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Tony Quinlan

Cognitive Edge announces training courses for 2016 – SenseMaker® courses

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As we head into the Northern Summer/Southern Winter (delete as applicable), we’re announcing our timetable of new courses for the second half of 2016.

Yesterday we announced three more Cynefin and Sense-Making courses with Dave Snowden.  Today we’re announcing a variety of courses to introduce people to the practicalities and applications of running SenseMaker® projects. Still to come in the next week will be practitioner-focused courses on complexity and the Cynefin framework and finally partner-led subject-specific courses.

Course 1:  Introduction to Running SenseMaker® projects

Contemplating a SenseMaker® project? This is the course for you – getting you from a standing start to having a project 90% designed in only two days

From not knowing anything about SenseMaker® to having a draft framework and project plan in just two days – this course will help you understand the theory, design a project and build a framework.

Who are these for?

  • People who’ve heard about SenseMaker® but need specific guidance what it would take to actually run one
  • Consultants who want to supplement Cognitive Edge and narrative techniques with SenseMaker® to gain greater insight and to tap into larger volumes of people
  • Market leaders who have already run an initial SenseMaker® and want advice on how to manage aspects differently the next time

If you’re looking to work with SenseMaker®, these courses will combine theory, exercises and examples from the field to increase your capacity to use SenseMaker® regardless of sector, topic or application.

You can expect to get a good insight from this course into what it takes to run a successful SenseMaker® project – how to set it up, gather material and feed it back to stakeholders.  With a body of theory and past practice, this two-day course will show you what is needed in a SenseMaker® framework, how you go about designing and building one, how to test it in field and how to implement it to resolve your most complex problems.

Three opportunities early this year to take this highly recommended course (recommended by participants, not just by us):

Typically, attendees have left Day 2 with frameworks 90% ready for field testing – starting from nothing on Day 1.

Course 2: Designing SenseMaker® signifier frameworks – a one-day Masterclass with Dave Snowden in South Africa

With local partner More Beyond in South Africa, Dave is running a one-day signification masterclass in Johannesburg with Sonja Blignaut.  Full details are here.

In this master class, Dave will provide best practices in the design of signification frameworks as well as the theory that underlie the distributed ethnography approach of Sensemaker®.

Course 3: Online SenseMaker® Signification Design

Don’t have the time to attend a course – try the online course instead

For those who prefer online learning or who can’t wait for the live course to reach them, this is an excellent facilitator-guided course introducing SenseMaker® signification design, run by Laurie Webster.

The course covers the nuts and bolts of designing a collection instrument – whether online web collection or app-based.

Made up of four “live” online session, the course will feature lead facilitator Laurie Webster, with sessions from either Michael Cheveldave or Tony Quinlan, all of whom are experienced in running SenseMaker® projects in different environments.  The current course has already started, but future ones will be announced on the Online Courses page.

Course 4: SenseMaker® Environment Online Learning

A self-led online course introducing the key concepts of SenseMaker®.  The course starts whenever you want it and takes approximately three months to complete.

Available now at only $199 here


As on all our courses, there are discounts for groups attending the courses (book three people and a fourth can attend free), for academics, NGOs and Premium Cognitive Edge network members.  Contact Lisa at training@cognitive-edge.com for more details and discount codes.

Tailored courses

What does your organisation need to know?

We also realise that some organisations may want the skills provided by these courses, but applied in a specific environment dealing with sensitive or confidential information. If you would prefer an in-house confidential training, contact us.

Recent in-house courses have covered the basics of Cynefin, Complex Facilitation Techniques and elements of SenseMaker® projects for tech manufacturers, agile coaches, digital marketing experts, aid and development organisations and more.