Cynefin® at 21

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Throughout the summmer of 2021, Cognitive Edge (now The Cynefin® Company) ran a year of Cynefin® at 21 celebrations included reflections on the emergence of Anthro-Complexity as a field and the publication of a landmark text: Cynefin®: weaving sense-making into the fabric of our world.


Somewhat fortuitously, 2020 marked a notional "completion" as well as a "coming of age" for the Cynefin® framework. Whilst the framework might still evolve, refinements made over the previous year led creator Dave Snowden to conclude that it was finally in a stable form.

In marking the occasion, staff at Cognitive Edge (now The Cynefin® Company) created an invaluable window into the origins and development of the framework, and into what the framework has meant to practitioners who have worked with it over the years.

For more on Cynefin:Cynefin®, see the introductory page on this wiki: Cynefin:Cynefin®

The Book

Cognitive Edge's Cynefin® at 21 celebrations (see below) culminated in the publication of Cynefin®: weaving sense-making into the fabric of our world. The text contained an extended set of reflections by Dave Snowden. These highlight Anthro-complexity's roots in the early days of knowledge management, the emergence of rival schools of sense-making, dialogues over decades of teaching, trans-disciplinary inputs and more. Additional chapters include contributions from many who have been involved since the early days, including Mary E. Boone and Viv Read.

See Cynefin®: weaving sense-making into the fabric of our world

Cynefin® at 21 Webinars

including Cynefin® is not an island with Ann Pendleton-Jullian, Gary Klein, Yasmin Merali and Pierpaolo Andriani, 21 years of pioneering and stewarding and Cynefin® and its Welsh Roots.

The Cynefin® celebrations also included webinars showing that across the globe, many others have been developing the theory and praxis of Anthro-Complexity in interesting ways. For example, Zhen Goh introduced a series of blogs and video interviews from across Asia. Ian Macdonald hosted interviews from Brazil (in Portuguese]. Stories from the Field webinars covered Agriculture, Mining Formalization and Communities, International Development / Conflict Resolution and An IKEA learning journey. Sessions were also held in French and in Spanish, and Michael Cheveldave hosted two sessions on Cynefin® and Safety. The Cognitive Edge Blog also contains many posts by authors other than Dave Snowden: use the drop down search facility to pick from authors such as Anna Panagiotou, Tony Quinlan, Valdis Krebs and Eleanor Snowden.

Cynefin® beyond 21

Although the framework has not significantly evolved, a 2022 landmark publication on Substrate-Independence Theory became "the first to depict scaffolding as the defining characteristic between domains" - see Substrate-Independence Theory.