Making Sense of Complexity

The Cynefin Company is an action research and development hub working at the limits of applied complexity science: where sparks become light, light becomes research and research becomes practice. #makingsenseofcomplexity

Prevailing Currents

Current events, trending publications and all kinds of interesting new things like programmes and webinars at the top of our minds right now. Have a look.

How to create a citizen sensor network

As part of our Citizen Engagement and democratic innovation programme we have created our guide on how to create a citizen sensor network. 


upcoming event

This journey with Nora and Dave offers unique perspectives – tracing the roots of ideas and discerning subtle differences – towards a shared curiosity in the integrity of cultural dialogue and tending vital connections across understandings.

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Hexi method packs kits

As part of our effort to rewild The Cynefin Company with the move away from the Cognitive Edge name, we have started been focusing on our methods and have spent much of our focus this year on the production and testing of our hexi facilitation kits. 




We are the pioneer of the field of complexity, charting the way before complexity became mainstream. We created the concepts of Naturalising Sense-making, Distributed Ethnography, Apex Predator theory, and have developed the whole field now known as Anthro-complexity: complexity as experienced in human systems.
The Cynefin Centre focuses on applied complexity for social good and works primarily with not-for-profit, government and academic programmes.
Cynefin Centre
We offer various development pathways for individuals and teams through facilitated events, online self-paced learning products, and mentoring journeys.
Browse learning
Gain unique insights into your business, community, markets, employees, and broader socio-economic contexts with the world's first rich data collecting crowdsourcing tool.


Overwhelmed by complexity – advice from someone who knows how it feels
I joined the Cynefin Centre seven months ago, and with a background in health systems felt well versed to take on what complexity thinking had to throw at me. However, joining the world of anthro-complexity, sense-making, and complex adaptive systems has opened up a universe of possibilities and explorations that I had not thought were […]
Form over function?
I’ve been expressing some irritation on social media over the last week or so with idealised approaches to getting agreement to how things should be with little attention to the journey.  Also the linked guilt tripping that goes with a failure to buy in to the latest collection of platitudes.  Discovering that for just over […]
Dancing to the Masochism Tango
My mother had a love for the work of Tom Lehrer so from a young age I grew up listing to his songs. To this day key phrases from his songs come to mind, especially when meeting some of the manipulative stupidities that attempt to pass themselves off as new methods and approaches to organisational […]


Engage with us. Join the ever-growing community around the world. Learn something from us, so that we, in turn, can learn something from you. Make sense of complexity, so that you can act accordingly, and navigate uncertainty.

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.

© COPYRIGHT 2021. 

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