Our education programme is still a fledgeling in its structured form. Still, it draws from years of experience and multiple countries and institutions applying SenseMaker to learning, students, and life in educational institutions and it is growing through application and experience.
Programme Description
Who is this for?
Why Participate?
More Information
What does this program include?
Options & Pricing

The consideration of everything the label of “education” could encompass is never-ending. It contains two areas of particular and immediate interest to us at the Centre: the process of learning and research on the one hand, and the connection with younger people and their capacities as they are growing and changing on the other. We see education as integrated into all aspects of society, not as a world apart.

Projects in this area can and have run the gamut, from schoolchildren to the ivory tower of academia. In its current iteration, the Cynefin Centre education programme works with institutions from universities to primary schools and national organisations, as well as individual researchers. It is active in making students an active part of their university’s operation, understanding their experience, and putting as many tools as possible into their hands. It is also trying to target key concerns such as anti-racism in academic institutions or the relationships between schools and communities. This programme is still in a growth stage and welcomes projects in new areas of potentially more general applicability.

This programme is for everyone active in any area of education, theoretical or applied. Types of clients so far have included university departments, research institutes, primary and secondary schools, education-promoting foundations, technical universities, and PhD students. Everyone is welcome, so don’t hesitate to reach out.

There are many reasons to invest in education, the field where we shape the way people think, learn, and approach the world and is shaped by those very same things in return. The ability to innovate, empathise, connect, and participate can all be boosted through education. Moreover, the world rarely listens to young people’s actual priorities, needs, and concerns to the degree they deserve, and we would like to help change that.

From a more practical point of view, joining the education programme can help educators and institutions respond to actual needs in real time. Joiners can collect data on the landscape of ideas in their institutions, design and target interventions in a participatory way, keep an ear out for the stories on the ground, and collect the kind of material they can use in their planning and advocacy. For students, participating in projects can offer research and practical skills that are in demand nowadays, but, most importantly, it can offer a sense of active participation and engagement in the world. At scale, this programme could be an opportunity to turn young minds into human sensor networks that see things the adults, more set in their ways, cannot notice.


These are just a few examples, with emphasis on the ones where material is available online. This section is going to be updated with ongoing projects as new information is generated.

  • The Belonging Study at Georgetown university explores the sense of belonging among students and why some feel immediately at home while others don’t, primarily focusing on students who are the first generation in their families to attend university. You can read the results here.
  • In the context of increasing pessimism and rapid change, the UNDP collaborated with Cognitive Edge and three universities in Moldova to turn to students and ask them what they think is coming for higher education. Identifying potential patterns and current needs, this project published its findings in 2020, including proposals originating from collective sense-making with students themselves.
  • Laboratorio Vivo for Educational Innovation in Colombia: Through a partnership with Dividendo por Colombia, we have engaged with the Ministry of Education to run a large Education Innovation initiative in over 30 groups across Bogota and Medellin. Dividendo develops programmes for teachers that allow them to gain additional training and knowledge in new skills, grounded in the context of actual stories and feedback from the students, and small scale classroom experiments developed utilising an evidence base from SenseMaker.


We are still recruiting for the design of new participation projects, so if you are interested in co-developing something that has greater applicability and can be established for others to replicate, please get in touch!

There is existing material in the following areas that you can join or replicate:

  • Anti-racism and belonging in higher education
  • After-school programs and their impact
  • Student journaling as a reflective practice during the transition out of education
  • Student engagement and participation
  • School/community relationships

Like all our programmes, members of the Education programme have access to the following support:

  • A network of practitioners in their area of expertise and beyond
  • Pre-designed and literature-supported material for their SenseMaker® collectors
  • SenseMaker® user licenses, the number of which depends on the type of membership
  • Training in designing and understanding SenseMaker® projects
  • Access to webinars and additional resources
  • Support in developing new methods, themes and areas of research that are consistent with the aims and direction of the education programme.

contact  us  here

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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