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When meaning loses its meaning. Part 3: “Abducted” by liminal ghosts: A Halloween special with Nora and Dave

November 1, 2022 -  
Time Zone: UTC


“What was supposed to be so special about a full moon? It was only a big circle of light. And the dark of the moon was only darkness. But halfway between the two, when the moon was between the worlds of light and dark, when even the moon lived on the edge…maybe then a witch could believe in the moon.” Terry Pratchett, Witches Abroad

There are special times in the year. Times when the veil between worlds grows thinner – when we are on the threshold between one thing and another. Halloween is such a time. So get your cauldrons boiling, gather your best stories for a dark and stormy night, light a candle, dim your lights and join us for a special reflection session.

In the previous session, Dave and Nora wondered what happens when we start pulling at the Jenga of contradictions and tensions in our contexts. In this one, some of the assumptions built into the Jenga still haunt us. As the title of this session suggests, we will explore the relationship between the liminal (the transitional) and the abductive, the ability to make novel connections between seemingly unconnected things. In other words, how do we enable innovation through linkage without falling into the “everything is relative” trap?

We will follow the threads of connection deeper into the dark forest and explore the ties that bind and entangle us together and how to approach problems collectively rather than as isolated parts. We will also return to the well of previous conversations and explore how we can create coherence without stifling multiplicity and ambiguity. Finally, on this day when many wear costumes, we will look at how language plays dress-up in metaphor. Story and metaphor are also at the core of a little homework assignment you will get to prepare yourself for the discussion once you register.

See you in the in-between.

Registration information

The second of our series on “When Meaning Loses its Meaning” will be held on November 1st, at 5.30pm UTC. Please click here to sign up for this event.

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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