The first SenseMaker® study on living with type 1 diabetes (T1D)

March 2, 2020
For immediate release


If you live with T1D and would like to take part in the survey please click here.

Please share this link with anyone else you know who would be interested in taking part. 

Dave Snowden, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Cognitive Edge, is pleased to announce that he and his research team are launching the world’s first SenseMaker® study to gather the experiences of people living with type 1 diabetes (T1D). SenseMaker® allows for the capture of narratives whilst also collecting statistical data through nonlinear indices. This format creates significantly more meaningful insights than surveys which utilise linear approaches. This study will make a unique contribution to a better understanding of how people with T1D experience, and live with, their condition.

The blue circle is the global symbol of diabetes awareness, introduced by the International Diabetes Federation in 2006.

The blue circle is the global symbol of diabetes awareness, introduced by the International Diabetes Federation in 2006.

T1D and Issues of Concern

The aim of this first survey is two-fold:

(1) to deepen understanding of how people with this intensively managed condition experience issues of concern, for instance: management of the disease, healthcare availability, short- and long-term complications and the pricing of medicine, and

(2) to offer this knowledge to healthcare professionals, policymakers, caregivers and industry to improve resources and support for people with T1D. Survey results will be made available through publications and at conferences.

Snowden, a complexity expert who holds appointments as visiting Professor at the University of Stellenbosch (South Africa) and the University of Hull, has taken a personal interest in making sense of illness stories after receiving a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes himself and journeying back to health. “We intend to launch a second, more in-depth research survey at the end of the year to capture individual T1D stories in greater detail,” says Snowden. Cognitive Edge is also conducting type 2 diabetes-related research with Sensemaker® software in Singapore.

The survey results will not be sold and no monetary benefit will accrue.

You are welcome to contact Eleanor Snowden if you are interested to learn more about this study.


The research team includes diabetes expert Riva Greenberg, her partner and long-time network member, Boudewijn Bertsch, Zhen Goh, Senior Consultant at Cognitive Edge, and Eleanor Snowden, Researcher at Cognitive Edge. Both Greenberg and Bertsch have been researching for more than a decade how the science of creating health and resilience can be brought to people living with diabetes. They have written and lectured internationally on how health professionals can improve their interactions with people who have diabetes. Greenberg is the author of three books on diabetes, hundreds of articles and has lived with T1D for nearly 50 years.


Riva Greenberg has been flourrgreenbergishing with type 1 diabetes for 48 years. She is dedicated to helping people with diabetes flourish and is sharing with health professionals a way of working that enlivens this in their patients.

Corporate AdvisorInspirational SpeakerHealth CoachAuthor

Books:  Diabetes Do’s & How-To’s 50 Diabetes Myths That Can Ruin Your Life , The ABCs Of Loving Yourself With Diabetes

Web blog: Diabetes Stories

Top HuffPostType 1 Diabetes Finally Explained


bbertschBoudewijn Bertsch researches how natural sciences can inform better ways to bring out the best in people, both in their professional and personal lives. He is a leadership development consultant and works globally. He advocates for and facilitates workshops in inclusive leadership, and he advises executives on leading change and sustainable performance improvement. Boudewijn is also a certified somatic coach. With Riva, he is exploring how healthcare professionals can bring out the very best in people who live with a chronic condition.

Researcher • Consultant



profile imageEleanor Snowden is a SenseMaker® practitioner and bodyworker therapist with a background in medical /social anthropology, development and social transformation. The topics she has worked on with the SenseMaker® approach include influencing sustainable behaviours at UK music festivals, citizen engagement, sexual and reproductive health issues, as well as work with the NHS on reducing errors in surgery and on “change agency”.  Her Master thesis (which won the Bill and Scarlett Epstein prize for the best dissertation in anthropology at the University of Sussex) looked at issues relating to knowledge, agency and identity in people living with type II diabetes.



Zhen GohZhen Goh makes up part of the Consulting team at Cognitive Edge. She has worked on a wide variety of SenseMaker® applications and is currently engaged in projects which range from understanding how to build resilience in a post-Maria Puerto Rico, to assisting a large, global bureaucracy in their attempts to introduce innovation as a part of their ways of working. She studied Social Anthropology and has published papers on applications of complexity to social science research, and the importance of transdisciplinarity when approaching complex topics.

Senior consultant