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Two-day “Beyond Cynefin” Masterclass with Dave Snowden – London

September 17, 2024 -  September 18, 2024
Time Zone: Europe/London


Understanding complexity is vital for thriving in today’s ever-changing environments. This requires sensemaking; the ability to understand and react appropriately to different contexts.

In 2021, Dave Snowden and the EU’s Science and Knowledge Service wrote a guide to managing complexity, providing tools for decision-making in complex settings. Building on this, the Cynefin Company’s agile programme offers tools for decision support, engagement, and collective sensemaking. It promotes deep, inclusive engagement and evidence-informed decision-making, useful in areas like agile development, marketing, and project management.

This Masterclass will explore Rewilding Agile, a return to the original agile manifesto away from standardised frameworks. Join Dave and a growing movement of agile professionals globally to explore alternative futures and ways of engaging in our work.

Event Details

Target audience
Agile practitioners, Scrum Masters, Product Owners, middle managers, team leaders, agile coaches, product managers, consultants

2 days

Masterclass: this format will include elements of Lecture (sharing knowledge and ideas), workshop and discussion, and facilitated exercises to experience methods and put principles into practice.



  • Sensemaking and managing in complexity
  • Estaurine Mapping and a new approach to direction and strategy
  • Hexis and complex facilitation approaches
  • Agile and product innovation applications

Learning Objectives

  • Explore the challenges and opportunities of complexity and particularly anthro-complexity and how this impacts on decision-making and collective action.
  • Reflect on sensemaking and strategy in agile with the three key frameworks: Cynefin, Flexuous Curves and Estuarine Mapping.
  • Unpack the life cycle of management ideas, the ecosystem of the markets and how to spot signs of coming change, using them to your advantage to shift market position.
  • Understand what you can, and can’t manage in complexity and therefore direct your efforts for effectively as a team lead, manager or leader (or really, any role!)
  • Unpack and experience a set of tools and techniques to manage complex systems and effectively anticipate the unknown ‘unknowables’ in planning
  • Discover three key actions (aligned to the EU Field Guide) that can be taken at multiple levels in ordinary times, to better prepare for the unexpected and to thrive in crisis
  • Gain hands-on experience with Estuarine mapping, a new approach to mapping your current reality and discovering strategic possibilities, constraints and options.
  • Experience complex facilitation using the Cynefin Co hexi packs, including the latest 2023 updates to this facilitation toolkit (note: no hexi kit required)

“When we look at problems only as scientific or technical in nature, removed from the context to which they are responding, they may be complicated, but they generally can be solved through straightforward, scientific and engineering design models. But, when we understand these problems as embedded within human contexts that organize themselves through changing social, political, economic, and cultural belief systems, we are in the realm of complexity”.
– Design Unbound – Designing for emergence in a white water world

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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