Loading Events
« Back to Events

2017 Inaugural Cynefin Retreat

This is a retreat unlike any other, and not simply because it is inaugural – we have assembled some of the greatest minds currently involved in complexity science in a pristine, serene location at the foot of Snowdonia’s mountains, with the sole purpose of intellectual discourse to advance the fields of complexity science and design thinking.

This 3-day retreat is a unique opportunity to engage with the creator of the Cynefin framework, Dave Snowden, and three of his closest and longest-standing associates: Dr. Alicia Juarrero, Professor Anne Pendleton-Jullian and Professor Yasmin Merali.

(For more background on the location and why it matters, please read Dave’s blog post.)

Faculty Members

Dr Alicia Juarrero’s book, Dynamics in Action, is one of the seminal texts in complexity theory and one of the main influences on Dave’s work. Dr Juarrero holds a post at the Center for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University Medical Center, where she now lives, and organises various Philosophy and Complexity events in Cuba (where she was born). She has engaged people at LeanUX in New York with her work on constraints and has a deep understanding of complexity theory, coupled with an ability to communicate that.

Dave first met Professor Anne Pendleton-Jullian  when she was Director of the School of Architecture at Ohio State and they were both members of the US DoD’s Highlands Forum think tank. Her new book with John Seely Brown is an important contribution to a much needed evolution of design thinking. I met her when . She is now Distinguished Visiting Professor of Design at Georgetown University and has also taught at MIT for over a decade, and is currently starting an assignment at Stanford.

From the UK and also Dave’s longest standing academic colleague, who worked with both Dave and the late Max Boisot for many years, we have Professor Yasmin Merali who is Professor of Systems Thinking and Director of the Centre for Systems Studies at Hull University Business School. She was Co-Director of the Doctoral Training Centre for Complexity Science at the University of Warwick, and Dave was associated with her in both positions.

This is an exciting, exclusive opportunity for all involved to expand their thinking, so whilst we have a structure as far as time blocks and logistics are concerned, we will not be constraining ourselves to a fixed agenda.

Time Blocks

11th September: We will kick off the retreat’s inaugural session at midday. Delegates may arrive at the Snowdonia Mountain Lodge any time in the morning; there is a lounge area and luggage can be held. The session will end at 1700 after which check-in can commence. No meals provided.

12th September: Full day sessions – 0900-1700 with lunch 1200-1300 and breaks in between

13th September: Full day sessions – 0900-1700 with lunch 1200-1300 and breaks in between

14th September: Delegates to check out of their rooms by 10am; luggage hold available. We will start the day at 0900 and end by 3pm. Breakfast and lunch provided.

Residential – 14 twin-sharing rooms available for either single or double occupancy

Standard price after 31st July (Premium Members’ or Cynefin Centre members’ 15% events discount can be applied): USD4,000

Please take note of these logistics:

Delegates are responsible for arranging their own travel. Airport transfers from Manchester or Liverpool may be arranged by us for a round-trip fee of £50 per passenger if there is a critical mass of 8 per mini-bus (limited to 2 suitcases and 1 hand-carry bag per passenger). For Heathrow arrivals, catching a train from London Euston to Bangor would be the most straightforward, and mini-buses or taxis are readily available at Bangor station for about £15-20 one-way. Car hires from major companies are also available at Manchester or Liverpool airports. Please state your transport preferences in this form.

Full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner) is provided for the residential delegates. If gluten-free food is required, please inform us when you book via this form.

If you think you might be willing to double or even triple share a bedroom, we are keeping this shared spreadsheet open for expressions of interest until 31st July 2017, after which only single occupancies are available.


September 11, 2017 – September 14, 2017


12:00 pm – 3:00 pm


From: USD4000


United Kingdom