Seminar in Hull

March 23, 2007

For those interesting, this coming Tuesday 27th March. I am giving a half day seminar at the Centre for Systems Studies in the Business School of the University of Hull with the titleComplexity in human systems: a naturalising approach to sense-making. It will include our narrative or pre-hypothesis approach to research. Details follow and the RSVP details are: +44 1482 463598

Tuesday 27 March 2007 3.00 – 5.00 pm
Lecture Theatre 2 Derwent Building

Complexity in human systems: a naturalising approach to sensemaking
David Snowden Cognitive Edge

Complexity science grew out of chemistry and biology over the course of the last century. Since that time its insights have been applied in economics, urban planning and the special effects industry in Hollywood! Building on earlier work within the field of systems thinking, a growing body of thinkers and practitioners are now starting to apply the science of complex adaptive systems (CAS) to the social and management sciences. Many of those (e.g. Ralph Stacey) explicitly reject systems thinking and, in particular, systems dynamics. Another popular confusion is between chaos and complexity theory. This seminar will examine both the theory and practice developed over the last decade in complexity and CAS. The seminar will look at applications of CAS in social systems both for insight and intervention.

David Snowden is the founder of Cognitive Edge, an organisation focused on the creation of an open-source approach to the development and propagation of emergent and distributed forms of research. He was Director of IBM’s Institute for Knowledge Management and the founder of the Cynefin Centre for Organisational Complexity, one of the first practical applications of complexity theory to management science. He is a pioneer in the use of narrative and one of the leaders of the naturalistic approach to sensemaking in organisations. He was a lead authority on the recent EU report on the knowledge society and is currently the external advisor of the EPSRC research programme on Emergence and Complexity. He holds several adjunct and visiting positions in academia and has authored many publications. He is currently working on his first book, Cognitive Edge, making sense of complexity.

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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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