Strategic partnerships & collaborative relationships

We believe developing key strategic partnerships affords new opportunities to create mutual value and enables us to offer new and enhanced benefits to the clients, organisations and groups we work with

The Cynefin Centre for Applied Complexity


Complexity Science partner

The Cynefin Centre for Applied Complexity is a transdisciplinary research and development hub which pioneers the application of complexity science to public policy, social issues and academic research.

The Cynefin Centre exists to inform change; to orchestrate a paradigm shift that can radically transform the way we approach intractable issues within the world. By applying the principles of complexity science, the centre believes we can increase citizen engagement, provide a novel approach to policy and governance, and ultimately create new perspectives and ways of acting, not just in the UK but across the globe.

The Cynefin Centre will act as Complexity Science partner to disaster futures, working with us to develop a model of sense making geared towards disaster and crisis related issues.  Making use of a highly participatory distributed ethnographic method called SenseMaker®, the partnership will specifically explore the role of human-sensor networks and how crowd-sourced perceptions can contribute to disaster relief.

The centre is open to discussing collaborations with other interested parties.


The Cynefin Centre, through Cognitive Edge, has used the proprietary SenseMaker® software in a variety of foresight and futures settings, particularly in risk assessment and horizon scanning. Previous projects have included engaging conference attendees and digital users in developing micro-scenario assessments of topical affairs including the Greece referendum, Brexit and the North Korea conflict

The Centre seeks to embed a complexity-based approach at the core of foresight and futures work through the application of the widely-used Cynefin framework developed by Dave Snowden, and has been experimenting with various exploratory methods and research initiatives to further develop this approach

SenseMaker® is a narrative-based research methodology that enables the capture and analysis of a large quantity of stories in order to understand complex vector change and measure dispositional states over time. The approach offers a methodological breakthrough for recognising patterns and trends in perceptions, behaviours and relationships

Using SenseMaker®, the Centre promotes a distributed ethnographic approach, which is highly participatory, directly enables individuals to contribute to futures research projects in an inclusive and equal way and which reduces cultural biases in the research process

The Centre applies the following tools and techniques to better understand future trends and complex research problems:

Complex Facilitation Techniques – a collection of workshop-based group methods that allows facilitators to elicit less biased or directed responses, based on principles in complexity

SenseMaker® Collector – this web-based data collection services offers mass capture of large volumes of data on digital app platforms. Offline capture is also available where wifi or mobile coverage are less than ideal

SenseMaker® Analyst – this web-based data visualisation tool provides users with a live dashboard of their SenseMaker® data, which can also be exported in raw formats for use in third-party apps such as Tableau and R