! As the youngest child of five, and now a devoted husband and father of three children – I draw energy, vitality and purpose in my leadership roles from having strong morals, values and principles, knowing who I am in the present, drawing inspiration from my past experiences, and pursuing what I want for my future, with enthusiasm and hope.

I’m currently an Associate Director with the Māori Health & Equity Division of Deloitte NZ and hold several board governor roles across public and private sector entities. My background includes leadership roles across education, social services, health, IT, financial services and community engagement sectors. Educated through a series of state and private boarding schools, tertiary institutes and indigenous universities, and through experiences and observations of elders and cultural experts, my leadership journey is grounded in a sense of service, ethics and humility.

My current work allows me to help grow leadership capability across our national health sector, illuminating systemic racism, bias and inequities towards indigenous populations and exploring and making sense of the challenges, barriers and opportunities where everyone can achieve optimal health and wellbeing. My work also allows me to lead strategic initiatives within the transformation and reforms of the New Zealand Health system, as it looks to deconstruct and rebuild a health system that has failed to deliver for indigenous populations over successive generations.

I enjoy time with my family, play musical instruments (but not very well) and keep active through outrigger canoe paddling and swimming.

I look forward to exploring what Leadership and Ethics means for you, the people you serve and those who are important to you.

Ingrid Burkett


Ingrid Burkett is Professor and Co-Director at the Griffith Centre for Systems Innovation at Griffith University. She is a social designer, designing processes, products and knowledge that deepen social impact and facilitate social innovation. She is passionate about how we can grow social impact, and particularly about how we can develop more effective ways to foster ‘the business of social impact’.

Ingrid has worked in the community sector, government and with the private sector and believes that each of these sectors has a valuable role to play in social innovation. She is a Past President of the International Association for Community Development and was the Inaugural Social Design Fellow at the Centre for Social Impact at UNSW and UWA. Ingrid is also a practicing artist and graphic designer. She weaves this passion into all her work.

Ingrid has qualifications in Graphic Design, Social Work (B.SocWk, first class honours); Business (Masters in Business); and Community Economic Development (PhD). Ingrid has particular expertise in the design of economic processes and products, and is recognised internationally for her work in community finance, social investment, social procurement, social enterprise and not-for-profit sustainability.

Retreat method: Triopticon


Cynefin Retreats follow the Triopticon method, bringing together diverse expert perspectives in a collective sense-making process. Read up on the Triopticon: see the Triopticon wiki page or the YouTube explainer video.

The Triopticon is designed to enhance exploration and understanding, allowing all voices to be heard (literally) and new possibilities to emerge. It uses experts as food for thought rather than ultimate authorities and prevents us from narrowing to a single point of view too soon.

In a Triopticon, three keynote speakers (Eagles) offer different views and perspectives on a theme, and the rest of the participants (Ravens) gather in small sense-making groups to process, distil insights and then recombine to consider concrete “so what?” implications and actions.


  • Eagles: A Triopticon begins with input from three Eagles, typically individuals seen as authorities or disruptive thinkers in their respective fields. These Eagles are invited to offer provocative viewpoints as inputs into the collective sense-making process. Each Eagle represents different but interconnected disciplines within a given overarching context or theme.
  • Ravens: in the initial phase of a Triopticon, while the Eagles are sharing their perspectives, the majority of the participants are playing the role of Ravens, working in set groups of 3 to make sense of the presentations. They are “the canny ones” working to extract insights and explore them through further discussion across Raven trios.
  • Beavers: In the second phase of the process, participants are the builders and makers. Beaver groups are formed through a recombination of the Raven groups. Each Beaver group ideally consists of 1 member from each Raven group.

In addition, Triopticon uses observers and agitators in specially choreographed roles to disrupt norms, support cross-pollination of thinking, and encourage entanglement.

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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