Check All Events Here

Home / Product

Cynefin Retreat: UK April 2023


April 19, 2023 -  April 22, 2023
Time Zone: Europe/London
SKU: UK_RETREAT_2023 Categories: , , ,


Our next Cynefin Retreat returns to Wales, in the beautiful Vale of Glamorgan (Bridgend, Wales) from 19-22 April 2023 on the theme of education through the lens of complex adaptive systems.

Our 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.  Our Retreat Faculty (Eagles) play a significant role in shaping the agenda and focus of a Retreat, and we are excited about the diverse perspectives they offer.  

Ticket Options

This Retreat offers two options – a full residential (dinner, bed and breakfast x 3 days) option and a day visitor option for those who live nearby or prefer to book alternative accommodation.

  • All tickets include day conferencing, lunch and all Retreat session activities. Full tickets also include accommodation for the nights of 19, 20 and 21 April on a DBB basis.
  • Delegates are responsible for arranging their own travel to the retreat venue (note agenda begins at 5pm on the Wednesday to allow for travel). The Cynefin Co can assist with recommended transfer services to and from local train stations or airports.
  • Food items outside of a retreat’s meal plan including alcoholic beverages are subject to additional charges payable by attendee either directly to the venue provider or Cognitive Edge.

About Retreats

Cynefin Retreats are where we 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 ensuring that our work is regularly exposed to new ideas, while also benefiting those who come to explore alongside us. Sitting at the transition from research to action, Cynefin Retreats are the embodiment of the Cynefin Co philosophy.

Cynefin Retreats follow the Tropticon method, bringing together divergent expert perspectives in a collective sense-making process. Read up on the Method that underlies our Retreat – the Triopticon: see the Triopticon wiki page or the YouTube explainer video.

In a Triopticon, three keynote speakers (Eagles) offer divergent views and perspectives on the theme, and the rest of the participants (Ravens) gather in small sense-making groups to process, distil insights and then consider concrete “so what?” implications and actions. Note: Retreat delegates are all active participants, not just observers. 


  • Weds 19th: arrival day – optional activities begin 6pm with casual dinner
  • Thurs 20th: full day Retreat (9am-5pm)
  • Fri 21st: full day Retreat (9am-5pm)
  • Sat 22nd: morning Retreat, farewell lunch – guests depart from 13:30

Eagles (Faculty)

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. 

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.


This year we return to our roots in Wales for our next UK/EU Retreat, focused around the theme of education in complex adaptive systems.

Our location is the Coed-y-Mwstwr (meaning: ‘the noisy wood’) – a charming Victorian mansion set in a leafy, wooded location in Coychurch, Bridgend, Wales with far-reaching views across the Vale of Glamorgan and beyond to the north Devon coast. 

Cynefin retreats are residential and full tickets are inclusive of all accommodation, meals, and session activities for the duration of the Retreat. This year, we are also offering Day Visitor tickets for those who live nearby or prefer to source their own accommodation. Please note that the retreat venue has limited accommodations and Retreat tickets will be limited by venue capacity. 



Voluntary cancellations are permitted up to 3 weeks prior to the event start and a 50% refund will be provided. No refunds for cancellations made 3 weeks or less prior to event. Attendee substitutions are permitted at any time.


Cognitive Edge reserves the right to cancel or re-schedule training sessions if staff illness or lockdowns prevent us proceeding. In the event of cancellation or rescheduling, a registered attendee can request a full refund of course fees. Refunds will be processed within ten (10) business days of refund request.

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.


Social Links: The Cynefin Company
Social Links: The Cynefin Centre
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram